On this week's episode, boys become men, men go to the movies, fathers yell at their children, and children hang out and pump it up with Michael Shannon. First off, as a matter of housecleaning, our very own podcast, and all the other great pop culture shows on the Grantland Network, are getting their own feed. You can now subscribe to the Grantland Pop Culture and Grantland Sports family of podcasts separately. This is big for us. We've been in Jalen Rose's shadow for too long. Everybody knows that.
Ah, but back to this week's show. We started out with a little chat about the new film Mud (2:00). It's a coming-of-age story set in Arkansas from director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter), and it's one of the best movies of 2013. This led us to talk about some of our favorite coming-of-age movies (Stand by Me, Fresh) and segued nicely into a discussion of Mad Men (8:45). While all the talk was about the big historical event covered in last Sunday's episode, we found ourselves more taken with the heart-exploding interaction between Don and Bobby Draper. Like a matinee of Planet of the Apes, we wished we could just run it back.
Well, Bob, you did it. You really did it. The Grantland office just burst into a lively celebration when we heard that Parenthoodgot its much-deserved Season 5 pickup. In case you forgot, while you were determining the fate of our favorite (scripted) show, we were sending you weekly missives that should give your writers' room a little head start. You don't have to use these ideas, but you should because they are brilliant and chock-full of those signature cry moments. SO EXICTED FOR NEW CRY MOMENTS. We’re fired up. We're sure you read our ideas every week, but here’s a little refresher course on the ones you should could use for Season 5:
This week we're trying to see the bigger picture for you. If you renew Parenthood (and you will, right?), you should probably go all in with it. Spend more money and optimize it to cross-promote your other successful franchises. And maybe you can even get Ellen DeGeneres onboard! Thank us later.
I had an epiphany this week: I'm an NBC fan. Not only do I advocate for Parenthood, but I've been with The Voice since day one, and I'll continue watching Ready for Love even though it's a total mess. (NBC fans are hard to come by these days, so I wanted to make sure you were aware. Can you really afford to lose anyone else? Remember, I'm firmly in the 18-35 demographic.)
As always, when you make the right choice and renew Parenthood, here are some story lines for the writing staff to consider.
We haven't forgotten about you, nor have we forgotten about Parenthood. Actually, with Dax Shepard becoming a real-life dad, we’ve become acutely aware of how much we miss Crosby. Luckily, we've had Craig T. Nelson acting just like Zeek, talking about NBC's inexplicably poor treatment of this show. Even though The Voice is back (Team Monique Abbadie), your 2013-14 slate has not improved to our knowledge, so just renew the show already. And when you do, please demand that the audience meet some of the Braverman siblings' in-laws. We know that Jasmine is not the only spouse with her own family.
Did you attend the Parenthood PaleyFest panel? We wanted to go, but we couldn't make it. We did read about it, though. We're glad that the door is still open for Hank (the sublime Ray Romano) to return, but our favorite fact to emerge from the panel was that the cast has matching necklaces. How adorable! The Bravermans love each other in real life, too. So if this show gets canceled, you will be breaking up a family. Keep that mind and proceed as you wish.
Already in tears thinking about the show,
Juliet Litman and David Jacoby
Why was House of Cards antihero Frank Underwood a Democrat? "If we had made Underwood a Republican, it might look as though we are trying to take cheap potshots and that the show has a political agenda. But the show doesn’t have a political agenda, so making him a Democrat has an ancillary benefit of hopefully diminishing anyone’s thoughts about this show having some sort of political point of view or agenda that we’re trying to push." I see!
Dear Mr. Greenblatt,
We love Parenthood because it makes us feel things. Right now we want to indulge in a tear-fest alongside the most uptight Braverman, Julia. This week's story line is bleaker than what we usually offer, but sometimes this show goes there, and when it does it is often at its best. We know that Jason Katims and his crew truly shine when they need to humanize the most melodramatic situations. Just imagine the syncopated dialogue that Erika Christensen will deliver. We promise it will be great.
I understand if you don't have time for us this week. The New York Times article about NBC's ratings fall was astonishing. Since SNL is your top show and you have to give away free commercials, you probably won't be reading this missive because you will be drowning your sorrows at your local bar. (Or maybe a bar in your home because I'm assuming you are really rich?) The good news is this: You already have a dedicated Parenthood fan base, composed of people like us, who see your calamitous situation as a net-positive. You have to renew our show now because your slate is nearly empty. Right?
Here we are again. Parenthood has not been renewed even though it's one of the relatively dependable shows in the morass that is your network. As we promised last week, we won't relent until you give this show a fifth season. There haven't been enough tears shed since Sean sent Desiree home in the most shocking Rose Ceremony ever the Season 4 finale, so here are some story lines to get the tear ducts going and corral the Friday Night Lights fans who are still holding out.
David Jacoby and Juliet Litman
You're probably busy with conference calls, contract negotiations, tiger-buying, and whatever else fills the days of the NBC Entertainment chairman, so we understand if there is the occasional oversight. We're here with the first of our weekly missives to remind you that, somehow, you have yet to renew Parenthood and there's no plan to create a Crosby spinoff yet, at least that we know of. You remember Parenthood, right? The one starring Coach, the one that is the best show on your network, the one that you greenlit after your 17th sake bomb with Ron Howard? That one. We are big fans of the program here at Grantland and need a reason to make it through Tuesdays. In case you haven't actually forgotten but rather haven't decided yet, we'll be here every week with story line suggestions for the fifth season until Parenthood is officially picked up.
NBC's Parenthood ended its fourth season last night. Unfortunately, we're all caught up, but the majority of you are not watching this show (we know this because a healthy network series does not have a January 22 season finale), and that's a mistake. You really should be, and now is the time to marathon through its 68 episodes. Binge-watching Parenthood is a lot more like having a heroin habit than you think it is: You gorge yourself in a daze, lose all sense of will, and completely succumb to a foreign substance. You are ashamed by your consumption but can think of nothing else but getting more. Your emotions become frayed, you try to reach the apex that you felt at first by doing more, but doing more just leads to doing more. Next thing you know, it's 6:27 a.m., you can’t sleep, you can’t cry, and you can’t stop. Here’s the good part, though: Watching Parenthood won’t turn you into a homeless prostitute. The worst thing that watching Parenthood will do is make you cry so many times that you completely abandon all attempts to maintain any sort of steely, unshakable manliness. Parenthood makes you feel, and goddammit, isn’t that enough reason to binge-watch alone? No? Fine then, we have eight more.
I have bad news for anyone who was thinking about getting Jacoby or me a Christmas present: an intrepid reader has stolen your thunder. Reader Devin alerted us to the fact that the contestant bios for the next season of The Bachelor have been released, and we had a field day wading through the gals. Not only did we hone in on a few notables, we used the highly reliable data to pick our Season 17 winners. Then we moved on to the highly entertaining Challenge; Lisa Welchel's emotional breakdown on this week's Survivor; and the ray of light that is The Shahs of Sunset.
First, it's time for another losing Thursday night football pick! I'm grabbing Jacksonville +12.5 points in Atlanta for the simple reason that the 2011 Falcons shouldn't be favored by that many points over anyone except the Rams and the Indianapolis Orlovskys.
OK, so last night was a big for the BS Report studio: the great Louis C.K. stopped by for a lively chat about his new comedy special ("Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater"), his superb FX comedy Louie, the story behind the famous Dane Cook episode, the ups and downs of his standup career, his creative process, and topics like "Why does Hollywood try to meddle so much with creative people?", "Can Chris Rock become a serious actor some day?" and "Is it OK to want to beat up kids in your daughter's school without actually beating them up?" Somehow we babbled on for two parts without ever mentioning Boston (he grew up there), the Celtics (he loves them) or boxing (his favorite sport). Maybe next time.