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NBC’s Parenthood is based on the 1989 film directed by Ron Howard, and aside from a large cast of characters who are all related in some easy-breezy way, the similarities with the movie seem to end. The series is a dramedy focusing on the Braverman clan and the trials which shaped their lives.

Where Parenthood really excels is its excellent casting much like ABC’s Modern Family, its all about the people behind these characters and how well they gel together. Anchoring the show are the beautiful Lauren Graham (Sarah Braverman), Peter Krause (Adam Braverman), and Braverman patriarch Zeek Braverman played by Craig T. Nelson who always shines.

The first hour provides a decent amount of laughs, mostly when Graham is in the room, and sets up a seasons worth of storylines with Sarah moving back in with her parents have a financial downturn, Adam dealing with the diagnosis of his son Max with Asperger’s. There are your typical sitcom moments, such as Sarah’s son catching her sexual escapades with a portly, balding former-classmate (Mike O’Malley) and your typical drama moments with long pauses and furrowed brows.

There’s definitely a lot to like here, and while the episode blows all of its comedic chops in the first 20 minutes, and loads up the final two acts with heavy drama, it’s still easy to see that the writers are mixing in a healthy balance of both. Ultimately the show needs time to grow into its own, but from what we’ve seen so far there are very capable people both behind and in-front of the camera and Parenthood can easily make its way into can’t miss territory with a few more episodes like the pilot.