Parenthood had gone five years without introducing an LGBT character, but that all changed with the show’s fifth season finale, when Haddie Braverman (Sarah Ramos) returned home from college with her “super-awesome best friend” Lauren (Tavi Gevinson).
Like many fans, Monica Potter — who plays Kristina Braverman on the NBC drama — was excited to finally have this storyline included in the show. “Thank god we did,” she told BuzzFeed. “I’m like, ‘We live in Berkeley!’ Even if we didn’t live in Berkeley, I’m like, ‘C’mon, lets go!’”
While Haddie initially kept her feelings for Lauren to herself, Max (Max Burkholder) barged in on the two kissing, and later asked his mother, “If two girls are kissing, does that mean that they’re lesbians?” Kristina, in true Kristina fashion, decided to take it upon herself to sit down with her daughter and get everything out in the open.
Though long awaited, the storyline was actually not given a ton of screen time in the episode. Haddie and Kristina talk for only a matter of minutes, while Haddie’s subsequent conversation with her father, Adam Braverman (Peter Krause), isn’t even heard by the audience, thanks to soaring music. But perhaps that was the point, as Potter believes this topic didn’t need to be exaggerated.
“As parents, Kristina and Adam totally get it and totally support it,” Potter said. “People were like, ‘Where’s the drama?’ And I’m like, ‘Sometimes there doesn’t need to be [drama]. They have it in all the other storylines.’”
However, according to Potter, the show’s original approach to Haddie’s coming out might have elicited an entirely different reaction from fans. “There was a line in there, and I don’t know if it was on the air, but Kristina says, ‘Whatever your decision, we’re going to support it,’” said Potter. “And we have some gay [people] on our crew that were offended. They were offended by that line because [being gay] is not a decision. I had to say that because it’s something Kristina would say, but it was hard for me because Monica wouldn’t say ‘decision.’”
That line instead appeared in the episode as “I just want you to know how much I support you.”
Parenthood has yet to be renewed for a sixth season (fingers crossed!), so it remains to be seen if Haddie’s storyline will be focused on, should the NBC drama continue in the fall.