At first I thought that Parenthood was going to be a lot like Brothers & Sisters, a melodrama about a large white, affluent California family with four adult children. But now that a few episodes have aired, it's become evident that this show is actually sticking extremely close to its title. Whereas B&S is more about the siblings' romantic lives and relationships with each other, Parenthood's storylines are nearly all about well, parenthood.
There's Adam (Peter Krause, who I always love) and his wife, Kristina, dealing with their son Max, who's just been diagnosed with Asperger's, and their daughter Haddie, a "good girl" who's just starting to act out and have boy drama. There's Sarah (Lauren Graham, playing a sort of alterna-world Lorelai Gilmore) as a single mom moving her two kids back to her hometown and parents' house. There's Crosby (Dax Shepherd, surprisingly not bad), the overgrown child with commitment issues and a girlfriend pressuring him to have a baby, finding out that he has a son from a past relationship. And there's Julia (Erika Christensen, perhaps miscast), a working mom whose husband Joel is a stay-at-home dad, worrying that their daughter Sydney (definitely one of the cutest kids on TV right now) is more a daddy's girl.
And really, that's kind of all you need to know. The Asperger's storyline has been maybe a little different (executive producer Jason Katims has an autistic son) but the rest is generally pretty much what you'd expect. The acting is generally pretty good, the writing is strong even when the stories are predictable, and yes, the whole clan gets together for dinner and baseball games and pool parties way more often than real-life scheduling should allow for.
I guess I'm in the stage of life between being a child and being a parent so I can't say I much relate to any of the characters on this show, but so far it's been pretty enjoyable. But I get the feeling that this is one of those shows that I like now because it's something new but that I might tire of later on, kind of like I did with B&S...