Pop Pedestal: Amber Holt from Parenthood

Mae Whitman as Amber HoltWelcome back to Pop Pedestal, the series where we pay tribute to our pop culture favorites. Up today is Amber Holt from NBC’s Parenthood, played by the fabulous Mae Whitman.

Pedestal Profile: Amber Holt is the rebellious teen of the Braverman clan. One of the reasons her mother moved she and her younger brother from Fresno to Berkeley to live with their grandparents, she manages to challenge the authority figures in her life without ever becoming too jerk-y. Sure, Amber may have been fired from the internship her Aunt Julia helped her get for drinking and making out on the job, but she’s just trying to find herself! (And she apologized and was sincere about it, because she’s a good kid at heart.)

Admirable qualities: Another reason to like Amber is that she’s fearless. Or rather, she has fears but chooses to be bold anyway, making her all the more admirable. An open mic night? She’ll perform with her guitar, even though she’s nervous (and her father, with whom she has a very tenuous relationship, is in the audience). Didn’t get into the college she wanted? That’s OK, she’ll get a kickass loft and carve her own post-high school path.

She’s a great writer, knitter, sister, and daughter (most of the time), and much of that is because she isn’t afraid to take risks. Even her new haircut, debuted on Tuesday night’s season premiere, was a bit of a gamble that paid off in spades.

Amber has a complicated and believable relationship with her mother, Sara, played by Lauren Graham (playing a single mother to a headstrong teenage daughter is clearly Lauren Graham’s superpower), which is one of the best things about the already-good Parenthood. Though the two are often at odds, it’s because they’re so similar and because, deep down, they really care. I found myself tearing up at the scene in Tuesday night’s episode where Amber leaves her mother’s birthday party early and Sara gets her feelings hurt (there’s a reason why New York Magazine deemed Whitman the best crier on TV). Haven’t we all been there, on one side or the other (or both)? In the hands of less capable actors the relationship might seem trite or irritating, but Amber and Sara are a mother-daughter team to watch.

animated gif of the Bravermans hugging each other

Her influence: Though there are a few Tumblr posts singing her praises, I personally feel that Amber Holt is underrated. Teen girls should be blogging about how cool she is all over the place! There is a series of YouTube covers of Amber’s acoustic guitar songs, though, and most of them appear to be performed by young women (which is awesome). Here’s Amber singing “Graveyard Song” and then the cover version below that:

Navel gaze-y bonus: As a short, round-faced brunette with glasses, I liked that season one Amber was representing my kind on the small screen (her new blond ‘do-and-contacts look is great too, of course).

That’s not all: Mae Whitman, and by default, Amber, is hoping that the creators of Parenthood will “have Amber be a lesbian” at some point in the near future. With her Tegan and Sara poster and her (maybe more than?) friendship with Zosia Mamet’s character Kelsey last season, fans have already been wondering about Amber’s sexuality, and it would be great to see such a kickass character get a non-straight story line on network TV.

Think of her when: You’re afraid to try something, but deep down you know you should do it. Amber would, and you can too!

Previously: Pop Pedestal: Gloria Akalitus, Pop Pedestal: Margaret “Log Lady” Lanterman

by Kelsey Wallace
View profile »

Kelsey Wallace is an editor in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter if you like TV and pictures of dogs.

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

9 Comments Have Been Posted

car in season opener

What kind of car is Amber driving in the season opener?

Not sure...

It was such a cute car though! I googled around and can't find much, but maybe they'll talk more about it in next week's episode.

pretty sure its a Lada, a lil

pretty sure its a Lada, a lil Russian car....or some other eastern european/non british car

The car appears to me to be a

The car appears to me to be a early 70's fiat 124 sedan a great little car.

Love her

My wife and I love her.She is going to be huge in a few years.Parenthood is a fun show to watch

Thanks Casey Mahoney and BradP for life

Used Suzuki Swift This is one

<a href="http://www.sbtjapan.com/ks-used-suzuki-swift">Used Suzuki Swift</a>
This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post.

This is one of the best posts

This is one of the best posts that I’ve ever seen; you may include some more ideas in the same theme. I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post. <a href="http://www.sbtjapan.com/ks-used-suzuki-swift">Used Suzuki Swift</a>

Hey, now I remember! I think

Hey, now I remember! I think this post was what made me start watching Parenthood. So thanks!

Add new comment