I watched the penultimate episode of Parenthood last night. It was emotionally exhausting and I cried far harder than I probably should over fictional characters in a television series. When I watched the first episode of Parenthood six years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. It was such a quiet show that seemed to have such humble ambitions – merely telling the story of an American family. I think there was a clue right from the start, though, that this was going to be more than a post-milennial Eight is Enough. After all, their last name is Braverman.
Braverman! That name must be something to live up to. I actually looked up the name’s origin because I was pretty sure it did not originate with some courageous Saxon stalwart holding off a Viking horde and being called a “braver man” than most and then passing that name on for generations. It turns out to be Jewish surname from the Ukraine, a form of the Yiddish word braver which means good or honest. At least that is what most of the sources say, though one source says it means distiller. Well, the Braverman family does like their spirits. The name is perfect, though, there is something good and honest about this family and their quotidian dramas.