|Pictures can be found here|
I just watched the Parenthood panel at PaleyFest and it was pretty great. It was really cool of The Paley Center to not only host a show like this, but to stream the panel live. Michael Ausiello was a pretty good moderator (even though he didn't ask my emailed/tweeted questions.) As a fan obsessed with this show, it really means a lot to see that the cast are really invested in the characters, the show, and each other.
At the panel: Jason Katims, Peter Krause, Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Erika Christensen, Monica Potter, Sam Jaeger, Mae Whitman, Jason Ritter, Joy Bryant, Miles Heizer, and Max Burkholder.
They talked about the expected stuff: the cancer story line, Julia and Joel's adoption, Ryan, Mark-Sarah-Hank, the abortion, etc, which I won't go into detail about because it's really more about watching Katims and the cast interact and discuss.
They didn't real talk about any plans for the next season, except that they hope there is one. Since Drew is going to Berkeley, we will probably see him more than Haddie, not that we see him that much anyway. As Katims put it, "[Drew's] in town." He wants to continue the story line with Amber and Ryan, which I assumed would be a given since that was a focus of this past season. But Matt Lauria may not be available. But in my personal opinion, I don't think we have to worry about him not being in it.
Katims wants to explore as many facets of parenthood as he can in the show. Although that's great, I worry if that would lead to forced story lines. What the show does not need is to pile on more after school special topics to check off some kind of list. Speaking of which, I was pretty conflicted about this past season. Of course, I thought it was beautifully done. However, I did find myself longing for the smaller everyday issues story lines that made me fall in love with the show in the first place.
Shooting a big family scene is "like a party with a room full of alphas"
The Q&A with the audience was a bit... awkward to say the least. It wasn't that bad, but when I have a billion questions I want to ask, some questions may annoy me. As a general statement, they really should start pre-screening them.
The first "question" was from an Italian woman who didn't know much English. I say "question" because all she did was profess her love for Lauren Graham and proceeded to give her a flowers. I think everyone was uncertain of whether it was an "Awwww moment" or a "creepy moment."
The question that annoyed me the most was from a woman who said she was an actress who also works with kids with Autism. She then asked Max Burkholder something along the lines of "Where does the story come from." Max immediately and rightfully passed the question to Katims who simply replied that he has a son with Autism. Everyone was quiet and the lady was kind of like "Oh... well I can help you if you need it."
Okay, from day 1, in literally every article about Parenthood, there is at least some mention of how Katims has a son with Autism and that is where he gets his inspiration. I don't understand how someone who watches this show enough to come to the panel does not know that. Even so, maybe if she did a quick Google search beforehand, we wouldn't have gotten our time wasted.
More endearing questions came a woman who was battling cancer the same time Kristina was and also has a child on the spectrum and from a man who said that he feels a part of the family and that he wrote his thesis on Katims and the Bravermans. I would totally read that thesis. Actually I'm really interested in doing so.
Again, more of a general statement: instead of getting awkward and bad questions that waste the producer's/casts time, we can get some more actual, perhaps pre-screened questions. So if that means using more twitter questions then so be it. When there's a chance for producers and actors from my favorite shows to answer questions, I don't want them to be some dumb/awkward question with an obvious answer. I want them to be as interesting and telling as possible.
For this panel specifically, I would have liked to have heard more specific and/or plot based questions.
Also, here's a bunch of Parenthood tissues tweeted out by @nbcparenthood. Because you are going to need them whenever you watch the show.