While my friends are grabbing their Kleenex boxes tonight, I’ll be either lounging on my couch with a good book, making a big pot of Bolognese sauce or playing Boggle Junior with my kid. I might really live it up and do all three.
One thing I won’t be doing is sitting around watching "Parenthood."
Tonight sees the end of "Parenthood," the TV series, not the practice itself. While my friends on Facebook and in real life are all deeply mourning the loss of the NBC’s family drama, I’m devoid of emotion. I am in no way feeling the toll that has taken on so many of my writer friends, who say they can't handle the good-bye. Apparently, the Bravermans had a real knack for plucking heartstrings and making us cry.
I’ve been struck by the sheer number of people whom I respect and adore that love — and I mean LOVE — this show. Don’t get me wrong: it’s me not them. I tried to like it, really I did. I believe I watched the first five or so episodes. I thought it had good production values, possessed mindful storytelling with a nuanced script and they got big bonus points for casting Lauren Graham (whom I loved in "Gilmore Girls").
But I don’t need another family’s drama playing out in my living room. I have enough family drama in reality. Not just my own, but the storylines that are happening each and every day, for reals, with friends and family members. Cancer, divorce, a child’s sensory issues, complicated adoptions, financial issues, family squabbles, work fiascos and so on and so on.
I don’t need all that on my TV, too. I have it right here.
I should note that I love TV and movies. But I have so few hours to dedicate to my own show watching. If the TV is on, it’s usually switched to "Gravity Falls," "Phineas and Ferb" or "Myth Busters," shows of my daughter’s picking. Since I have to be so selective, I choose that time to escape from reality rather than to be immersed in another family's (especially a fictional family’s) narrative.
I should note that I also haven’t seen "The Notebook" or "The Fault in Our Stars," and I can never ever again watch "Toy Story 3" (although it is brilliant). I just don’t like to shed a tear for fictional events and virtual experiences.
I understand that watching these programs and movies, and reading tear-jerky books, can be cathartic. But my Viking blooded Sunny disposition just doesn’t lead me to be wired that way. Give me "Monsters, Inc.," (the only Pixar film that doesn’t make me tear up), a cozy mystery or reruns of "Murder, She Wrote" any day.
I don’t need to watch "Parenthood" on TV. I’m watching it in real life.