TIME Television

What We Learned From Game of Thrones Season 5 Trailer Leaks

Actor Kit Harington as Jon Snow in a scene from "Game of Thrones."
Actor Kit Harington as Jon Snow in a scene from "Game of Thrones." Helen Sloan—HBO/AP

A few fans were lucky and bold enough to take sneaky shots from last night's IMAX screening event of the show

HBO’s much-anticipated Game of Thrones trailer is spreading across the Internet, teasing epic awesomeness from the show’s upcoming fifth season. The trailer debuted as part of the drama’s IMAX screening event, which opened late last night; a few fans sneaky-shot video. Some of the biggest revelations from the bootlegged footage include:

— Varys urging Tyrion to seek out and help, it seems, Danyerys: “I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.” Tyrion: “I will never sit on the Iron Throne.” Varys: “You could help another climb those steps and take that seat … The Seven Kingdoms needs a ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.” Tyrion: “Good luck finding him.” Varys: “Who said anything abouthim?”

— Littlefinger telling Sansa: “There’s no justice in this world. Not unless we make it. Avenge them”—presumably referring to her brutally murdered family members.

— Tommen and Margaery together in what could be yet another wedding scene (good luck with that!).

— Arya in Braavos, in her new costume, picking up needle and knocking on a fateful door.

— Dany pledging, “I’m not going to stop the wheel. I’m going to break the wheel,” along with shots of Ser Jorah in gladitorial combat and the broze harpy statue atop Dany’s pyramid being toppled.

— Also, the trailer is set to a rather moody cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.”

— All exciting stuff leading up to April 12. Hopefully, HBO will realize very soon it’s better to release this trailer online officially rather than let the footage get pirated everywhere (hint-hint)… and boy, hasn’t that been the story of HBO and Thrones distribution in general?

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Is Actually Too Big for IMAX

Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Helen Sloan—HBO

Seeing the HBO epic on the big screen will remind moviegoers of how far TV is advancing beyond film


Anyone who has purchased tickets to watch the final two episodes of season four of Game of Thrones on an IMAX screen this week will not be disappointed. On a big screen, the Battle of Castle Black is even bloodier. The dragons are even more ferocious. The creatures Bran encounters are even…stranger.

But a funny thing happened halfway through the New York City screening on Thursday night. Music swelled, bodies fell lifeless and people did not know whether they should cheer.

At first, it was simple. Jon Snow taking command of Castle Black drew a roar from the crowd. The death of a certain cannibal shortly thereafter also received applause. But when Ygritte was shot down, the crowd hesitated. Some clapped, while others shushed. I suspect a few even cried. Were we happy Jon Snow’s life was saved, even if his would-be killer was his one true love?

Matters got even more complicated in the final episode. The onscreen appearances of Stannis, Daenerys and Tyrion all elicited cheers, but that support was far from unanimous. When Brienne and the Hound drew swords for what was by far the most graphic, bloodiest scene in the two-hour broadcast (think — really think — about how gross it is when she bites off his ear, then multiply the size of your laptop screen by about a million), the two had equal supporters. Like the people of Westeros, the audience’s loyalties were divided among characters. It’s a common occurrence on living room couches, but a strange one to experience in a massive movie theater.

The Game of Thrones fanbase rivals that of any major movie franchise — Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Avengers. But when audiences line up to see new installments of those films, they already know when they will boo and when they will cheer, who is good and who is bad. Even the most complicated of blockbuster films can only spend two hours drawing out the intricacies of character relationships. Game of Thrones has had dozens of hours to do so.

Fans of the books always knew A Song of Ice and Fire was more complicated than its counterparts in the fantasy realm. After this screening, they should take a break from pestering George R.R. Martin for his next book to thank him for handing his story rights over to HBO, rather than a movie studio who would have made it morally black-and-white.

Kicking off Sundance this year, Robert Redford commented, “Television is advancing faster than filmmaking.” Critics have long acknowledged that in the past decade or so, television writers have learned to take advantage of their elongated timeline to create interesting storylines rather than sheer spectacle. Television showrunners have also been more willing to take risks on the small screen — maybe because there isn’t as much money at stake. The result is unlikable heroes, appealing villains and an emotional realism that studio tentpole films rarely achieve.

Never has this been more apparent than last night — when Game of Thrones took its cinema-worthy show to the big screen and proved too large for it.

Read next: Release of Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Novel Will Not Happen in 2015

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

Watch John Oliver Explain Why He Tased Himself for the Troops

The late night host recounts how far he'll go for a laugh

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and discussed how far he’d go to make people laugh — including injure himself.

The 37-year-old comedian told Letterman that during a USO Tour to Afghanistan in August, 2013, Oliver had just finished performing a set for the troops when a soldier asked if he’d tase himself. Oliver, looking for a laugh, agreed.

The visit marked the first USO tour for Oliver, who was touched by the trip as his wife is a former Army combat medic, who deployed to Iraq.

The next season of Last Week Tonight is slated to return to HBO on Feb. 8.

TIME celebrities

Wendy Williams Explains What Celebrities Can Learn From Kim Kardashian

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams Omar Vega—Invision/AP

The talk-show host and media personality celebrates her 1,000th episode Friday—and dishes to TIME about her most memorable interviews

How is Wendy Williams doin’? Pretty great, actually—the storied radio personality turned syndicated talk-show host is celebrating 1,000 episodes of The Wendy Williams Show, now in its sixth season. And when she’s not discussing her Hot Topics and giving audience members unfiltered advice on camera, she’s producing a number of projects behind-the-scenes (like Lifetime’s Aaliyah movie last year), overseeing her wigs line and developing a clothing line to add to the collection.

TIME caught up with Williams a few days before the big milestone to talk about her celebrity bucket list, the importance of trashy reality shows and why she loves Judge Judy.

TIME: Looking back, who has been your most awkward interview?
Wendy Williams: I can’t call it awkward, but certainly it was different, and that was Russell Brand. I found him smart, witty and sexy! And he smelled good. But here’s the kicker: He was on Howard Stern, and Howard said, “Who are you crushing on now?” He said, “That black lady with the talk show, Wendy Williams!” When he came to the show, everything that I said, he would bring it back to me and how he’s attracted to me. Not in a disrespectful way! I was blushing on the inside.

Who of your frequent celebrity targets has the best sense of humor about it?
Kim Kardashian. Listen, Kim has a really good sense of humor. She knows who she is, she knows what she puts out there. She is not one for her feathers to be ruffled. After six seasons, I would hope that celebrities understand that I’m really no different than Rona Barrett, Walter Winchell—two legendary celebrity chatters—and what I do is no different than Life & Style magazine or the entertainment section of TIME magazine. The same stories that I’m telling are the stories people are talking about! Maybe it’s the way I deliver. I come with strong opinions, but strong opinions are what drive the show.

Who is the most elusive? Whom do you want on your show but haven’t been able to book?
The Rock. I think he’s handsome. I’d love for him to pick me up and curl me. And then I want to sit down and talk to him—he seems like a down guy. I’ve met most of my heroes, not necessarily on the show, but in real life. Judge Judy came this season. Oh my God, she is the aunt I always wanted to have. You tell her things you don’t tell your own mother, and then she gives you straight talk with the answer. It was my understanding that Judge Judy does not do a lot of talk shows. I said, “Okay, that will never happen,” and then I see she wants to come to the show! She came, and her husband Jerry sat in the audience. Judy was telling me that Jerry watches my show on the treadmill every morning. I will treasure that moment forever. But general wish list? I don’t really have one. As a matter of fact, I love meeting celebrities, but my favorite Wendy shows are all Hot Topics and Ask Wendy.

How do you vet and choose Hot Topics when celebrity gossip can be so unreliable?
We usually deal with two or more sources. We never just take one source and run with it and put it on Hot Topics. We have a legal department in our building. My Hot Topics team is very good at raking through. They might give 10 stories on any given day in a morning meeting, but I might only get to five stories. I read stuff, I watch TV, I come with stories. Maybe that’s why it comes so naturally—I’m really interested in celebrity culture and really do care! More often than not my team is right on point. It is a collaborative effort, and I listen with respect to everyone on staff. I just happen to be the lucky girl with my name on the marquee. When I don’t want to do something, it’s never a hard no. Convince me why I should. Convince me why I should wear that dress, or why the sky is blue when I see green.

Some people think celebrity culture and reality TV are trashy. Why is it important to have “low-brow” entertainment in our culture?
Reality TV is kind of a reflection of how the world is running these days. We have no attention span. Microwaves aren’t fast enough for us anymore. Some of the best shows on TV get canceled after three episodes. People aren’t given a chance. We forget about our entertainers if they’re not in front of us. We move on to the next one. Now, for a lot of people—and me, sometimes, I’m embarrassed to say—a reality show is not a reality show without someone being dragged across the floor by their hair. I like cute reality. You’re never going to catch any wig-pulling on Wahlburgers. But I also have been known to glance at Love & Hip Hop. The more ratchet, the more entertaining. It’s escape.

Has there ever been a question you regret asking?
No, but there’s a question I regret not asking. Chris Rock was on the show. He’s always a great guest, very funny, very engaging, very honest. A week after he goes on the show, it’s announced that he’s getting a divorce from his wife of 18 years. I had no idea that they were actually getting a divorce. You hear about marital discord, but if you’re married, there’s always discord going on. I didn’t know they were going to be divorcing, so I felt duped. I often wonder if I had said to Chris, “So how is Malak, everything still good after 18 years?” Would he have answered me honestly? Would have I gotten a good scoop for the world? I will never know—until I run into him again.

You did radio for decades before moving to TV. What was the biggest surprise?
Nothing was really surprising, but there were a few adjustments I was resistant to: people helping. I’m not good at people helping. I’m now used to somebody shopping for me or somebody doing my hair or doing my makeup. I don’t need people under me all the time asking, “Do you need anything? Are you okay?” I’m fine! I know that sounds like an odd problem, but I’m fiercely independent and didn’t get this kind of success until I was in my 40s. I already knew what it was like to change a tire, get a mortgage, to be a fully grown woman. With success on TV, life has become more complicated. You don’t just run up to the ATM and drop your paycheck in anymore. You don’t just do things. Everything has to be planned or an event. I can’t just talk to you on the phone. There’s two other people on the phone! There’s the publicist and my assistant. It’s all odd!

You became well-known on the radio for being so confessional. Is it harder to be intimate in front of a live audience?
No, I actually find myself making a concerted effort not to say one word too many. Doing that show is as easy as slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans. They say the number one fear is public speaking—I’ve never had a problem with that. I light up when I have to entertain. Radio helped me develop an already-fertile imagination. In radio, it’s you in a room. You have to be a real wordsmith. You have to use your words to paint a picture. That’s the best training I could have had to keep this show going. I still use that same language to paint a picture, only now I can see the crowd’s reaction. They sit there and they laugh, or they think I’m ridiculous. Either way, no one’s falling asleep.

TIME Television

Review: Parenthood’s Finale Brings It All Back Home

Parenthood - Season 6
Colleen Hayes/NBC

We laughed, we cried. (Mostly, we cried.) And the finale returned to the theme of how family means letting go and holding on.

Spoilers for the series finale of Parenthood below:

I’ve had Apple TV in my living room for a couple years now. The box is connected to my whole Apple ecosystem of media–music, videos, and my iPhoto library, which dates back to around when my first child was born, in 2001. When I leave it paused for a certain number of minutes, and it turns on a screensaver of random iPhoto pictures: thirteen-odd years of Halloween baby costumes, snow days, vacations, first days of school, floating down my TV screen in an endless rain of nostalgia.

I’m a sentimental sap when it comes to my kids. So it is, perhaps, not the wisest screensaver setting for me to have. One minute I’ve paused a video to make a pot of popcorn on movie night, and the next–whammo!–I’m confronted with the freaking eternal march of time, the hastening countdown toward my babies’ leaving home, the knowledge that I and everyone I love will age and one day die. Next thing I know, I have to explain why I’m wiping my eyes while watching Guardians of the Galaxy.

I should change the setting, of course. But I don’t. Because what’s the alternative? Not looking at those pictures? Not poking at those memories? Not feeling–as Don Draper put it pitching the Carousel–the pain from an old wound? Forget it.

That to me sums up the whole push-pull of watching Parenthood over six years. Fans of the show joke about how much we expect the next episode to make us cry, like competitive eaters psyching ourselves up to try the world’s hottest salsa. (Last week’s episode–which for God’s sake included a mother and daughter singing “The Circle Game” after which a dying man holds his newborn great-grandchild—was like a Cry Monster that a mad scientist would build out of things that make people cry.) Yet we go back, because whatever pain we respond to in a family drama like this one is a good pain, a necessary pain, a pain the only thing worse than which is its absence.

That is the pain that the series finale, “May God Bless and Keep You Always,” delivered expertly, employing a golf bag worth of emotional irons to do it. If, as the Shakespearean truism goes, comedies end in marriage and tragedies in death, then dramedy ends in both, and then some. So on top of Sarah’s wedding (which we knew was coming) and Zeek’s death (which Parenthood telegraphed all season), we had a passel of other life transitions: an adoption (on top of Amber’s recent childbirth), career changes, a graduation.

There was a lot to service, unsurprisingly, and “God Bless” sometimes felt like a bride at a reception, obligated to greet guest after guest without time to settle in too long at any one table. And yet it managed to feel full rather than rushed. It did this in part by returning to Zeek, who knew–as he all but admitted in his chat with Hank, as his kids knew, as we knew–that the wedding was his unofficial goodbye.

Kudos here to Craig T. Nelson, who with Bonnie Bedelia has often been overshadowed in Parenthood‘s kid-focused stories, but served as the finale’s emotional home plate, modulating the emotion behind Zeek’s reserve. The story returned to him one by one, as he gave Sarah his blessing, assured Crosby that he could run the Luncheonette, invited Amber to live with him and Camille. (That invitation was an echo of Sarah’s homecoming way back in the series’ beginning.)

The other unifying thread of the episode was Max’s photography, which both gave his Asperger’s journey some resolution–suggesting, for his his doubt and his parents’ worry, that has has an independent, fulfilled future ahead of him–and gave the episode license to follow his camera at the wedding, taking in the sweep of the stories it needed to wrap up. Above all, it suggested that he’s finding a place in the world and in the family, but on his own terms; while Kristina can’t let go of her concerns–she still wants him to “be in the picture,” socializing at the reception–his way of doing that is by being the camera. “The photographer needs to disappear,” he says, and yet that’s precisely what allows him to find a way to be comfortably present.

And it’s an important job on this show. Photographs have always been thematically important in Parenthood: they float over the titles like an iPhoto screensaver; a family portrait introduces Hank in season 4; and we’re with Camille, looking over Max’s photos, when she discovers Zeek slumped in his chair. (A beautifully staged moment; we don’t discover Zeek’s body so much as we watch her discovering it.) Photos are the perfect metaphor for Parenthood‘s sensibility: we say that they “capture moments,” but of course they’re affecting precisely because we know they don’t really capture anything. The moments keep moving at their own pace until, as for Zeek, they run out.

Zeek dies, but, to go back to the Shakespearean definition, Parenthood is not a tragedy. For all the Bravermans’ problems, what happened is precisely what’s supposed to happen: You’re born, you grow, you love some people, you help each other along, you die. Like any family drama, Parenthood tells an old story, but it’s done it with thoughtful attention to a central question: What is a family for? What is a parent’s job?

Answer, here anyway: to support but not smother; to help your children be better but allow them to be themselves; to cherish your kids while working toward goodbye. And hopefully, to leave them with a network of people who are stronger together than individually, an idea captured in Parenthood‘s final sequence, that tear-jerking yet uplifting family baseball game.

Back when the series started in 2010, I wrote that Parenthood was in a way about “an almost utopian fantasy,” a tight-knit family, living close by one another, available for games, meals and babysitting. Over six seasons, Parenthood‘s many twisty plots, some more absorbing than others, proved that it wasn’t all that easy. But it was also unashamedly sentimental about an ideal of family as a team; each has to go to bat alone, but all are available to back each other up.

Ending Parenthood on the diamond was in retrospect the only choice that made sense, not only because Zeek loved baseball, but because it’s a game whose object is to leave home–and in the end, to come back.

Read next: The 10 Best Episodes From NBC’s ‘Parenthood’

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

Eddie Murphy Says He’s Returning to SNL After 30 Years

Spike TV's  "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only" - Arrivals
Eddie Murphy arrives at Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Nov. 3, 2012 Gabriel Olsen—FilmMagic

It’s been more than 30 years since Eddie Murphy has appeared on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but the comedian confirmed his return to Studio 8H for the show’s 40th anniversary special.

Murphy broke the news in a phone interview with News One Now. “It just never worked out where the timing was right for me to do it,” Murphy said, explaining his three-decade absence. “They’re having a 40th anniversary. … I’m going to that. And that will be the first time I’ve been back since I left.”

Murphy last stepped foot on the ‘SNL’ stage on Dec. 15, 1984 as a host, 10 months after ending his stint as a cast member …

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News


The Americans Showrunners on That Shocking Death From Season 3’s Premiere

Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg on why the reaction to the graphic scene reminded them of their responsibility as writers

Spoilers for the Season 3 premiere ahead

The Americans returned with a bang on FX last night. The first episode of the third season ended with Russian operative Annalise being strangled to death while having sex with Yousaf, a foreign intelligence operative, and her target. Fellow spy Philip enters the room too late to save her but then begins brokering a deal with Yousaf to cover up the incident. It was a reminder to audiences that the plot about Russian spies hiding in 1980s America continues to pack a punch. But it was also a reminder to the writers of the real impact of their fictional show.

Before the premiere, several secret screenings of the episode were held around the country. Showrunners Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg monitored the reaction to these events on Twitter and noticed that several people were tweeting about a certain screening where a few men in the audience began laughing during the horrific death scene. The inappropriate reaction ruined the screening for many.

“Then a couple people tweeted that after the screening, some women in the audience really took the guys to task for laughing during that scene,” Weisberg explains to TIME. “It was a really interesting reminder to us as writers of what powerful material we’re trafficking in. People have reactions after watching it—maybe some of those people aren’t mature enough to watch it. I’m not trying to shame the guys who were laughing, but maybe because someone told them off, it was a chance for them to learn from that experience.”

In short, he concludes: “These aren’t just dumb TV shows. It means something to people.”

Fields added that they look at sex and violence on the show as a way to reveal something about their characters and deepen their stories, not as a ploy. “The greatest surprise in that scene is what develops between Philip and Yousaf when Philip comes into that room,” Fields says. “They both brought such pain and realism to that loss that they were both responsible for.”

The creators say Philip and Elizabeth will continue to face even stickier situations this season. That’s bad news for the Russian spies, but great news for viewers.

Read Next: The Americans Puts Mother (and Father) Russia to the Test

TIME Television

Viola Davis Says Filming How To Get Away With Murder Sex Scenes Should Be Uncomfortable

Viola Davis stars as Professor Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder Craig Sjodin—ABC

The actress teases what's in store for the show, which returns tonight

Thursday nights are finally fun again. After several weeks of winter hiatus, the Shonda Rhimes trifecta—How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy—returns tonight with brand new episodes, and a little extra bling. For actress Viola Davis, the latest How to Get Away With Murder will be the first episode to air since she won the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series earlier this week.

TIME spoke with Davis earlier this year about her hacker-thriller Blackhat, but we couldn’t get away with not asking her about what makes her hit TV show so groundbreaking.

TIME: This show has been praised for changing the way we see sex on television. How does that feel?
Viola Davis: Oh, I love it! As an actor, I try to draw from life because life is my biggest inspiration. It’s so full of contradictions. When you draw from life, that’s when you get the biggest a-ha moments, because who people are in their private lives are sometimes not ever reflected on TV and film. The biggest a-ha moment was when I was given a role that’s described as sexy, strong, and I decided to look like a real woman—not kind of the prototypical sexy woman that you usually see on television. I wanted to be that sexy woman who took her mask off at night, the sexy woman who was not a size two, the sexy woman who looked like me and walked like me and had my skin tone. I thought that’s probably the most progressive decision that I’ve made, and I’m so happy that people have acknowledged it and are tuning in.

What do viewers not understand about what it’s like actually filming those scenes?
The fact that they’re uncomfortable—and they should be uncomfortable. Ultimately, you’re being private in public. How many people have a camera in their bedroom at night? The reason that we can do what we do in private is because we know we’re not being watched. On TV, you’re being watched. It’s one of the biggest lessons you learn when you are in acting school: how to be uninhibited. That’s what people don’t understand, and that’s why I wanted to take my wig off, my makeup off. I felt like that would be the ultimate courageous thing that I could possibly do. Most of the time when I’m watching TV, I feel there’s some awareness by the artist and the people making TV that they’re being watched. I wanted to do it with the understanding that I’m not being watched. I felt that would be the most progressive decision I could make, and obviously it was.

Empire drew almost 10 million viewers when it premiered, a number that both How to Get Away With Murder and Black-ish previously hit. With black actors leading so many breakouts shows, is this the tipping point for minority casting opportunities?
I hope so. I’m going to believe that it is because America is changing. I don’t think you can even look at a bus stop nowadays without seeing a caucasian blond woman with her afro’d brown-skinned baby. Art needs to begin to reflect life. It can no longer be homogenized. We are now in the 21st century. I’m going to believe this is the landscape of television now. I’m going to believe that people are going to be tuned into it. It’s just not just black actors or black-themed storylines, it’s just human-being storylines with people of color in them. I think it’s here to stay.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the law after working on this show?
That it’s not just black and white and right or wrong. It’s something that I think my character says at one point: “You have to defend people who you know are guilty.” That’s the surprising thing about criminal defense attorneys. You have to lie to yourself. That’s the justice system. That’s the bottom line. I understand that when people tune in they want to see characters that are likeable, they want to see right or wrong, they want to see black or white, but life in the law is very, very, very grey. Everybody deserves a fair and equal trial, even the people who are on the wrong side. That’s the system that we’ve created. That’s the most surprising element—the real complexities of it. And the real complexities of people within the justice system and people who are in life, too. At the end of the day, the lawyer hangs up the lawyer hat and they become a person. And they’re messy!

Do you think you would have been a good lawyer if you hadn’t become an actress?
No, I would have made a horrific lawyer.

I’m way too sensitive!

So you’re saying you can’t get away with murder now?
Definitely not. I’m one of those people that has a really horrific poker face. I’m a person who, if I find $5 on the street, I’m going to run around for the next 20 minutes trying to find the person who owns the five dollars—and I’ll keep it for the next two years to see if anyone shows up to claim it. That’s me!

What can you tease about the show’s return?
I think that it will surprise you in simple ways. I think it will be touching in unusual ways. And I think it will still be salacious and intriguing. And look out for Miss Tyson—look out for the force that is Miss Cecily Tyson.

TIME Television

Meet Disney’s First Latina Princess

Princess Elena of Avalor Disney Junior

Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in 2016

There’s a new Disney princess in town – and for the first time, she’s Latina.

On Thursday, Disney Junior announced that Princess Elena of Avalor will make her debut in 2016 on a special episode of Sofia the First, the network’s hit show for preschoolers.

Princess Elena is “a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore,” the network said in a statement.

After her introduction on Sofia, 16-year-old Elena will star in her own spin-off series, Elena of Avalor, also set to debut on Disney Junior in 2016.

Dominican Republic-born Aimee Carrero of ABC Family’s Young & Hungry, 26, will voice Elena, whose backstory is connected to the magical amulet Sofia wears on the show.

The story goes that Elena was imprisoned in the amulet by an evil sorceress, Shuriki, decades ago while Elena was trying to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel. Decades later, Sofia “discovers the truth . . . and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.”

In 2012, Disney executives responded to questions about Sofia’s heritage after early hints that she had Hispanic roots.

“Sofia is a fairytale girl who lives in a fairytale world,” said Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

Read next: How 7 Disney Princesses Could Change the World

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

The 10 Best Episodes From NBC’s Parenthood

From left: Miles Heizer as Drew Holt, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Mae Whitman as Amber Holt and Ray Romano as Hank Rizzoli in the "How Did We Get Here?" episode of 'Parenthood'.
From left: Miles Heizer as Drew Holt, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Mae Whitman as Amber Holt and Ray Romano as Hank Rizzoli in the "How Did We Get Here?" episode of Parenthood. NBC—Getty Images/2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

From the 'Pilot' to this final season, our favorite hours with the Bravermans before the series wraps

10. “Pilot”

Season 1, episode 1

The Bravermans are confused and likable and flawed—and the pilot does a good job of letting viewers know that from the get-go thanks to this drama-filled, sentimental episode. Quite a bit happens—it’s responsible for introducing each character, after all—but the highlight comes at the end when the entire family gathers together at the baseball field to see Max play after a particularly trying day. None of the problems presented in the hour are solved by then, but that’s not the point: No matter what issues plague the Bravermans, they’ll still be there for one another in all their messy glory. —Ariana Bacle

9. “My Brother’s Wedding”

Season 3, episode 18

The season 3 finale begins with Adam and Crosby physically fighting it out in front of their entire family and ends with Adam delivering a tearjerker of a speech at Crosby and Jasmine’s wedding. The tussle is a reminder that even the Bravermans, a family every viewer probably wants to be a part of, isn’t perfect all the time—and the brothers’ reconciliation is a reminder that everything works out eventually. Meanwhile, Julia and Joel are dealing with Zoe’s decision to keep the baby. It’s a happy ending for them, too, though, when the season ends with a social worker dropping off Victor, who later becomes an official member of the Braverman-Graham family. —Ariana Bacle

8. “Limbo”

Season 5, episode 17

There’s nothing quite like the combination of marijuana and marital issues to create an unforgettable hour of drama. Bringing in the comedy for the episode, Drew and Amber turn to drugs to help them deal with their relationship woes, before Joel and Julia are forced to face their own struggles when it’s time for Aida’s baptism. Just as Joel is ready to bow out as both Aida’s godfather and a part of the Braverman clan, Zeek shows up to reassure Joel that he took him on as a son when he married Julia, and that hasn’t changed. And if the waterworks haven’t already started, Joel showing up at the baptism will do the trick. —Samantha Highfill

7. “One More Weekend With You”

Season 4, episode 8

During Max’s first sleepover, the effects of Kristina’s chemo finally start to set in. As a result, Monica Potter shines in one of her character’s roughest hours, eventually ending things on a comedic note when Kristina finds her release in some medicinal marijuana. Elsewhere, Amber realizes the trauma Ryan’s been dealing with when they attend the funeral of one of his friends who recently killed himself. It’s a dramatic hour that ends on a happy note when Amber and Ryan take a brief detour on their drive home to find some sanctuary in the ocean…and the arms of each other. —Samantha Highfill

6. “I’m Still Here”

Season 5, episode 21

Ray Romano joined the cast as Hank, Max’s mentor and Sarah’s sometimes boyfriend, in season four, and proves himself an awkward, lovable asset to the Braverman clan (and the show) when he drives Amber the eight hours to San Diego so she can be at Ryan’s side in the hospital. Affection doesn’t come naturally to Hank, so seeing him go full-on caretaker is surprising and sweet. What’s less sweet is the death of Kristina’s cancer-stricken friend, Gwen. Kristina struggles with grief, but later finds some solace when she opens a gift from the late Gwen that ends up comforting—and inspiring—her. —Ariana Bacle

5. “The Offer”

Season 5, episode 18

”I think I am a freak, ” Max tells his parents after a classmate pees in his canteen. This episode has a handful of important, emotional moments—Zeek and Camille’s honest conversation about selling the house, for one—but it’s Max’s heartbreaking realization that he’s not like the other kids that stands out the most. He sits alone in the backseat, asking why he’s different, until Kristina crawls from the front to hug him despite his protests. The scene isn’t uplifting by any means, and that’s what makes it so poignant: Kristina and Adam’s veneers finally crack, revealing how powerless they feel—and how deeply they care about their son’s happiness. —Ariana Bacle

4. “Road Trip”

Season 3, episode 12

In a very rare scenario, the entire Braverman clan spends the hour together on a road trip to visit Zeek’s mother for her birthday. Well, all but Kristina and Max who only join the fun after Max learns a very important lesson about what names you can’t call your mother. On the road, shenanigans ensue, but as per usual, they end on a meaningful and heartfelt note when the all-powerful Zeek is realized to be nothing more than a young boy trying to impress his mother. And the moment when his mother finally tells him she loves him is nothing if not sob-worthy. —Samantha Highfill

3. “How Did We Get Here?”

Season 6, episode 10

Parenthood isn’t big on withholding information, but when it does, it’s for good reason: This episode begins with Zeek being wheeled away in an ambulance, followed by short, silent scenes of his children responding to phone calls and heading to the hospital. We don’t know how bad it is, and they don’t know either, making this opening one of the series’ most powerful. They spend the rest of the episode waiting to see how Zeek is while the bad (a Luncheonette crisis) and the good (Hank proposes to Sarah) continue happening around them—just like life. —Ariana Bacle

2. “Hard Times Come Again No More”

Season 2, episode 22

The aftermath of Amber’s car accident begins on a powerful note—the family gathering at the hospital—and eventually climaxes in what might be the greatest Parenthoodspeech of all time when Zeek tells Amber, ”You do not have permission to mess up my dreams.” But that’s not all this hour has to offer. Alex confesses his love for Haddie to Adam, Julia decides she wants another baby, Kristina announces that she’s pregnant, and Sarah’s play forces Amber to realize what she nearly lost in her accident. —Samantha Highfill

1. “There’s Something I Need to Tell You”

Season 4, episode 5

In an hour that represents the very best that Parenthood has to offer, Julia’s struggle with balancing work and motherhood results in her quitting her job, Hank kisses Sarah for the first time, Ryan is introduced to Amber, and Haddie calls home to get the real story about Kristina’s cancer from her father. To top things off, the final two scenes uplift—Victor gets a hit at his baseball game!—and then devastate when Haddie’s unexpected return home results in Kristina having to tell the family about her diagnosis. But in true Parenthood fashion, viewers don’t even hear Kristina say the words, but rather it’s the reaction of her loved ones that leaves the biggest impact. —Samantha Highfill

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser