5 Reasons NBC Must Renew 'Parenthood' for Season 5
5 Reasons NBC Must Renew 'Parenthood' for Season 5
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Parenthood ended its fourth and best season Tuesday night, and it was a perfect potential series finale. All of the season's big storylines got neatly wrapped up and, for the most part, everyone ended the year happily ever after.

If this were the end of the road for the NBC drama, there wouldn't be any lingering cliffhangers or mysteries. But this shouldn't be the end.

Parenthood proved in season 4 that it is one of the best shows on TV and NBC needs to renew it for another year. The acting is top-notch, the stories and characters are compelling and it's a positive, uplifting family-friendly drama.

Here are five important reasons why NBC should renew the show for season 5.

It's Positive and Uplifting

I don't want to get on my soap box, but following the Newtown shooting, many criticized television for its depictions of violence. Shows like Criminal Minds and The Following came under scrutiny. At a time like this, we need positive, uplifting shows, dramas that don't celebrate death, gore and violence, but instead shows that glorify family, love and togetherness. That describes Parenthood to a tee, as exhibited in the season 4 finale scene where the whole family gathered at court to oversee Victor's official adoption.

In a world so consumed by tragedy and fighting, Parenthood is the kind of show that NEEDS to be on television. It's a shining beam of light in a medium filled with corpses and murders. If NBC cancels it, the network is basically conceding that positive, uplifting, heartwarming dramas don't have a place on TV anymore.

The Ratings Are Steady

Parenthood isn't setting the world on fire with amazing ratings, but it's doing well enough. Season 4 averaged about 5 million viewers per episode, which is down ever-so-slightly from season 3's 5.1 million average. With increased competition and shrinking TV audiences, keeping steady is better than what most shows are doing.

The Future of Max

Parenthood's greatest strength is its realism, and that is best captured by Max, Adam and Kristina's son with Asperger Syndrome. In four seasons we've seen the character and the actor grow and change and getting to see an honest portrait of those changes through the eyes of a kid with Asperger's is something TV hasn't really done before.

The show scratched the surface this season by having Max start to go through puberty (complete with B.O.), but when his dad tried to have the sex talk with him, Max simply said he wasn't ready yet. That's a rich potential storyline, and if the show gets renewed for another season, perhaps Max will be ready and Parenthood can help bring to light another issue of raising children.

More Matt Lauria

One of the more compelling storylines of season 4 was the addition of Friday Night Lights alum Matt Lauria as Ryan York, a war veteran who falls for Amber. Their relationship hit some bumps, but they ended up together. Lauria has proven to be an incredibly charismatic and compelling actor, and if the show continues, it would be wise to promote him to series regular to add him into the Braverman clan. Keeping such a talented young actor on TV is reason enough to renew Parenthood.

Sarah Needs Happiness

As I said earlier, season 4 ended with almost everyone being happy. Kristina is cancer-free and on vacation in Hawaii with Adam. Crosby and Jasmine are expecting another child. Julia, Joel and Sydney embraced Victor into their family. Drew got into Berkley. Amber and Ryan found love. But the one exception is Sarah.

The romantically-challenged sister dumped sweet teacher Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter) for good (leaving him to wander the halls of high school alone, fighting back tears) and she chose Hank (Ray Romano). The only problem is that Hank also chose to move to Minnesota to be closer to his daughter. He invited Sarah to come with him, but we were left in the dark about her choice.

Did Sarah decide to go since her daughter is independent and her son got into his first-choice college? Did she stay and accept spinsterhood as her future? Will she ever find the right man AND find a way not to screw it up? If everyone else in her family can be happy, surely Parenthood can find a way for Sarah to achieve some form of contentment.

Not only was Parenthood's fourth season its best, it's also one of the best shows on all of television. NBC has a gem on its hands and, hopefully, the network will be smart enough to renew it for season 5. And 6. And 7.

(Image courtesy of NBC)