"This Is Us" may be the family drama that most recently captured viewers' hearts, but before the Pearson family came along, there was the Braverman clan from “Parenthood.”
Several cast members from the NBC series, which ran for six seasons from 2010 until 2015, reunited over the weekend at the ATX Television Festival, in Austin, Texas, to discuss the show’s impact and what it was like making a program that spoke to so many people.
“There’s never been a show like this. Whenever I see you guys, it’s like we’ve just picked up where we left off,” Monica Potter, who played Kristina, told TODAY.
The series, loosely based on the 1989 Steve Martin film of the same name, followed the highs and lows of the Braverman family and tackled serious and real-life subject matter, such as autism and breast cancer.
“We got to look at them as one big family together, but we got to watch each of them and see how they all had their own kind of struggles and challenges,” “Parenthood” creator and executive producer Jason Katims said.
Potter said the episode where she left a teary-eyed message for her family in the event that she died of breast cancer was tough to shoot.
“I have the chills right now. Yeah, that was the hardest one for sure,” she said.
Erika Christensen, who played Julia, says the storyline in which her character couldn’t have a baby was especially difficult.
“When she found out she couldn’t have the baby, that was, like, the moment. That was the worst,” she said.
Katims remains moved by the scene in the pilot episode where Peter Krause’s character, Adam, tells his dad something is wrong with his son, Max, who was played by Max Burkholder.
“It was a very scary thing for me to write that scene,” Katims said.
With so many topics addressed with characters that viewers connected with, Katims managed to create a show that resonated with people who tuned in.
“Jason created a world that was both realistic and aspirational,” “Parenthood” director and executive producer Lawrence Trilling said. “And so I think the idea of real families with real issues and real struggles, but at the end of the day, they would find the love that would bring them back together.”
A lot of viewers could look at “Parenthood” as a mirror for themselves.
“As much as the characters were informed by our lives, we could also learn from the characters,” Christensen said.
“It’s hope. It’s love. It’s laughter, crying. It’s humanity,” Potter said.
“I just think overall for me the entire experience of working on the show, I mean, (it’s) still the greatest job I’ve ever had,” said Joy Bryant, who played Jasmine.