By Ken Tucker
March 03, 2010 at 04:20 PM EST

So did you watch Parenthood‘s debut last night?

I’m rooting for this multi-generational family show, even as I recognize that its mixture of drama and comedy might not appeal to folks who like their shows to fit one genre or the other. I thought the acting by Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Mae Whitman, and Craig T. Nelson was terrific.

Krause is better-cast here than he was as the angsty lawyer in Dirty Sexy Money. It’s easy to believe the uneasy relationship he has with his roaring, papa-lion father (Nelson excels at that sort of thing without going over the top). And the show’s prominent subplot – about the emotional difficulties of Krause’s young son Max (Max Birkholder) – is a potent heart-breaker.

Lauren Graham’s Sarah is forced by economic tough times to take her two kids (including Mae Whitman, who was superb in In Treatment) move back in with her parents. Graham captured the mixture of embarrassment and defiance Sarah needed to admit she requires some help while trying to build a new life for her (moody, trouble-prone) kids and herself.

I’m not sure that Dax Shepard’s character quite works: He’s a commitment-phobe slacker who’s also a super-sensitive guy who comes through when the chips are down? We’ll see how that works out over the next few weeks.

But I’ll be watching these next few weeks, certainly. I suspect for some people it’s going to be difficult deciding which show to watch in real-time and which to tape: The Good Wife or Parenthood.

What’s your Parenthood reaction?

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