Jason Katims is the TV mastermind who brought us the immeasurable pleasures of five seasons of Friday Night Lights. After that majestic show ended back in 2011, he began working on another film-to-TV adaptation, Parenthood. As with any creative type, he had muses, and he tended to bring over actors he was familiar with. Thus, Parenthood has been like a constant mini-FNL reunion. There’s Matt Lauria (FNL’s Luke; Parenthood’s Ryan, the Army guy who’s presumably Amber’s baby daddy), Michael B. Jordan (FNL’s Vince; Parenthood’s Alex, a nonprofit worker who popped Haddie’s cherry), Jurnee Smollett-Bell (FNL’s Jess; Parenthood’s Heather Hall, Kristina’s badass political advisor), Minka Kelly (FNL’s Lyla; Parenthood’s Gaby, Max’s behavioral specialist and Crosby’s one-night stand), and of course, the amazing webisode where the all-mighty Crucifictorious (with Jesse Plemons reprising his role as Landry) recorded a song at the Luncheonette. But there’s plenty of room for more FNLers this season, and we have some suggestions for Katims.
1. Connie Britton (Tami Taylor)
For a two-for-one deal, let Connie Britton show off her Nashville skills and sign up as the newest Luncheonette client. Have everyone swoon over her hair. She’d be the profound sage, and I can imagine her bonding particularly well with Amber.
2. Kyle Chandler (Eric Taylor)
Chandler would be the elder Bravermans’ new neighbor at their new house. He’s originally standoffish, and doesn’t want to be neighborly, but the charms of Zeek and Camille wear him down and win him over. He helps Camille garden and Zeek fix cars. The Braverman children take offense.
3. Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen)
Seven should be the new coach of Victor’s football team. The sport has to make its way to the show, right? The soccer team is already called the Panthers (nice touch), so the football team ought to be nicknamed the Lions.
5. Adrianne Palicki (Tyra Collette)
As one of the new, understanding teachers at the charter school that Adam and Kristina start, Max takes a liking to Palicki and develops a major crush on her (can you blame him?). Kristina isn’t sure what to do about it.
6. Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor)
Of course, long distance couldn’t keep Drew and Natalie together forever, and Drew is newly single. Teegarden is the new transfer student in his English class, and she has her eyes set on Drew, even though he’s completely oblivious and is trying to win back Natalie.
8. Brad Leland (Buddy Garrity)
As a new client for Sarah and Hank, who joined photographic forces as a new company, Leland is very excited about his new indoor golfing venture that he’s looking to get new product shots of. Special guest appearance by Kelly Bishop (Gilmore Girls’ Emily Gilmore), who plays his disinterested wife.
10. Dora Madison Burge (Becky Sproles)
She’s sister to Victor’s imprisoned mother, and somehow finds out where Victor is. She’s a mess, and wants to be involved in Victor’s life but goes about it the completely wrong way. Julia and Joel bond over uniting against her.
11. Cailin, Madeline, and Jocelyn Landry (triple-tag-team behind alien baby Gracie Bell)
The new girls in school, they play pranks on Sydney, Jabbar, and Victor, switching identities, and other sorts of triplet hijinks.
12. Jeremy Sumpter (JD McCoy)
Jasmine goes back to teaching ballet, and McCoy plays her super reluctant student who happens to be a ridiculously talented, but totally douche-tastic dancer. He’s supposed to star in the big ballet opening, but doesn’t want to, even though, again, he’s a douche.
13. Emily Rios (Epyck)
Another two-fer, Rios is a documentarian (she also plays a journalist on The Bridge) who wants to film a feature on the formation and first year of the charter school. Max gets briefly interested in film.
15. Louanne Stephens (Grandma Saracen)
A very pregnant Amber and Ryan awkwardly run into Mayor Bob Little at a restaurant, where he’s dining with his mother, Grandma Saracen. She talks about what a good boy her son is. Amber and Ryan exchange awkward looks.