Julia and Chris? Or Julia and Joel?
On Parenthood Season 6, one of our favorite Bravermans (well, they're all kinda favorites, right?) is dating the perfect guy, Chris, but putting away her feelings for her ex is proving not to be as easy as maybe she thought. Let's just say it's not a shock that Julia is a tad confused about everything going on in her love life.
And let's not forget the fact that all this is unfolding as patriarch Zeek is in the hospital and the end of the long-running drama is imminent.
I needed some help dealing with my own emotions about all this, so I looked to Erika Christensen (Julia) for some guidance, while also to asking her how she's handling filming the final episodes along with Hallmark movie, My Boyfriends' Dogs, which airs this weekend...
TV Fanatic: I feel really conflicted because I kind of like Julia and Chris together but then there’s the whole Joel thing. What do I do about that, Erika?
Erika Christensen: [laughs] The only thing to do about that is keep watching. I can definitely see both sides but it’s kind of nice to see Julia coming into her own and finding some happiness but at the same time she’s very conflicted herself.
TVF: Up until now, Chris has kind of done everything right, which makes it all the more confusing. Will we see him make some missteps moving forward?
EC: I don’t think that Chris is the one who’s going to try to confuse the issue. I think Joel’s the one who’s going to try to confuse the issue and Julia’s own lack of being able to feel like she’s 100% sure that ending their marriage is the right thing. So, I don’t know. Chris seems extremely easy going. Very, very understanding.
TVF: How would you define the attraction Julia has for Chris?
EC: They have this history together and it’s interesting that when they last knew each other and were dating, she had a very simple life. The things that were important to her were very clear, she was young and in school. And it seems him knowing that version of her and being available now, it’s sort of a short cut into a relationship. And he is very easy going and charming and very direct in his interest in her so I think it’s the easiest way that something like this could happen.
TVF: And he’s kind of dreamy to look at…
EC: Ya know, he’s not bad!
TVF: I know sometimes when a big health scare happens, it can make other things either very clear or more muddled. Do we see that with Julia in terms of what Zeek is going through?
EC: Yeah, I think you’re right and it’s both. It makes things more confusing in that it’s one more element of her life that is out of control but at the same time maybe it’s making her reevaluate what family is…she’s trying to be strong throughout this whole period of her life and I think also, in a way, it’s a distraction. It’s so clear cut. As far as Zeek goes, she needs to be there for her. If Joel and Chris will allow her, she probably would just not confront that part of her life and let that ride as long as possible and just focus on the family and what makes sense.
TVF: Do we see anyone react to Julia dating Chris? We saw her tell Sarah last week but what about the others?
EC: We do! You do see how some people react, which helps her. Whether they agree or disagree, it’s always something to push back against, your family opinions about your love life.
TVF: In general, how has it been shooting these last episodes? Has it been as hard for you as it is for the viewers?
EC: The way we started the season was with such relief and happiness that we were going to give it a proper finale and a proper sendoff but I think we’re past the halfway mark and we’re probably just going into that really bittersweet time with the episodes that we’re filming. As we get right to the end it’s going to be really rough but right now I’m just so curious about what the writers are up to and I don’t read the other storylines so I’m very curious about everything else.
TVF: Tell me about the Hallmark movie My Boyfriend’s Dogs.
EC: She’s young and single and kind of a silly person and fun, ya know?
TVF: Was it nice to be in another character’s shoes than Julia?
EC: Yes, it was really fun and I feel like that’s what actors want. We want to just experience things in different people’s shoes all the time and it’s fun because she’s really different from Julia. Julia has very grown up troubles right now.
TVF: And you’re doing what they always tell actors not to do and that’s work with kids and animals but you’re succeeding!
EC: [laughs ] Yes, just developing my patience!
Parenthood Season 6 airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC. My Boyfriends' Dogs airs Saturday at 9 p.m. on the Hallmark Channel.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.