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.
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!