Luke decided to join the army. Ryan is coming back from war.
Vince had a mother who had substance abuse problems and a history with the law. Alex is a recovering addict, who also has a history with the law.
In Friday Night Lights, Regina Howard, who played Vince’s mom, was always in and out of rehab for her drug addiction. In Parenthood, she helps Camille and Zeek work on their marriage.
Billy is Riggins’ rock on FNL. But in Parenthood he’s anything but steady. (He turned up again — this time most definitely as beer-swigging Billy Riggins — at the Luncheonette in the Parenthood webisode series.)
Jess was always on top of her game in FNL. She was smart and fast thinking and always helping people around her. Surprise! She is exactly the same in Parenthood. But this time she’s into politics.
Buddy Jr. was kind of blah on FNL and he is even more blah on Parenthood.
Sam Jaeger was uncredited in FNL but he’s a MUCH bigger deal on Parenthood.
Lyla Garrity is a sweet and beautiful girl who is defined by who she is sleeping with in FNL. In Parenthood, Gaby is sweet and beautiful and has to leave her job because of who she sleeps with.
No seriously, it’s Landry. Not the actor that plays Landry. It is actually just Landry. Meanwhile, Mae Whitman’s character, Amber, wears an East Dillon Lions T-shirt and asks Billy to tell Tim that she says hi. The two apparently hooked up once. (“It was one time.”) And she calls Landry “Lance,” apparently under the influence of Coach Taylor’s inability to get his name right.