Saturday, January 31, 2015

Parenthood and money

Just finished watching the last episode of Parenthood. I think one thing most of us like about Parenthood is the idealized picture it gives of the American dream. In Parenthood if you are in the hospital you will have twenty relatives sleeping in the waiting room. Are families really like that?

It also presents a world where average people can start schools, run for mayor, start construction companies, recording studios, photography studios, dance studios,  and on top of that hire their relatives. Is it really true?

Look at Hank. He runs a photography shop in Berkeley, where the rent is $30 a square foot. An average photographer makes less than $30,000 a year according to the Occupational Outlook Survey. He eschews digital. I know he gets outside jobs but I've never seen a customer in the store. Yet he can afford to hire Sarah and at the end of the show gives a job to Max.

I would imagine it would be very hard to run a successful recording studio in Northern California yet Crosby and Adam do it, and can hire their niece to boot. Camille could afford to go to art school in France for a month but Zeek never mentions the money. Kristina had enough money to run for mayor, hire her niece, and then start a school.

How can Crosby and Jasmine afford a house? How are Drew and Haddie able to board at college? How can Amber afford to have a baby?

Okay, okay, there is a little bit of "television magic" involved here. Since the start of television people have lived in nicer houses than their careers seemed to be able to support. However, Parenthood purports to show a typical American family. My theory is that all of the Bravermans have trust funds that are helping to support them. That is why everyone is so nice to Zeek.

Hank got money when he was injured photographing the war and has a nest egg from that. That is my theory and I'm going to stick to it.

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