Monica Potter Shares the Shocking Story Behind Parenthood's Devastating Twist

Parenthood Monica PotterWarning: This story contains MAJOR spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Parenthood. Read on with caution…

Never a series to shy away from difficult themes, Parenthood on Tuesday embarked on what could be its toughest, most heart-wrenching storyline to date with the revelation that Kristina has breast cancer.

The episode as a whole was filled with typical Braverman hijinks: Adam and Kristina adopted a puppy for Max; Julia made a breakthrough with her new son Victor; and Crosby and Jasmine bickered like the newlyweds that they are.

But in the hour’s final minutes, Kristina underwent a mammogram, received the diagnosis and then, in a haunting closing sequence that featured nary a line of dialogue, delivered the devastating news to husband Adam.

Here, Monica Potter talks to TVLine about the surprising origin of the storyline, how she’s approaching the heavy material and what’s next for the now-ailing Kristina.

TVLINE | How did you feel when you heard that this would be Kristina’s arc this season?
I actually was really supportive of it. I had talked to [exec producer/showrunner] Jason [Katims] about what we were going to do with Kristina this season and had sent him an email asking if we could introduce this storyline, and he said, “I just got chills because we just broke that story for Kristina.” I knew we hadn’t explored [cancer] yet [on Parenthood], and breast cancer is such a huge issue. I also know that Jason has been touched by it personally with his wife, and I thought that maybe we could explore that… And he was way ahead of me! So, it [felt] like we were supposed to do this.

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TVLINE | Why did you want to do a cancer story?
I had just gone for my first mammogram and I was nervous, but thought that it would be okay. Then [the doctors] saw something — I don’t have breast cancer, but I do have to go back so they can keep an eye on a little [growth] — and it’s scary. When that happened, I wanted to bring more awareness to it… It was very timely and it was meant to happen.

TVLINE | Talk a little about that final scene in this week’s episode. Was there anything written in the script for you and Peter [Krause] to say? Or was it always meant to be a silent moment?
We always knew it would be a silent moment, because that’s how it was written. I dunno, we just sort of talked and made it a real moment. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but in doing that, hopefully, the point we were trying to make came across.

TVLINE | It absolutely did. And what made it even more potent were the doctor references that were just casually sprinkled throughout the episode, not drawing any attention to what would come from her appointment.
The way that Jason wrote it, he wanted it to be subtle and he wanted it to be real. It’s just like you said, it’s sprinkled in throughout, but not smacking you in the face. Maybe some people [picked up on it], but if I had just read the episode, there’s no way I would have known.

TVLINE | How much focus will be on the medical aspect of Kristina’s battle? And how much will be on the emotional fallout at home?
It’s cut right down the middle; it’s both. I’m learning so much about breast cancer and chemotherapy — we’re just starting [to shoot scenes with] chemo this week.

TVLINE | Is one aspect of the story more challenging to play than the other?
Just hearing the diagnosis and all of the things that people and women go through — it’s hard to hear that even when it’s just acting. But I would say that the stuff at home, how the kids are reacting, that tears at you emotionally. It’s not really about yourself, it’s about how your kids are taking it and dealing with it.

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TVLINE | What kind of reactions are we going to see from the family, particularly Max, who already has difficulty expressing emotion?
Max being Max, he has his own way of digesting everything. It’s only in certain scenes that you’ll see his curiosity and concern come out, like when we’re watching a baseball game and he just blurts out, “Well, you have to get chemo.” He knows all about it because he’s Max and he’s studied many things. He knows what she’s going to go through and shows his concern in his way. Haddie, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She takes it really, really, really hard, which you’ll see in an upcoming episode.

TVLINE | How quickly will everyone learn Kristina’s diagnosis?
We actually wait a little bit and talk about when we should tell people, because we don’t want to disrupt their lives — especially Haddie’s life in college. That’s a big deal. We want to deal with it quietly, but as you know with the Bravermans, nothing is dealt with quietly. [Laughs] After the cat’s out of the bag — which is where we are now [in production], Episode 7 — everyone’s concerned, and how it’s incorporated into everyone’s lives and storylines is very interesting.

TVLINE | Does her battle with breast cancer bring about any surprising new dynamics within the family?
I would say Camille and Kristina have an interesting exchange. We’re shooting that today, actually. You don’t know too much about Kristina’s background, but in this episode you find out a little bit more. Kristina can be very standoffish and, I wouldn’t say cold, but sometimes not as welcoming to Camille, and it’s because she’s so vulnerable. There’s so much in her backstory that you don’t know yet, and when you see her with Camille you start to understand why she keeps her at an arm’s length.

TVLINE | Should we expect this to be a season-long journey? 
It might last most of the season, but I don’t know. It’s not going to be tied up in a pretty bow. I don’t know what’s going to happen to Kristina, honestly. They haven’t told me yet, so I don’t know if I should be looking for another job or what. [Laughs] I’m kidding. I think she’ll be okay though… There are going to be lots of ups and downs, and it’s going to be a really fast-moving roller coaster ride. The [writers] told me to be ready and to make sure I get my sleep. [Laughs] I’m going to be as real with this [storyline] as possible. I [want to] do the writing justice.

How do you, the Parenthood fan fam, feel about the rough road ahead for Kristina?

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181 Comments
  1. English says:

    This is really interesting considering that the Maura Tierney (who was originally cast as Sara) had to drop out of Parenthood because she found out she had breast cancer. I know it says Jason’s wife but could there be another layer to it as well?

    • Susan says:

      I had forgotten Maura was originally cast. Love her from movies and especially ER. Just saw Maura in Primary Colors again.

      • erin says:

        Maura was also in Rescue Me during her breast cancer treatment, and she was fabulous… I highly recommend watching those episodes, although I loved the entire series (if you haven’t seen it.)

    • Monica is an excellent actress,I know she will play this part well! I hope she talks to women that have been through this. I have, twice– it is very frightening but I had to dig down deep and be brave. I ask god to let Me continue to be the mother of my child and the wife of my husband because I didnot think anyone could love them more. My prayers were answered. I will always be so greatful to all those family and friends that were there for me even though they were scared too. They really did’nt have to say anything just their caring made me feel so good. Anyway, this will be a heavy part to play but I know she can portray all those array of emotions!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Well parenthood…way to make me cry. Knew something was going on- but beautifully written and played out.

    • Teresa says:

      totally agree Stephanie.

    • Erica says:

      I completely agree…..great episode; makes Tuesday nights the best night of television!

      • Marilyn says:

        The best well written show, on television, my husband even likes it, and waits for Tuesday,awesome storyline, very true, and acting is superb, were crying, sooo good!!!

        • Susan T says:

          totally true– the people that dont watch this show dont know what they are missing. I get SO into the show when its on I dont even hear when people are talking to me or whats going on around me– it totally captivates me and holds my attention- THE BEST show on TV right now and I like that its a drama/comedy..not just heavy DRAMA all the time..It FEELS like a real family– one I would LOVE to be a real part of if it were a REAL family. Dont EVER leave the airwaves PARENTHOOD!

          • Couldn’t have said it better. This is, by far, the best show on TV. It never feels as if I am watching a show. Rather, I feel like a voyeur into the lives of all the Bravermans.

          • Josie says:

            I come from a family of 12 kids and I’m the 10th. It is very true to life. The talking over eachother was the ONLY way to try to be heard. I was one who finally just retreated. I relate to this show completely! :)

          • And the show seems to go so fast. And then you have another week, before you can see it again. I love Parenthood.

  3. michelle says:

    Can Kristina get a break? I mean c’mon! For me, I’ll watch this season sparingly. Its not something I want to see be played out. Parenthood already is sad, add this? Its just, I feel its unnecessary.

    • KSM says:

      I mean, life is sad. Life doesn’t give you a break. I don’t know, I get wanting to watch TV to get away from life and everything, but that has certainly never been the goal of this show, or, any Katims show, really.

      • michelle says:

        They could havr waited a season at least. You don’t need sad stories for Emmys. I understand the need to bring awareness, and yeah life is sad, but its not always sad. Kristina’s character gets pulled through the ringer since the show began. I think they should of had it happened to Camille, if anything.

        I’m not interested in a storyline like this. I want uplifting at this moment in my life. Too much sadness in the world.

        • uh huh says:

          Wait a season? This show was so on the bubble last season people were sure it would be cancelled. They can’t “wait a season” for any stories they want to tell, because there may not BE another season.

          • TM says:

            If they cancel this show I will be so POed!!!!

            I was looking at the new season line up yesterday. There are 3 new shows that I will be watching and there were way more than 3 of my shows that were cancelled from last season. October better bring some better shows or I will be firing up the ole kindle instead of watching tv. Get with it networks!

          • sonaive says:

            This is for TM: you shouldn’t watch tv OR read a book. They’re not interchangeable. Do both!

        • juggling says:

          Not that I am happy that this is happening to Christine, but it is good that it is her and not Camille. So many younger women think that they are untouchable by things like breast cancer, and it needs to be out there that it is possible when you are young. Or when you are a mother and your life is about your kids, your husband, keeping all the balls in the air, it is so easy to overlook that. Just hope that it makes some other moms think.

        • Liz Gross says:

          Breast cancer affects women of all ages. You might think Camille, because she is older, would be the candidate. But young women get it, too – and it is usually more aggressive because of their hormones still working. The AMA and insurance companies say you don’t need a mammogram until age 50. I do not agree. My daughter died of breast cancer at age 35.

          • Beth says:

            I’m so sorry you lost your daughter. I have a friend in her thirties currently battling breast cancer. Also, a young mom I knew from church discovered she had stage four and passed last year. She didn’t recognize the lump until it was too late because she was breastfeeding. I commend the show for bringing awareness to Parenthood. I agree with you. Younger women need yearly mammograms, too!

          • Lemon E says:

            Liz Gross, you are so right! A39 year old co worker went for a routine mammogram and her doctor was upset with her saying she didn’t need one until menopause! Of course that was before my friend was diagnosed following that mammogram and had to undergo a double mastectomy. No one should let a doctor talk them out of a mammogram… EVER. I’m sorry for the loss of your daughter at such a young age.

          • Josie says:

            I am so sorry for your loss. I have my mammogram every year (since turning 40) and had a couple of scares but last year when the news reported that women really don’t need to have the mammogram yearly but instead every two years, I went to my doctor for my last check up I asked her and she said NOOOO you get it EVERY year. I’m glad I asked more for giving the advice to others since I have no intention of not getting mine yearly, even though my last has me returning after 6 mths. Peace to your heart.

        • liz says:

          i dont agree. i call this real life. Woman go though this every day.

        • Susan says:

          I too said enough Kristina’s character. I’m probably alone with my opinion, thought it was too much with the baby storyline (a high school daughter and Max at least 11 or 12).

          • Tina says:

            I think the storyline is real and believeable. I’m a Mother to a 20, 5, and 3 year old. People do wait sometimes to have more children later in life.

        • Why should it have happened to Camille? Zeke had his health issue last season. If Kristina gets cancer, it shows how young it can strike. Cancer doesn’t care that you just had a baby, have a kid with Asperger’s. The only good thing about it happening to Camille is she would be on the show more. So many viewers dislike Kristina, hopefully this will bring more people around to her.

        • Dia C says:

          Life is often times sad, but the love of our families makes all the difference as this show depicts so well – my hope is that Jabar will bring up the power of prayer that will comfort them all and maybe make Zeke rethink his confusion with God. Or perhaps it will be Max who will say something profound, like, “when you’re going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher is always quiet during the test.”. This show touches the audience in so many subtle and powerful ways and helps me be a better parent.

        • Shirley Dye says:

          I agree. I wish that it hadn’t been a part of this years storyline. I love Parenthood, but don’t love this sadness you have decided to include. I want a feel good show.

        • Megan says:

          At any moment any of us may have to face something scary like that. I can’t wait to see this played out this season. I think that family coming together to help someone through a difficult time in their life is about as uplifting as you can get.

        • Val says:

          I don’t agree that Camille should have been the one with the breast cancer. There is so much that they can do with the storyline with Kristina having it. If she dies, her husband would be saddled with being a single father to a child with Aspergers and an infant, as well as a child in college. That would be a devastating and horrendous thing to happen. It would also make for some hefty drama. He would have to rely on his siblings, namely Sarah, to help him with raising the children, and that would cause problems with her personal life, as she is falling in love with the Ray Romano character. I really hope that Kristina makes it and I think she will. She is portrayed as being the rock of the family. However, Monica Potter may have to be looking for another acting job, and I fell bad about that because I really like her.

        • Cynthia maines says:

          I agree to a point I too prefer to watch uplifting happy shows but as a 15 month BC survivor I believe this has been wonderful. I usually record the show and watch it alone. I have laughed and cried this season. I believe it has been very good for me. I’m not a crier, I’m not someone who sits and talks out my problems with everyone and or anyone who would listen. It is always helpful when you can see you are not alone in your pain or fear, that someone else knows how you feel. There are way to many of us out there and some dealling with this disease all alone. So thankyou for a wonderful show!!!

      • Audrey says:

        My favorite parts of the show are the ones that deal with “ordinary” life moments – breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, making a new friend, adjusting to married life, adopting a pet, getting a new job. I actually really enjoy watching the every day lives of the Bravermans most of all – and am not a fan of overly dramatic story lines such as this one – NOT because I can’t handle it emotionally or because I use TV as an escape, but because I find the little moments we all share to be SO much more powerful than the big, heavy, dramatic ones (that’s just me I guess). After reading this interview, I understand and respect the Jason Katims’ decision to tell this story – it’s just not the direction I would have gone in. Of course, I still love the show and will keep watching – and I’m sure the subject will be handled with care.

        • M says:

          I recently found out my mother has breast cancer, and seeing it so beautifully portrayed in those few seconds on Parenthood was absolutely heart wrenching. Unfortunately, I can’t help but say that I don’t think this is an overly dramatic story line. Rather, it is an unfortunately *real* one, and altogether too ordinary. Like having a child with Asperger’s, it’s something we assume will never touch us. I for one am glad for the chance to see how the Bravermans will handle this, if only to feel less alone as my family tries to.

          • dg620 says:

            I’m sorry about your mom. My aunt is currently going through treatment, and this scene hit me like a truck.

          • Margie says:

            It’s not just breast cancer that seems to be everywhere. Last year, I had my right kidney removed due to renal cell carcinoma. It just seems that cancer has affected everyone, everywhere.

        • kjess says:

          For a lot of us, breast cancer is not an “overly dramatic story”, it is everyday life. So many people today have been touched by breast cancer, whether they have had it themselves or have helped a friend or family member through it. I’m glad they’re covering it, it’s not overly dramatic, it is life.

        • fearless mom says:

          I really like the storyline so many families with children with ASD do go through chronic illness it is real and really changes families thinking make sure to have a will who will stand by you when you are going through treatment it really hits home thank you parenthood!

    • Melissa says:

      I don’t think I can handle it. Not sure if I’m gonna watch. My mom died of cancer three years ago this month. I like to watch Parenthood to get my mind off my own life. It’s just a bit much, I think.

      • Melissa, I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending big hugs your way!

      • Philipp says:

        I’m so sorry! I understand that a storyline like this can be too close for comfort then.

      • Karen says:

        Agreed Melissa, I lost my mom 4 weeks ago yesterday to cancer. It was too much for me-I will DVR and maybe watch on my own time. Too much too soon.

      • Linda O. says:

        I’m a three year breast cancer survivor and I fully support this story line. I have a feeling I’ll have some teary moments this year, but it is so important to get the word out that breast cancer can happen to anyone, young or old. I was so fearful when I heard the words “cancer”. All I could think about were the horrific side effects from chemo that I had seen protrayed on TV and in movies. Believe it or not, going through chemo isn’t a downer all the time. My life was pretty normal for two weeks out of three during treatment. I think this side of the story needs to be told to give people newly diagnosed a different perspective. With the wonderful way Parenthood approaches storylines, I think this will be the case. This is life, folks. Don’t tune out now…

      • Kati Simons says:

        I agree, it’s so much around us in real life that I want a break from it when I am watching tv

      • zee says:

        I hear you Melissa. Last year,my family and I faced this horrible monster. Everywhere I look I see reminders of this disease and it would have been nice if my favorite show did not remind me of it. But anyway,I love this show and I will continue watching it in hopes that Christina is able to beat this disease.

      • Nancy says:

        Melissa my Mom also died of

        cancer 7 years ago. But watching how other families handle this interests me as we have no practice or instructions on how to handle this. We all just muddle through it. I often think about how I handled my moms cancer, I Guess I did the best I could. I don’t know what I would do different. Healing isn’t easy , better some days than others. I hope you have someone to share your grief with.

    • Lynnzie says:

      I completely agree. This could be a dealbreaker for me and I haven’t missed one episode of this series. For them to have the show return only to start off with this – I’d rather them just end the series last year. I remember back in the days of Thirtysomething (yes, I’m dating myself) – the cancer storyline for the female character was the final straw that broke the show. I have no desire to watch someones struggles week in and week out.

      • Betty says:

        I have to agree about this storyline being a dealbreaker. I feel like Kristina and her family can’t catch a break. I love the show and the characters but emotionally I do not feel up to watching Kristina struggle with cancer and all that this diagnosis entails for her and her family week after week. I know this is something that has touched most everyone’s life in some way and it is a reality for so many people but who wants to be reminded of that through a television show? I for one can not and will not spend an hour a week watching this storyline unfold.

    • Michele S says:

      I agree. I can’t handle this. I think I will watch sparingly….which is really sad because this is my favorite show. But there is enough drama in every day life. I don’t need to add an extra layer.

    • katie says:

      but reality because in reality nothing slows down or stops .in our llives with seven kids and an autistic child ourselves , one with brain tumors and two married children with kids nothing is normal for sure . i always say wow that is us….but there are just as many good things as well as bad
      codos writers most real show i have ever seen .

    • Erica says:

      As a survivor who has raised two boys during treatments, I’m not interested in watching them provide the viewers with incomplete or inaccurate information. I am so sad they -in my mind- just ruined the show. I stopped watching 30 Something for the same reason. Private Practice did a horrible job on the BRCA gene and gave wrong information and then the subject seemed to disappear. Parenthood should tread carefully….

    • Lauren says:

      Parenthood is not at all a sad show – it’s simply realistic. That’s why I personally love it. It’s the most real depiction of a family on TV.

    • April says:

      She probably interrupted it (the break). It’s not a pleasant storyline, but she makes it moreso.

  4. Eric says:

    Looks like Parenthood is going to keep its streak of having me cry during every episode. I love this show, Emmys please take notice!!

  5. KSM says:

    I think that it is great that they are exploring this storyline. Cancer is a disease that has affected everyone; with this being such a true to life show, I am sure that they will portray it in a very real and honest way.

  6. Noel says:

    Man, I was a mess after this episode, and next week looks like another heart-wrenching episode. Best show on NBC.

  7. Sg. Grant says:

    This is one of the best shows on television. It is just so real.

  8. Laura says:

    Why do you think it’s sad ? I think it’s such a heartwarming show! The Bravermans and everyone in the show are such a loving, close family. I don’t think it’s a sad show at all, it inspires me and makes me believe in family. This cancer is definitely sad but they say she will be ok. I relate to it that I’m her age and it could be me.. Breast cancer affects so many women & I am sure will touch many.
    Best show on tv!

  9. Cindy says:

    My son has autism. A couple of years later my husband was diagnosted with stage 4 rectal cancer. It happens but this storyline is to close to home for me

  10. Courtney says:

    I have only watched this show casually over the past year or so, but happened to catch this episode & by the end I had literal chills because today I just found out my own Mother has Breast Cancer has well. I look forward to seeing how they deal with this storyline throughout the rest of the season.

  11. juan says:

    wow, increadible episode, the ending made me tear up a little again, Cancer is a huge thing and glad that they are tackling it, I know they will do a great job making it real, very sad though for Kristina, that whole ending was just perfect.
    Also I really loved Julia and Joel, their last scene, great episode

  12. Becks says:

    This show is just so, so excellent. Monica Potter and Peter Krause were phenomenal in that last scene and they didn’t even have dialogue. Looking forward to what will be a sad but moving season for them.

  13. Mel says:

    I don’t even watch this show and I am upset

    • RIGHT? ME TOO! I read big spoilers on all shows, and I read this, and it was like, “Oh, man, bummer! Poor woman!”

    • Bob says:

      It’s a fictional TV show. She’ll be cancer-free by the end of the season. When is the last time a major (a lead, not a supporting) character on a TV show died from cancer?

      • maltru says:

        She might be in remission by the end of the season, but they don’t consider you out of the woods for, like, 5 years after going into remission, so nothing is clear cut. And just because someone doesn’t die from the cancer doesn’t mean it’s any less sad or stressful, or that parts of them and their personality don’t die/change forever. It is a fictional TV show, but it’s one that does a good job at reflecting real life, and I know a TON of people are going to be able to relate to this storyline and Kristina’s struggle with cancer.

      • CJ says:

        Grey’s Anatomy

        • Alex says:

          Which major character on Grey’s died of cancer?

          • twilight123 says:

            I pretty sure that CJ is referencing Izzie and her brain cancer. I often always feel like she died along with George in the season 4 finale (George from the bus accident and Izzie from cancer). It always takes me a few seconds later to remember that Izzie was actually revived in the season 5 premiere and then written off later in the season by moving away. Something about that season 4 finale always stuck with me and gave me chills.

  14. Lynne says:

    But did they get the dog?

  15. I think it’s a true testament to the superb acting of Peter K. & especially Monica P.’s that they could well up such strong emotions in myself as well as many other viewers with hardly a word of dialogue in those last few moments…as others have said, Emmy voters, PLEASE consider this show and its actors for goodness sakes!!

  16. Ella says:

    Parenthood is like the poor man’s Brothers & Sisters. Shame that show got cancelled and this one is still around. B&S had an emotionally gut-wrenching cancer storyline.

    • Doug-H says:

      Give me a break…. Parenthood is so much better than B&S ever was… That show was OK at the start but Parenthood is about a real family.. B&S got silly over its life with members running for Senator and Governor, of course the gay son… of course the Iraq vet who hooks up with the daughter of his father’s mistress who might have been his sister at one time… of course the Super Mom who gets divorced and then hooks up with a French guy.. the mistress who has even more secrets… it went on and on.. Parenthood is about a family with real problems.. like unemployment, college, high school angst, and now breast cancer… B&S only survived those silly stories because of the star power of its cast and its lead-in show….

    • Lauren says:

      Parenthood is ten times better than Brothers&Sisters ever was… give me a break. The family in B&S had the most insane, melodramatic, soapy problems… not to mention they were all rich. Parenthood is about a real, normal family.

    • Lauren says:

      Also, Kitty’s cancer in B&S was just annoying. And of course she was saved by the bone marrow of her recently discovered half brother (who disappeared after that episode)

  17. Kim R says:

    I just discovered Parenthood a few weeks ago. I am completely caught up and can’t believe I haven’t been watching it all along. Truly one of the best family dramas on TV today. The characters are so rich, diverse and the acting is stellar. Love the show. And it has THE best music! :)

  18. Cara D says:

    I had the exact same experience as Monica Potter-first mammogram, found something, tests and biopsy in two weeks. Thank God it was nothing but it was the scariest month of my life. Kudos to Parenthood for never shying away from the real stuff that life throws at you!

  19. Pam says:

    OMG…her part is already whinney and annoying. Think I will fast forward past her scenes. I love the show and I do think it is a great story line, but wish another character was the center of it.

    • lipsticksocialism says:

      Agree. Not because I don’t love Kristina, but just because she can’t catch a break. Why couldn’t Julia have gotten breast cancer, y’know. But i’m sure they’ll do a great job with it.

  20. C Mays says:

    I think it is really sad that what jumped out at me from this Parenthood post were the words “shocking” and “devastating”. Who writes this??? Breast Cancer is not a death sentence, and I for one can see right now this will go to sensationalism and not realism. I know what it is like,I have had breast cancer, and using those words to draw attention to this is shameful. Maybe Parenthood doesn’t shy away from tough issues, but be real, be encouraging. Maybe the show isn’t written this way, but your post sure is. I will be unliking it. Now. I probably won’t watch it at all now.

    • kjess says:

      Were you not shocked and devastated when you were first diagnosed? Not many people expect it or are happy about it. Even though it’s not a death sentence, it can be devastating to hear those words. I don’t see this “going to sensationalism” at all, that’s not the style of the show.

  21. I read a lot of the above comments & what stands out is how some think its to sad. I have to disagree. This show is by far my favorite and that’s because its real. Its not some extremely well off teenangers drinking and having sex and complaining of partying. Its not some Csi knock off and its not about vampires. LOL this show is real & in order for that to happen, real situations like this need to happen. Yes I feel Kristina and Adam have it rough but that’s life. This show is life. I have an autistic brother that’s only one of the ways I relate to this show. This show is by far the best. Even if it’s sad that’s what makes this real.

    • Amy says:

      Exactly! And the people who say it is too real and they will stop watching or fast forward… Really? The show is supposed to be a drama. Life happens, and you can either draw strength from it or get lost in it all. I find inspiration in watching how others handle struggle. That is what makes this show great!

      • Devon says:

        Amen! I can’t believe “true fans” are going to walk away when the content gets “a little too serious”…come on, people, this is life – it’s never packaged in a neat little box with a neat little bow.

  22. Heather Innis says:

    I watched the show stunned last night, as were all my friends who immediately started texting me afterwards. I have a son with autism, we just got a dog (service dog) and I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. I had a double mastectomy in October 2011 and am fully recovered and cancer free. It’s so strange to see my life being played out by these brilliant actors on t.v. The writing for the show has always spoken to me, but this is just incredible. And to those comments above that say give the character a break, I would agree, but that’s not how life works is it?

    • Amy says:

      Hugs and prayers to you! It is amazing to see just how many people are dealing with the same issues. It is a very real show. We have a son with Autism too. Best wishes to you and your family.

  23. Jennifer says:

    My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer, this story line is going to be amazing. People need to be aware of the effects on not just the patient but family members as well. I will absolutely watch every episode :)

  24. Lu Ella says:

    I started watching this show because of Ron Howard. I have not been disappointed. Unlike so many other shows who are so afraid to offend ANYONE, Parenthood explores situations that people deal with on a daily basis. This show, to me, is as real as is life itself. For that, thank you.You make watching the show a pleasure.As a 4 year cancer survivor, I am very curious to see how the subject is dealt with, in depth, as there are so many things the patient goes through emotionally that people never see nor do they understand. You have the opportunity to make a very big difference in the way cancer patients are viewed .Kudos to you for taxkling this.

  25. Sofía says:

    I can´t believe this! i´m from Uruguay so we´ll have to wait to see this… but it´s so interesting for me specially.. my mom died in 2005 from breast cancer, and my brother also has autism… so it´s really touching for me… i hope she gets better! :)

  26. LisaZ says:

    Because my family is so much like Adam and Kristina’s family, in so many ways, I’m going to take this storyline a little too personally I think. Thankfully I have never had breast cancer, but I’ll be walking with the character of Kristina, and her family, while she struggles with it. Parenthood is such an amazing show! Last night’s episode, and the way they played the last few minutes, was incredible.

  27. I Don’t think there has ever been a t.v. show writtenso wella nd made to be SO REAL.
    I also love how the storyline is “sprinkled” around. LOVE YOUR SHOW!!!!

  28. Kelley McDaniel says:

    I love the fact that they are covering this very-real topic. I believe Kristina was the perfect choice for it to happen to. She is a very emotional and OCD character. How much more perfect could it be? I love that Parenthood brings real subjects to life. I have a son with Autism and max’s story is what hooked me in the first place. I understand that some want a tv show so they can get away from their everyday life. On the other hand, you have to understand that there are also a lot of us out there that needs a tv show to bring to light what we are going through at the moment. Somehow, it makes you feel like you are not alone.

  29. Maggie says:

    So glad this storyline was pursued…I was getting tired of the “woe is me” Sarah stories. I was on the edge of not watching anymore because stories were feeling recycled. This can really be used for the smaller, more intimate family moments too. Bravo!

  30. Michele Bowser says:

    Last night’s episode was a touching, and wonderfully crafted show. That is why I fell in love with this show immediately, it is so “real”, and could be about anyone’s family. They deal with the everyday stuff, and even the big things, like Autism and now Breast Cancer. Life can be going along just fine, and out of the blue, a crisis occurs. I will be interested in seeing how this all plays out with all of the family members. Maybe it could be helpful to someone who is struggling with similar issues.

  31. Cathy says:

    Four years ago I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter and right around that time I had a mammogram done. They found a fibroadenoma that I had to have a biopsy done on to check for cancer. Thank god it was benign. Between that and having a son with Aspergers, I can definitely relate to this show. I look forward to each episode. If having the breast cancer story line gets just one woman to have a mammogram and possible save just one life, then that makes it even more personal for me and I say thank you to the writers for such a wonderful show.

  32. DCG says:

    Just remember there are families who deal with BC without tears and fears. One hopes the Braverman clan can do that, show that hope and courage exist with compassion and laughter in the face of adversity.

  33. Terry says:

    Incredible scene between Kristina and Adam. I loved the way he instinctively knew that she was hurting and went to hug her. Cancer intrudes in our lives when we least expect it so the way that it played out in this episode felt very real to me. I think Monica Potter did a heck of a job with this. That being said–I hope that there is some joy and emotional relief to balance out this story line. Laughter and tears.

  34. JDaig says:

    Beautifully written, beautifully acted. A compelling story that will touch so many in the audience. Kudos to Parenthood.

  35. Valerie says:

    This show is about everyday life ups and downs, breast cancer is certainly one of those very real-life happenings. To stop watching a show because of that is just ludacris, if you watch tv to be uplifted all the time this is certainly not the show for you, in fact, I dont know what show is…

  36. lori wilson says:

    I love love this show so I think any story line they pick is awesome, but what was up with the person making one word comments here and there during the show, did anybody else catch that? weird….

  37. Coreen Pike says:

    Love Parenthood… wow this episode hit home. I just had a mammogram, they called me because they need to do another picture of my left breast. Reality….

  38. Mark Howell says:

    I’m of mixed opinion about the introduction of this new storyline. I realize the producers have to set the dramatic hooks early in order to build an audience for the season, but this scene felt abrupt and contrived. My first thought was to be angry at the writers for never giving this character even a minuscule break. But I know that’s how cancer enters our lives, so I gave into the scene and tried to adjust to it’s demands. I found I really liked how they handled it without dialog. And even though I normally find Iron & Wine sort of maudlin, the music really propelled the narrative and gave it a believable emotional context.
    I’ll keep watching, since this show pretty much always delivers the right amount of heartbreak and humor, as long as they don’t kill Kristina, and as long as they keep Seth way in the distance.

  39. jenny says:

    I think it is awesome. I am a BC survivor. Cancer isn’t about sad stories, it is about surviving. It is about overcoming hurdles with humility. I can’t wait to see how the story is written.

  40. Mar- says:

    I won’t miss an episode. This is all real stuff and I am really looking forward to this season.

  41. Regan says:

    My husband and myself both were in tears after this one. I had a cancer scare after a suspicious mammogram and had to return for another one, which thankfully, was all clear. I did however, go through 24 hours of fear and planning in my head how I would tell my kids and gave my husband instructions on how I wanted my kids, his step kids, raised if I died. Was a very scarey time. Was so thankful, the Dr.s and techs worked so quickly to get me in and retested to put my mind at ease. Every year I go in for my mammogram I am fearful. This will be a hard one to watch, and I was hoping for some happy shows, especially after seeing Haddie leave for college which I too, had to witness this year as my oldest left for college.

  42. Magda says:

    Back to the comment on ‘life is sad'; it’s not so much the reason why we’ll find those story lines in shows over and over again; it’s just that ‘le bonheur n’a pas d’histoire’ (happiness has no story) meaning that there is not much to talk about when people are happy and not dealing with things like difficulty with adoption, cancer, etc. Well, we will be bored if nothing was going on in this show, right?

  43. Nancy says:

    I want it to end happy for Kristina, I see the need to bring awareness but I want it to show lots of hope for others going through cancer, any kind of cancer! I love Parenthood, especially Max’s story with Autism as I have a grandson with Asperger’s form of Autism, he is 18 and barely made it through high school and now is not wanting to get out into the world and do anything, staying in his bedroom and becoming a loner with a computer. I love that they got him a dog for a pet. I love everyone on this show, but not too much sadness. I enjoy the happy tears I get when I watch and it makes me remember raising my kids and how much I love my husband!

  44. Rain says:

    Thank you for bringing cancer into the story of Parenthood! I have had (childhood) cancer and have many friends who have had cancer as well and it affects every life, every family. I watch Parenthood because I love the laughs and the drama, but I also watch it because it holds elements of my own story and feels familiar and comforting to see someone else dealing with the same things (even if they are fictional). Cancer matters. It affects us all. Thank you for recognizing that, Parenthood!

  45. jsm says:

    Love Parenthood’s mix of light and heavy – that’s why it feels real, that’s why I watch it. So I think this fits. I get why it would seem like too much for some fans though. My parents don’t watch this show, but I wanted to warn my mom NOT to watch this one, because there were three things that just hit a little TOO close to home. (Honestly it was like they’d been watching our family’s life!) I love it though. Favorite show.

  46. anonymous says:

    I liked the show. I just this month had a scare and a follow up m-gram. It shakes you to your roots. I hope the show stays positive. I love all the characters. Was disappointed in the opener. Loved this one.

  47. Rita says:

    I love this show but am not happy with Ray Ramono as a love enterest. I think you should write him off before I decide not to watch any more. Sara’s younger man is just fine with me, seeing that my daughter is 15 older then her man.

    • Klaxon says:

      Ray Romano’s character would be the best love interest Sarah has ever had. Finally a real man who can challenge her, a man who can fully support her needs and that of her children. They finally found a match and an equal partner for the GreatwanderingBraverman. Kudos writers

  48. Yoe says:

    Thanks for the insight!! I am sooooo looking forward to this season! I absolutely love this show thanks so much!!!! And i do agree with some comments about Kristina dealing with sooo many things at once but if u really think about it that happens in real life as well….your not done solving one problem when something else comes up. So congrats to the writer and the whole cast you guys are AWESOME!!!!

  49. McGowanMOM says:

    I have been watching this show since day 1 and have to say that I love the direction it is going. The storyline between all the characters fits into the story of many of our lives today. In my opinion, having someone on the show with cancer will bring an audience that can relate…it seems like now a days either you personally have cancer or have someone close to you going through the struggle. Can’t wait to watch next weeks episode! Way to keep us at the edge of our seats!

  50. Sherry Stovall says:

    I’ve watched Parenthhod from the beginning but this may turn me off. I’ve loved this show for a lot of reasons & one of them being that they didnt fall into this cancer saga like most long running shows. I love the vaiiety with the entire fanily, but I’m sure this will consume the entire season. I’m disappointed.

    • Barbara B says:

      I agree Sherry,I know it will take up the entire season because the whole family will be concentrating on it.I couldn’t stand Kristina’s family before with all the talking over each other and yelling I used to mute them.Now I would have to mute the whole show.Too bad because I was enjoying the Ray Romano character.I do like Haddie though.Now she will be a small part.I am done with Parenthood.

      • JoMarch says:

        I was done with Parenthood at the finale last year. I didn’t like any of the characters; the story lines were forced. Then I thought, hey, I’ll give them another chance this season. I got through 10 minutes of the show and saw the lawyer bending over backwards for this kid they didn’t even want (they had wanted a baby) and I knew I couldn’t watch it ever again. I can’t stand how the lawyer (can’t remember her name) is such a door mat for everyone. I can’t put up with weird Max (ya, I know he’s autistic, but he’s also a brat) and then they add a second brat. No thanks!

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