Show Tracker recently talked with Parenthood creator Jason Katims about the emotional roller coaster of this season and what is yet to come.
Let’s talk about the moment before I was hurling objects at my TV: Kristina, Max and the dance lesson — talk about what you were trying to convey.
Ah, yes. What we tried to do when we were sort of introducing this idea of Kristina’s health issue — her breast cancer — was make it very specific to her and not just, oh, here’s a woman with breast cancer. One of the things, of course, that is very prevalent in her life other than her illness is her children and, particularly, the struggles she has with Max. To me, conceptionally, I just thought there was a poignancy to the idea that she would want to not miss out on any milestones with her children, but I also think it’s particularly true of Max, of wanting him to be out in the world and to be OK and to flourish — even with the challenges he has.
I think all those things sort of contributed to how it wasn’t just a dance, there was so much more to it. I feel like Monica Potter has done just such an amazing job — she has always on the show, but particularly with the material this year, I think she’s found so many layers to it all. And I do think that dance is such a symbolic thing, you know, of sort of being in the world and connecting — and, of course, those are things that are very challenging for Max.
There’s a handful of episodes left this season. We don’t yet know if NBC has plans to bring it back next year — it’s a show that’s always sort of been on the bubble. Do you approach each finale like it could be the series ender?
No — you know, it’s funny, people said last season’s finale felt like a series finale. That it felt like I had written it that way. And I really didn’t. It tended that way. And I feel the same way this year. I’m not intending it as an ending for the show. I just think there’s a natural thing that happens, on this show in particular, where you have these story lines that go on — some of them a whole season, some many episodes — and since you’re reaching the end of a season, they tend to get resolved. So even if you have cliffhangers in there, the feeling of resolution is very strong so I think sometimes it feels a little more like it’s intending to be an ending. But we’re hopeful there will be more.
What can you tease about the upcoming episodes? There’s a pregnancy and Max is going through puberty …
With Max it really starts with a concern for hygiene. They’re starting to notice that he smells and he has to bathe more. And, of course, with Max, nothing is simple because he has the mind-set, “Well, the rules are, I shower Mondays and Thursdays. Why do I have to shower more?” And they unexpectedly stumble into a conversation about his body changing and puberty — and they find themselves having the conversation before either they or he is ready for it. It’s a subject matter that’s done in a light way. It’s an interesting thing because it’s fun building these stories because Max plays it in such a pure and honest way. He’s not going to cut you some slack in any conversation. It’s nice that it’s a light take on the story and there’s a lot of humor in it, but it also gets to a poignant place. And it sort of brings up the question for Max and Kristina of how Max will fit in — and we’ve dealt with this a little throughout the series — but it’s something that is very true where when you have a kid like Max, the future is a little more uncertain than it is with other kids. Like will he get married or have kids — all these things that we all sort of take for granted that you can’t take for granted with a kid like Max. But we tackle it in a light way and with some humor, which is nice for Adam and Kristina because they have been dealt heavier story lines.
With Joel and Julia, they’ll be dealing with complications with Victor and his adoption. It gets trickier with him as the season goes along — and also with Sydney feeling like there’s no room for her
Head over to Show Tracker to see the full interview. It’s worth reading!
YAH was able to speak with actor Max Burkholder who portrays Max at the recent Breaking Dawn Part 2 premiere. Check out what he had to say about playing someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Photo Credit NBC