I have finally caught up on Parenthood and since I am doing three episodes at once, there are really 2 main topics I want to address. Adam’s family situation and Crosby’s.
This storyline is why I love Parenthood. This is a real life issues that many parents and children go through and it is handled very realistically but yet still has that drama that a TV can give it. To recap what is going on, Haddie as been working at a soup kitchen that her grandmother, Camille, has been volunteering at for years. The young man in charge of the soup kitchen, Alex (played by Michael B. Jordan) and Haddie have fallen for one another and are now dating. Kristina notices them kissing one night when she goes to pick them up and she seems a bit concerned considering the age difference. She wants to invite Alex over for dinner to get to know him more. Alex really shines at dinner and Kristina and Adam like him very much. However, they are concerned about a few things…his parents are deceased, his age, his maturity (meaning he has his own apartment and has a job instead of going to school even though he plans to finish his education), and the fact that he is in AA. K&A think Alex maybe be too adult for their 16-year-old daughter. They tell Haddie she can’t see him anymore and she isn’t allowed to date him. This doesn’t go over well with Haddie and she refuses to not see Alex. She decides to not tell him about her parents’ decision and to see him anyway behind her parents’ back. Eventually, when Alex comes to pick her up at her house, K&A find out they are still seeing each other and all hell breaks loose. Alex is very confused as are K&A. Haddie just stands there like she all of sudden forgot how to speak. When everyone realizes what is going on, Alex leaves furious at Haddie and her parents ground her until further notice.
I disagree with how K&A handled this with Haddie. I personally don’t think they should have denied Haddie from dating Alex. I understand their concerns about the age difference and the fact that he has his own apartment and the fact that he is a young kid (19-years-old) dealing with being an alcoholic. But he is also a good, honest, respectful young man. Wouldn’t they rather have their daughter with that type of young man vs. a 16-year-old little punk who may treat her like crap? Just because a 16-year-old kid may go to school and have parents, doesn’t make him a good guy. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every 16-year-old boy out there is a jerk. My point is, you know this is a good kid who will treat their daughter with dignity and respect. Isn’t that the most important thing? If I were them, I would have had a talk with him and laid some ground rules to their relationship…Haddie has a curfew, she isn’t allowed at his apartment, her grades need to stay up, and they need to know where they are at all times. If any of the rules are broken, they will not condone the relationship anymore. Knowing Alex, he would have appreciated how much they care for Haddie and would honor their wishes. Haddie probably would have been a pain in the ass but I think Alex would have shown her how much her parents are doing this because they care and not to make her life more difficult. I wish they would have gone that route instead of saying they couldn’t see each other.
On the flip side, I completely disagree with how Haddie handled herself. I haven’t been a big fan of her character. She is a miserable kid. She always has an attitude and she always looks like life completely annoys the crap out of her. If any kids have the right to be annoyed at life it’s Drew and Amber and even they aren’t as miserable as Haddie. I can understand why she is upset at her parents decision. I am with her on that one. I can even understand her sneaking around with Alex because she doesn’t want to tell him what her parents said and because she still wants to see him. Where I am completely baffled is why she is now pissed at her parents for grounding her and her saying that they have no basis for them not trusting her. Is she for real? You went behind your parents back and deliberately disobeyed them and gave them huge attitude to boot, and you wonder why they grounded you and don’t trust you? Seriously? She also can’t understand why Alex is upset with her. When he explains that he told her how important it was for him to live honestly and she took that away from him without a second thought, I still don’t think she understood. And she blames her parents for that. No, your parents didn’t decide to lie to Alex, you did. Kristina has also had enough of the attitude and told her that as long as she lives under her roof, she has to follow her rules. So Haddie decides to move out and asks her grandmother if she can live with them. If I were Camille, I would have said no. She shouldn’t get in the middle of this and she should make Haddie go back to her parents. Or, if she does stay there, Camille should enforce the same rules K&A set up whether she agrees with them or not. I hate bratty kids who when they don’t get their way, do things and make decisions that put other people in bad situations, just so they can get what they want. Haddie is putting Camille in an impossible situation and it isn’t fair. But she doesn’t care because she only cares about herself. I still say K&A could have handled this better than they did, but ultimately, they are the parents, it’s their decision, and Haddie, doesn’t have to like it, but needs to respect it and abide by it.
I have said this before…I like Jasmine but I don’t like how when it comes to parenting it’s her way or the highway. I think it’s wrong. I don’t find her and Crosby to be a team. I think she still thinks that since she had Jabar on her own for 5 years (by her own decision) that she still has the ultimate say and Crosby needs to agree with whatever she decides. It’s incredibly disrespectful to Crosby.
Case in point…in one episode C&J are having a hard time getting Jabar to clean his room. Crosby doesn’t think it’s a big deal but Jasmine does. She lectures him on how they need to be on the same team and show a united front to Jabar on parenting issues. She thinks Crosby always wants to be the good guy while she always has to be the bad guy and it isn’t fair (can’t disagree with her there.) At one point, when Crosby goes to talk to Jabar about his room, he tells him how important it is to his mom so they need to get it done. That’s wrong. You don’t do that and throw her under the bus like that. So she thinks it’s important to show Jabar responsibility and that cleaning room is part of his learning that and Crosby needs to be on the same page with her. Crosby eventually agrees with her and gets on Jabar to clean his room. I had no problem with this. Here is where I start to get my back up….
In the next episode, Jabar is in the school play and he has been cast as the gold miner and he has a line he has to say when he comes out on stage. It’s pretty cute. Jabar gets freaked out and doesn’t want to be the gold miner anymore. Crosby wants him to keep trying but he doesn’t want to so Crosby and Joel have Sydney do it. Back at home, Jasmine comes home and Crosby and Jabar tell her what is going on and Crosby says how he would like him to give it another try. In front of Crosby, she tells Jabar, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. Jabar is now thrilled and runs off to play. Crosby is now sitting on the couch like what the fudge just happened. She tells him that if he is that scared, she doesn’t want him traumatized and just wants him to have fun and Crosby needs to get over it. Ah, what happened to being on the same page and the united front with Jabar? I guess that only matters when it’s something that SHE finds important. When Crosby finds it important, not so much. I had a major issue with this. If she didn’t agree with Crosby, why didn’t she pull him aside and have the conversation about it NOT in front of Jabar. She completely dismissed Crosby and his authority in front of Jabar without a second thought. And this isn’t the first time she has done this. I thought Crosby was going to shrink back and do what Crosby usually does and shrug his shoulders and let Jasmine have her way. When he tells Zeke about what’s going on, Zeke tells him that Bravermans aren’t quitters and that Jabar should do the part. He also asks who is wearing the pants in the family. Ugh! Thankful Crosby asks him what decade he thinks they are in and tells him that he and Jasmine are a team. Zeke correctly points out, that it doesn’t sound like it and that she is calling all the shots. If he thinks Jabar should do this, he needs to stand up to Jasmine and tell her that. Back at home, Crosby does find his cojones and tell her that he wants Jabar to do this and she doesn’t have the right to always dismiss what Crosby wants. She doesn’t always have the final say and there needs to be room for Crosby and his parental decisions in their relationship. She begrudgingly agrees and Crosby thanks her. Both Crosby and Jasmine approach Jabar and convince him to become the coal miner again. It was a little sketchy at first when he time came to go on stage but he went out there and did a great job!!! Yeah Jabar!!!
I hope Jasmine starts to learn from this. This is now the second episode where she dismissed Crosby as a dad (the first was where Jabar should live when she was on tour.) I don’t want to see her continuing to insult Crosby and his role in Jabar’s life. She needs to start growing as a partner and realize that she is no longer a single parent and they are partners. Otherwise, they are going to start to have major problems.
On a programming note, I think it’s great news for us Parenthood fans that it is going to remain in its Tues 10pm time slot and not move to make room for yet another Law & Order. The ratings are strong enough, the network doesn’t want to mess with it….yeah!!!! I hate when networks constantly move shows around because it is usually a death sentence when that happens. So Parenthood stays put and this terrific show gets to create some more traction for its fan base.