Why Parents Are Obsessed with Shows like This Is Us and Parenthood
Please tell me that I am not the only person obsessed with shows like Parenthood and This is Us. From what I have read and from the people that I have spoken with, parents just like me have the same sentiment towards these shows — we love them, we laugh and cry numerous times per episode, and then bawl our eyes out when a season ends.
So, what is it about these shows that get to us? Is it because they are so relatable? Is it the fact that they tackle relationships, families, drama, and tragedy just as most of us do in real life? Or is it that the traits and flaws depicted in the characters are the same we see within ourselves and our own family?
Clinging to relatable shows is nothing new for me. When I was in middle school, my mom and I would watch Gilmore Girls together — it was our thing. It brought us both so much joy to watch a show that revolved around the mother-daughter relationship/friendship and the accompanying complexities.
As I got a little older, my whole family and I enjoyed watching American Dreams, a comedic family drama based in the 1960's which followed one family's journey through the joys and pains of living in Philadelphia during that time. IMDB describes the show as being marked by “parents struggling to define their own relationship, kids struggling to fulfill their parents dreams for them” and “tumultuous relationships and a whole world out there swirling around them.”
Fast forward to 2011 through present day and becoming a parent. Now more than ever I enjoy watching a show that meets me where I am in my current stage of life. Yes, I know that the characters are just actors and the situations are not real, but they are so based on real-life challenges and triumphs, and it is fun and comforting to watch another family attempt to navigate life's ups and downs, sometimes doing it well and sometimes not so much.
I am sure that when I am an empty nester many, many years from now, I will find a new genre of show that is my cup of tea. But for now, I am counting down the days until NBC realizes that canceling Parenthood was a mistake, and living for Tuesday nights when This is Us comes on.
Who else never misses an episode of This is Us?
Have a different show obsession? Please share in the comments below!