“Parenthood” ends with little time for hellos or goodbyes with Haddie

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This week saw the series finale of beloved and tragically underwatched drama Parenthood, and it featured the brief return of queer daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos).  As you may remember, Haddie came home from college in last year’s season finale with a new girlfriend in tow.

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We only saw a little of the couple, but it was clear that Lauren (Tavi Gevinson, whose resume will make you want to cry) made Haddie very happy, and her mom assured her that, as Bay Area liberals, they would have been more ashamed if there weren’t a lesbian in the family.

 But seriously, even though we were glad to see a little bit more diversity in the Braverman clan, Haddie’s off-screen love life like an afterthought, albeit a welcome one. Haddie’s sexuality was briefly explored, or at least explained, earlier this season, when she went home to bond with her cousin Amber, but the constrictions of a truncated final season meant that it couldn’t go much further. Showrunner Jason Katims publicly acknowledged that shortcoming and said that he wished he could have taken Haddie’s story further.  (Sarah Ramos left the show to go to college IRL, so it wasn’t completely his fault.) But I, for one, will take a rain check from Katims, since I love all his shows and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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That being said, the finale would have been sorely lacking without her, given the large role she played in earlier seasons.  Haddie returned home for the wedding of her Aunt Sarah (Lauren Graham) to Hank (Ray Romano, whose Aspergers storyline kind of steamrolled everyone else’s this season, but whatever). Her big moment was making amends with her brother, Max (Max! We believe in you! You have a bright future!) We were sad that Lauren couldn’t join Haddie for the wedding, and that the flash-forwards at the end of the episode omitted a glimpse of her future, but can take comfort from these tweets by Lauren and Haddie themselves.

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Questions of lesbianism aside, Parenthood was one of the warmest, kindest shows on television and its absence will be sorely felt. At least until Katims’ next show which will, I presume, take place on a lesbian commune.

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