Fans of NBC’s critical darling “Parenthood” know there is no such thing as an easy season for any character on the show. But no one was prepared for the bomb executive producer Jason Katims dropped during the NBC summer press tour panel: Julia (Erika Christensen) and Joel’s (Sam Jaeger) relationship might be in danger thanks to two new characters.
With the new additions of “Lost” alum Sonya Walger and “The Office” alum David Denman to the cast, new challenges are introduced. “You might want to be a little concerned for Julia and Joel,” Katims said.
Walger will play Meredith, an architect who is working with contractor Joel on a big project. Her upfront manner, her good looks, and her relationship with Joel causes Julia to question their marriage. Meanwhile, Denman will play Ed, a stay-at-home dad who meets Julia when they volunteer together at their children’s school. Adding these two characters into the mix does not mean good things for the previously solid couple, especially since they’re also dealing with other issues. “Julia is still unemployed and not happy about it. Spoiler alert,” Christenson said.
In happier news, Season 5 of “Parenthood” might feature a wedding! While the cast wouldn’t reveal who was definitely walking down the aisle, Mae Whitman‘s Amber is definitely going to start planning a wedding with boyfriend Ryan (Matt Lauria) … with mother Sarah’s (Lauren Graham) blessing, no less. Might there be another reason for Sarah to celebrate now that her former boyfriend Hank (Ray Romano) is also returning? “Maybe we’ll have a double wedding,” Graham teased.
Other takeaways from the panel:
-Now that Kristina (Monica Potter) is officially cancer-free, don’t expect her and Adam’s (Peter Krause) storyline to slow down. “With Adam and Kristina, what they’ve just been through is going to form their next season. And same with [Sarah],” Katims said. “I think this is a year of her wanting to figure out her life and figuring out what her next step is in life and not be focused solely on a romantic relationship.”
-Sarah’s life will improve bit by bit. “I want to get her out of a pull out bed. There’s been a lot of progress,” Graham said. “I have an apartment. I have a bed. In order to live there more cheaply I’m like the ‘Schneider’ of the building. I’m the super.”
-Katims isn’t worried about running out of fodder for the intensely emotional show, now in its fifth season. “We’ve been in the [writer’s] room for two months now, and we’re so excited about where the stories are going,” Katims said. “Because we have such an incredible cast, it’s such a joy to write this show. There are so many places to go, story-wise.”
“Parenthood” Season 5 premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.