parenthood season 5 premiere 'Parenthood' Season 5 premiere: 'It's a very different tone' at the beginning“Parenthood” returns to NBC Thursday, Sept. 26 and while there is, of course, drama to come down the line, the premiere starts things off on a lighter note for the Braverman family.

“It’s a very different tone to the beginning of this season,” star Peter Krause tells “Today.” “The strength has always been its believability. If you tune into the show, you’re going to be tuning in to problems that you face in your own relationships, in your own family.”

Then — “If you don’t watch it, your marriage, your relationships with your children are doomed!” Krause cracks.

Creator Jason Katims echoes Krause’s sentiments — the lighter-note ones, not the doomed ones — when he tells Zap2it, “To me, it sort of works to make the first couple of episodes tend to be a little bit lighter because you are ramping up and starting a lot of new stories. It seems like after a few episodes, the more dramatic aspects of the show tend to kick in.”

“I feel like we tell these stories in an organic way, like we don’t do a story where — oh, our kid is diagnosed with Asperger’s and a it’s four-episode arc,” Katims continues. “It’s part of the show and continues to be part of the show through the life of the show. Similarly, with Kristina, even though she battled and came out on the other side of thigns with cancer, that still informs what her story is going to be this year.”

One of the key storylines to the lighter, happier notes is that Amber and Ryan are getting married, which star Mae Whitman says feels so right for Amber at this point in her life.

“I think it’s such a gift to be on a TV show that people change and people grow and you feel like people have learned things and changed directions and taken on a path. I think people who knew Amber when she was 16 or 17, there were a lot of different guys and a lot of darkness … always the same story,” says Whitman. “All of a sudden out of nowhere comes this completely different guy. He’s so different and quiet and strong. They really bring things out in each other that are really beautiful to watch. … I love the idea of her having a partner.”

“Parenthood” premieres Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."