Ranking the Couples on ‘Parenthood,’ From Worst to Best


If you’ve been cry-watching Parenthood this season, chances are you’re just as frustrated by terrible relationships on the show as we are. As much as we love the Bravermans, we hate about 90% of the couples on the show right now.  Let’s rank just how bad they all are, shall we?


Parenthood - Season 5

If we were to give season 5 of Parenthood a subtitle, it would be “the season we all decided to hate Joel.” It’s a big deal too, since we’ve basically always thought of Joel as the perfect husband/father/man (THOSE ARMS!!!). But this season, Joel turned into a selfish, stubborn, emotionally-unavailable jerk. Yes, Julia was being a PITA. And yes, she was totally wrong for not telling him about her kiss with Roy from The Office. But she was having a hard time adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom! And she tried SO HARD to communicate with Joel, and he totally gave her the cold shoulder the entire time! (Like, dude, we get that your job is stressful, but smile now and again!). We’d love for Joel and Julia to get back to the way that they were, but it’s pretty doubtful they’ll ever be there again — especially with Julia sleeping with that hot teacher (Happy Endings star Zachary Knighton). So while our hearts swooned when Joel realized he missed being a family man on last night’s episode, we’re kind of hoping these two split for good.


Parenthood - Season 4

Look, we’ve been loving Ray Romano on Parenthood. But is anyone really rooting for Sarah and Hank to make it work? They’re a terrible fit, and their romantic chemistry is pretty much non-existent (even that kiss in the promo for next week’s finale looked boring).  And while we appreciate Hank’s determination  — and the personal growth he’s achieved in the process – we think it would be better if Hank and Sarah stayed apart. And hey Parenthood writers — you don’t have to get them together simply to make Ray Romano’s character have some sort of purpose. It’s totally okay if Hank is just there. No one is going to say “Why is this guy around all the time.” He’s good for Max. And he’s good for the show. Just, you know, not good for Sarah.


Parenthood - Season 4

UUUUUUUUUGH. Here’s the thing: Mae Whitman is a genius actor, and she demands that we care about Amber. Every moment with Amber feels real and emotional and IMPORTANT. But here’s what isn’t working: Ryan. His violent behavior and post-war trauma is just not good for Amber. So we find ourselves rooting AGAINST them because we want Amber to be happy and in a safe, wonderful relationship that doesn’t involve her worrying that her boyfriend is going to beat the crap out of someone at the drop of a hat. Please please PLEASE say that their reunion last night won’t lead to a long-term pairing again. We can’t go back down this path!



Real talk: we have a major crush on Drew. So if we can’t have him, then we want the woman he ends up with to be just as sweet and charming as he is. That match was Amy (come back soon!). That match is definitely not Natalie. She totally treated him like dirt and then blamed him for getting upset and pushing back. And yes, it was nice to see them come to a resolution on last night’s episode. But we don’t trust her. It’s only a matter of time before she breaks his heart again. Get out while you can, Drew!



Zeek and Camille have come a long way since the series began (Remember Zeek’s infidelity?). Still, this whole decision to sell their house and downsize to a new house that’s pretty much just as big is totally ridiculous. And it’s really screwing us up because THE BRAVERMAN CLAN NEEDS TO REMAIN IN THAT HOUSE. This would be like if Monica and Rachel moved to a new building halfway through Friends. Or if ER  randomly changed hospitals. Zeek, Camille — you’re making the worst decision ever. It’s not too late to get the house back. We need those backyard dinners in our lives!



Okay, so Kristina and Adam are probably the most loving, supportive couple of the bunch. But their parenting skills leave a lot to be desired. For one, the fact that Max has not been working with a therapist for all these years seems odd. For another, have you ever seen them give any sort of attention to Nora? And how have they not gone to visit Haddie in the years she’s been away at college?



We still hate that Crosby can’t seem to make it through an episode without screwing up, but dammit – Crosby and Jasmine are the best couple on the whole damn show. DON’T RUIN THEM, PARENTHOOD.

What do you guys think about our rankings? And where do you think Haddie and her girlfriend will fall on the list when we meet her next episode? Sound off in our Parenthood TV Room!

Written by Dave Quinn.

[All photos via NBC]

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