Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Sam Jaeger as Joel Graham (Photo : Colleen Hayes/NBC)
NBC’s hit family drama “Parenthood” is finally back after a long summer hiatus. The show’s fifth season premiere found the Bravermans welcoming new job opportunities, new life adventures and the newest Braverman addition--baby girl Aida Braverman. As if welcoming a new family member wasn’t enough, Amber (Mae Whitman) also accepted a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ryan (Matt Lauria), who had been deployed to Afghanistan.
Showrunner Jason Katims spoke to TVLine about the rash engagement and what lies ahead for the young couple. “When we brought Matt on and started the storyline last season, it was something we thought about as something that would be a few episodes,” Katims said.
“[But] I just found that the chemistry between them is so great,” he continued. “The work that Matt had done to prepare for the role, the idea of what was going on in [Ryan’s] past, felt so real that it’s something we wanted to continue to explore.”
However, not everything will be sunshine and rainbows for the couple. Katims added, “There are definitely things in Ryan’s past, and Amber’s past for that matter, that make it not be cut-and-dried that this is the right thing to do, and there are people in the family who start to question that and bring up those points… When you have people with very different opinions who are both right, who both have very good points, those always seem like the strongest stories for this kind of show.”
Amber and Ryan won’t be the only couple to face a rocky road ahead of them. Amber’s aunt Julia (Erika Christensen) and uncle Joel (Sam Jaeger) will hit a rough patch this season. The season premiere introduced Peet (guest star Sonya Walger) and will soon introduce a new friend for Julia--stay-at-home dad Ed (David Denman).
Jaeger told TVLine that Peet’s introduction may affect his character’s marriage. “On any other show, [Sonya Walger's Pete and Joel] would be making out wildly in her second appearance,” Jaeger said.
He added that Peet’s presence “is just something that feels natural and it feels lived in… We’ll see [Joel and Julia's marriage] be tested, but not in an obvious way. It’s just a relationship that’s starting to fray a little bit.”
To see how these two couples fare, catch the second episode on Thursday, October 3 at 10 p.m. on NBC.