We’re down to the final four episodes of Parenthood ever, and for the loyal fans who have always been Team Braverman, our hearts are slowly breaking, one week at a time. The 100th episode airs this Thursday at 10/9c and it looks like a doozie of feels, with the ominous aftermath of Zeek’s heart episode taking center stage, Joel and Julia trying to reunite and Amber becoming a mommy.

Why have we spent the last six years putting ourselves in the path of such intense emotional situations? Because the writers and creators of NBC’s Parenthood handle real-life sh** storms in such a beautiful way, and because they apply a glass half-full view of extremely glass half-empty obstacles. Parenthood, without a doubt, is one of the most important shows on TV, and here are all the reasons why we’ll never ever forget it.

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Because it Showcases Rarely Seen Conditions

Suffering isn’t typically done in style, so it doesn’t happen much on the small screen, but when Kristina battled breast cancer, or when Ryan fought his post-war demons, or Max’s entire childhood journey with Asperger’s, this show has shown it all. The ups, the downs and all the less than camera-ready in-betweens.

Because it Tackles Real Marital Problems

Remember when Adam kissed that skanky receptionist? Or Crosby’s financial troubles this season and his attempt to hide them from Jasmine? Or of course, the growing distance between Joel and Julia that erupted in emotional infidelity and an almost divorce. This is what real married couples face. It’s not all house buying, tax paying, or baby making bliss, and the Parenthood crew isn’t afraid to go there.

Because it Celebrates Love in All Forms

There are several gorgeous couples on this show that ooze perfection in their love fests, but there are also loving relationships or romantic moments that are not prevalent on major networks. Haddie just brought home her girlfriend last season to meet the family. Her coming out was amazing because Haddie, Adam and Kristina were all hesitant to say it out loud, which is a perfectly normal reaction, and then once she was out, they embraced her lovingly to the point where her initial fears of rejection then seemed silly.

And Max got a love interest this season, which was probably the most adorable and heart-wrenching process to witness. As a viewer, you’re protective of his fragile heart, just like Kristina. But as Adam kept saying, “Why not Max?” Because he obviously deserves a life full of loving relationships too.

Because it Always Keeps You Guessing

This show makes you comfortable enough to where you think you know what’s going to happen. You almost predict the coming events, but you’re always either way off, or you’re right on and it’s delivered in a magically unexpected way. I’m convinced these writers are also emotional wizards.

Because of All the Guest Stars from Friday Night Lights

The second best show of all time shares the same creator as Parenthood (no surprise there), and there have been a ton of guest stars that appeared as regulars on FNL. Minka Kelly, Jesse Plemons, Matt Lauria and Michael B. Jordan, to name a few.  

Because it Makes You Want to Move Closer to Family

Wouldn’t it be easier to see them if they lived just a few roads away? And everyone lived in the same town? It would also be fun to gather around a super long table for dinner in a cozy, outdoor garden setting, but maybe that’s just me. At the very least, each episode makes you want to pick up the phone and tell your parents how much you love them. 

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Because it Gives You a Reason to Cry it Out

Over six amazing seasons, I have yet to watch an episode without shedding a few tears. They really flow whenever Zeek shares his words of wisdom to a struggling kid or grandkid. Yeah… and it’s making me mist up just thinking about all the times he comforted Amber right when she needed it.

Because the Bravermans are the Ultimate Family

They are impossible not to root for, and because they’re a constantly evolving family unit, there’s never one simple happy ending that you hope for. It’s whatever makes each of them happiest. And isn’t that the only thing you’d want for and from your own family. That’s why we feel like we are the Bravermans — all of us.

Here’s a sneak peak at Thursday’s 100th episode, and the three other remaining episodes of the series.

Parenthood airs Thursday nights at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Chrissa Hardy

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV