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At an hour in length, Parenthood seems like a prolonged, and rather melancholy, sitcom. There are too many characters, and it's hard to keep the relationships straight. Replacing the irreplaceable Steve Martin as the father of a 10-year-old problem child -- and a man who remains something of a problem child himself -- is the capable but unexciting Ed Begley Jr. [20 Aug 1990, p.B1]
In what may be the most enjoyable transition from hit movie to TV series since M#A#S#H, Parenthood is for all those who yearn to see thirtysomething played for laughs. [20 Aug 1990, p.3D]
Parenthood tries to capture the headaches of being a modern parent. Good enough, but it also supplies a sweet brand of aspirin to ease every pain. And at an hour tonight, it's too long. It will probably work better at the half-hour length it will have in future episodes. [20 Aug 1990, p.C1]