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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “The Enchanting Mr. Knight” S5 E16

There are very few episodes of Parenthood that I can say annoy the crap out of me.   In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever thought that about Parenthood.   But last night’s episode had me spitting nails.   Decisions that were made, conversations that were had…..UGH.   So much bad in 42 minutes.    Let’s start with what got my blood boiling the most shall we?

Crosby and Camille

Words cannot describe how much I wanted to punch Crosby in the face between last week’s episode and this week’s episode.    At one point, I was listening to his incessant rambling with my mouth agape.     I couldn’t believe the things he was saying.   Who the hell do you think you are Crosby?   Yes you grew up there but it’s not your home, it’s your parent’s home.   I mean of course your childhood home is your home when you’re a kid and you live there.   But guess what?   When you’re married and have a family and have your own home, it’s not your home anymore.   And unless you’ve paid a penny towards the mortgage, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc on the home, IT”S NOT YOUR PLACE TO SAY ANYTHING!!!   How DARE he get in the middle of this.   This is the Crosby I thought we sort of grew away from…the selfish, nosy, screwed up, self-centered jerk that thought the world revolved around him and every decision made in the world needs to be made in a way that makes him happy and his life easier.    Well he is back.

First he goes to Zeek to tell him that he knows he doesn’t want to sell the house and asks why he’s letting mom push him into something he doesn’t want.    And after Zeek very directly and beautifully tells him that it’s because after all his mother has done for this family, she deserves to have something she wants.   She wants to travel and if that means selling house to make her happy, Zeek is going to do it because she means more to him that anything else.    Then, since apparently that wasn’t good enough for Crosby, he goes to his mother and whines like a 7-year-old about selling his childhood home.  Notice he never talks about his siblings….it’s HIS home and HIS room.   By the way, since when do grown children say to their parents “when were you going to paint my room without telling me?”  I’m sorry Crosby, did you leave your wife and children and move back with your mom and dad and become 12 again?  As Camille reminded him, it hasn’t been his room in years.    And then the granddaddy asshole comment of all, he tells Camille she is selfish for selling the house.    SELFISH!!   He told his mother she was selfish for wanting to sell HER house.   Is he for real?    He actually made that comment with a straight face?    Well after losing my voice screaming at my TV, Camille responded better than I ever could:

Selfish.   Ok let me put this into some perspective for you.  I spent over 30 years of my life taking care of four kids.  Some of whom are still living in my house and coming home for lunch.  And I spent most of my adult life, compromising myself and what I want for your father.  I’ve always put myself second.  Or third.  Or fourth.  Or fifth or sixth.   I have cooked your dinners.  I have packed your school lunches.  I have driven you to play dates and practice and done your laundry well past when I should have.   And now when I assert one thing that I want, one thing, you and your dad and everyone else can’t take it.   So.  If that’s selfish, excuse me.

ROUND OF APPLAUSE CAMILLE!!!!  I seriously stood up (actually I was already up screaming at Crosby through my TV) and starting clapping and crying.    Good for you Camille.   You put your ungrateful, inconsiderate, rude, SELFISH, son in his place.   The worst part about it, it didn’t sink in with Crosby at all.  I don’t think he really listened to Camille and he got a little too much joy out of listening to his parents fight about this when he’s the cause of their fighting and pain.   And for all the times over the years Jasmine has scolded Crosby and given him a hard time, NOW all she has to say is “I told you not to get involved.”  Really Jasmine?   That’s all you can muster up?   Unbelievable.

I sincerely hope this storyline does not go down the path of Crosby getting what he wants and the house doesn’t sell.   Or if it doesn’t sell, I hope Camille leaves Zeek and her ungrateful son behind and goes on an adventure of a lifetime and do something just for her….because she deserves it

Sarah, Carl, and Hank

I used to like Hank.  He was weird and quirky, but I liked him.  Which surprised me because I HATED Everybody Love Raymond.   I found the show and Ray Romano, very unfunny.   But on Parenthood, I really liked his character and how Romano brought this character to life.    But this season, since they seem to be going down the “Hank Has Asberger’s” story line , it seems as thought Hank’s behavior has reached a new level of annoying.   Sure he was odd before but it was charming and sweet.   Now, he’s just a dick.   And I’m not sure if the Aspie suggested diagnosis is supposed to make us accept his rude/bad behavior or if his behavior is getting worse and we’re going to use an Aspie diagnosis to hopefully make people more understanding of Hank.  I know I’m saying the same thing but I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not sure which came first….the new ugly Hank or the Aspie story line.   And with all due respect, I’m great with one Asberger’s story line because I find it fascinating, I don’t need another.

This was another story that had me screaming at my TV.   Sarah was going to go away with AMAZING Carl to Zimbabwe, a once in a lifetime trip, and decided not to go after a nasty confrontation with Hank.   Her reason for not going….it’s the year of Sarah.   Really?   Year of Sarah huh?    So if it’s the year of Sarah, why did you let a man make your decision for you?    Isn’t the reason you’re now staying the exact reason Hank yelled at you for going in the first place….a man was distracting you and dictating your decisions?    Because when she decided to go to Africa, that was HER decision.  But her decision to stay was based off of being bullied by a man.   How exactly does that conform with her idea that it’s the year of Sarah?    Also it’s the YEAR of Sarah.  Not one week in the year if Sarah.    What is going to Africa with an amazing, smart, philanthropic, sweet stud  have to do with it not being the year of Sarah?  Is Sarah not allowed to go away during that year?   Can she not have fun?  Can she not have an outstanding experience both personally and professionally?   Because those seem to be the types of things you’d want to do in a year for yourself.   Am I wrong?    So instead, she’s going to let Hank bully and berate her into feeling bad about herself to stay because he’s jealous she’s going away with Carl.    Because let’s be honest.  Hank doesn’t care about Sarah being true to herself.    He cares that Sarah is going away with another man other than him.    Because if Sarah was going to Africa with Hank, I’m sure there would not have been a problem.   While Carl has always seemed to have Sarah’s best interests at heart, Hank only cares about himself.  Which is why I hope we haven’t seen the last of Carl because he’s a really good guy and I think he’s great for Sarah and I hope Hank goes back to wherever his daughter is and leaves the show.   Jason Katims, DO NOT put Sarah and Hank back together.    Carl was good for her.   For someone who always struggled to find herself and make her way in the world, Carl not only gave her support but self confidence, strength, and belief.  I don’t think you could have found a better guy for Sarah.   But what do I know.

Julia, Joel, and Ed

Oh Julia.  What are you doing girlfriend?   I know this is a brutal time for you.   But why, WHY would you go to Ed’s house…wait back up.  Why would you make Ed dinner, THEN bring it to his house, then decide that it’s an even better idea to stay and have dinner with him!    Seriously woman?   What are you thinking!   I have no problem with what Julia said to Ed at the sustainability garden (which was basically back off because you’re no good for me.)   And I can understand her back being up when Ed shows up at her home unannounced and uninvited to want to talk.   Ok Ed, what do you want to talk about with the woman you kissed and assisted in putting her marriage on the hot seat?   What made him think that was a good idea?    Just because Joel moved out, doesn’t mean he might not be at the house because of the kids.   Wow, talk about really dumb or really inconsiderate.

But in fairness to Ed, Julia was out of line in her verbal beat down.   Granted, she was probably pretty peeved he just showed up without warning, but that doesn’t mean her comments were accurate.   Her tone, however, was completely understandable.   While Ed kissing Julia (and Julia kissing him back) certainly didn’t make Joel more secure about his marriage, it was far from being solely his fault the marriage is on the rocks.   Ed was right to tell Julia to dig deeper to find the real reason her marriage is in trouble.   Eventually, our little Julia does realize he’s correct.   But you know what?   THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU MAKE HIM CHICKEN MARSALA AND BRING IT TO HIS HOUSE AND EAT IT WITH HIM!!    I mean was Katims just handing out stupid pills this week?   Sheesh.

I want my J&J back together.   They are both at fault and they both need to suck it up and work it out.  I know Julia wants to try but Joel needs to pipe down already, move back in, and work on his damn marriage.

Drew and Natalie

First things first.  Drew.  We need an intervention.  For your hair.  Have you never heard of scissors?   A barber?   A flowbee?   Get that mess under control.   You are an attractive young man but we wouldn’t know it because we can’t see your face behind your out of control Beiber.

Now, it’s time you kick Natalie to the curb.   You almost did last night.   You did put her in her place and tell her what I have been yelling about for weeks….you can’t have it both ways!   A little history.   Natalie and Drew connect at first and they’re hooking up and hanging out so obviously (because Drew’s adorable) Drew wants to give her his pin and go steady.   But Natalie, being a current woman of the 2010s, tells Drew to go pound sand.   They can be friends with benefits but nothing more.  After Drew tells her the benefit part has to come with something more, she says they can only be the friend part.   Ok, no problem.   So then why is Natalie going all Glenn Close/Alex Forrest on Drew?  As he reminded her last night, you’re the one who wanted to be just friends and now that Drew is trying to be just that, she disses him.     What is with people in this episode?

Like with Ed, I have to be fair to Natalie.  I didn’t like the way she treated Amy.   She has no right to be bitchy and dismissive when you’re the one who told Drew you’re just friends.   So because he’s not pining away for you, he’s the jerk?    Whatever.  But where Natalie was right was in telling Drew that when Amy’s stay was getting to Jennifer Jason Leigh levels, it was time to do something.   Drew wasn’t living his college life.  He wasn’t doing anything and experiencing things, both socially and scholastically.   He was missing out because Amy was going through a hard time.   And while it’s noble of Drew to want to be there for her and help her, he’s hurting himself and Amy by letting it go on as long as he had.    Time to cut the apron strings.   Couldn’t agree with Natalie more.   But where Natalie is wrong is making Drew feel bad for being exactly what she told him to be…a friend.  If you like him, speak up woman!   If you don’t, then shut your pie hole.   Either way, make a decision and stick with it because right now, you bug the crap out of me.

Adam and Kristina

I really have nothing to say on this front other than, I love them.   Best couple on the show.   Love the school they are trying to build and I hope it works out for them.   Oh and SUCK IT CANCER!!   You’re not going near my girl again!

That was a lot of anger for a Parenthood post wasn’t it?    Wow.  That’s so not like me.  Except for Crosby.  He usually brings out the worst in me even though he hasn’t lately.   So I guess he was due for a whopper.   And I get so frustrated because I’m an idiot and have a tendency to forget these aren’t real people.   But that’s why I love the show.  Katims, the writers, the actors…amazing.  I feel like I’m watching a real life family so when things happen I tend to react, strongly.   I’m uber attached to this family the way Max is attached to bugs and photography.   But I need everyone to wake up and get back on track.  No more calling your mom selfish or not going on sex trips with hot guys or having dinner with men you shouldn’t.   Let’s pick up the pace Bravermans.   I have big expectations as the season comes to an end!!!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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Catching Up With…Parenthood

It’s dumb to say that Parenthood is having a good season.  It ALWAYS has a good season.  But there are a few story lines that really hit home with me so I’m going to touch on the big ones.

Joel and Julia

This was the couple that historically was kind of on the back burner in regards to the Braverman crew.  There is always Sarah’s drama (and Amber and Drew have had lots of story lines.)  Crosby and Adam are always front and center.  Then there was Julia.  Granted last year they got more juicy material with them adopting Victor after trying to have another baby, Julia losing her job, Joel going back to work.   They were getting more into the Braverman story line flow.  But no matter what was going on with Joel and Julia, like Adam and Kristina, they were solid.   Then this season hit.   What was once the second strongest relationship on the show (behind Adam and Kristina) is now disintegrating before our eyes.

In the last two episodes, Joel has become more suspicious of Julia’s relationship with Ed.  It got ugly last week when Joel punched Ed at a school function because Julia was trying to calmly ask a very drunk Ed to leave her alone and he wouldn’t.  So Joel stepped in and not so calmly took care of it.  It led to a painful exchange where Joel asked Julia if they were having an affair and she said no.  Let’s discuss that for a minute.  Do you guys think what she had with Ed constituted as an affair?  I don’t and here’s why.  While I do believe you can have an affair that doesn’t have any physical component whatsoever, I don’t think that totally happened here.  Julia and Ed really started as just friends.  That’s all.  And becoming a good friend with someone of the opposite sex (or same-sex if you’re gay) does not automatically mean you are having an emotional affair.  Let’s clear that up.  But I do think that it was starting to cross a line and may have crossed (I’m taking before the kiss) that line but I think as soon as Julia started to realize what was going on, she stopped it.  Granted I wouldn’t have done it the way she did, going over to his house I think sends a confusing message, which resulted in a kiss, but I think her intention was to cut it off.  See to me, an affair is something you choose to do over a period of time even knowing what you are doing is wrong.  Whether it’s physical or not, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen over night.  It’s a long process with two willing participants.  Are there jerks who cheat for no reason?  Sure there are.  But I think there is a difference between cheating and an affair.  Cheating is solely physical.  An affair is emotional, physical, spiritual…it’s a complex issue signifying a greater problem in an established relationship.  I know it may sound like semantics and for some people whether you call it cheating or an affair it’s the same thing and I understand that.  But for me, I think it’s two different things.  In this case the Julia/Ed thing hasn’t been going on that long.  They were just friends at first.  I don’t think it was until the last month that Julia felt something more.  And while she liked being around someone she could talk to and someone who understood exactly what she was going through, once it started to become more and that Joel was making an effort at home, she decided this had to stop.  I also think she was confused and alone and made some very bad judgement calls that I’m sure she’d like to take back.  But I don’t think I’d call it a full-blown affair.  I think it was a friendship that started to turn deeper because of her lack of connection at home as when it did, she ended it.   She should have ended it without a kiss but once that happened, she completely blocked Ed from her life.  And to be fair, she wasn’t completely honest with Joel when she said Ed kissed her and there was nothing back from her.  I don’t think so girlfriend!  You kissed Ed right back for a little while so don’t pretend it was all him.  But hey, at least she told Joel the truth in that the kiss happened.

Joel and Julia have had many gut wrenching scenes this year but her telling Joel about how unhappy she’s been and what happened between her and Ed and how the friendship evolved, was so sad.  But the worst was when she told him about the kiss.  You can tell this was killing her because she knew she was going to break her husband’s heart.  She looked like she was going to vomit all over the table and I was right with her because I knew what was coming.  It was awful.  And then to see Joel and how crushed he was and then how angry he was…it was devastating.  And I don’t blame him.  For the hurt he’s feeling, for the anger he has towards Julia, if I were in his shoes, I’d be the same way.  I can only imagine that nothing can prepare you for hearing your spouse tell you they kissed another person.   So what happens now?  Julia wants to go to counseling and Joel has said he’s done and that their marriage isn’t worth saving.   Ouch.  I really believe at this point he’s just so hurt and angry (and rightfully so) that he doesn’t want any part of Julia or their life together, except for the kids. I have to believe (or maybe it’s my wishful thinking) that they will work this out.  It won’t be this season for sure.  But maybe next season by the end, they are working their way back to one another and they’ll be stronger for it.  Fingers crossed!

I have to say, the way the writers have handled this is brilliant.  It’s not your typical cheating, soap opera story line.   This is how it goes down in the real world.  And in the real world, good couples and good people make bad choices and then have to deal with the consequences.  Some work through it with a lot of hard work and dedication and find a way to rebuild their marriage.  Others, it’s too painful and too hard because the trust is broken and they just can’t get it back.  So they have to move on.  And that happens.  I just hope in the case of J&J, the former happens instead of the latter.  But I’m scared because Katims seems to be the kind of guy that wants to take a hard road in a story line if it makes sense.  He hasn’t yet.  When Crosby and Jasmine had their issues and broke up, they got back together (ugh.)   When Kristina had cancer, she beat it and survived.  When Amber spiraled out of control, an accident happened but not too bad she couldn’t recover.  Nothing catastrophic has happened…yet.   So why do I have a bad feeling and J&J might be the first big casualty of Parenthood?  I hope I’m wrong but I just have a bad feeling.

Max

The story lines that focus on Max’s Aspberger’s Syndrome (AS) are so hard for me because I don’t have a family member or friend with that condition and the last thing I want to do is to come off ignorant or insensitive.   But I do want to discuss the handling of Max from Adam and Kristina’s standpoint.   But it’s hard because I can’t figure out if how Adam and Kristina are handling the situation with Max, is the correct way or not.  I understand that when Max does something awful (like he did with Micah) it’s because he doesn’t understand the emotional impact of his actions.  But his parents do.  Is trying to fix it with tickets to basketball game really the answer?  Isn’t it better (although harder) to explain to Max that when he is so honest, he can then hurt someone’s feelings or offend them greatly because not everyone sees things the way Max does.  And as a result, he could lose friends.  I mean I don’t want the boy to be afraid to try to make a friend again, but can he intelligently understand that point?  I don’t know.   I’ve tried to find some forums and blogs of parents with Aspie kids who may watch Parenthood to see what their take is.   Mostly I find that these parents hate the show and think that what Adam and Kristina are doing with Max is wrong.  That wasn’t always the case, there were some sites where people were very positive on the show and EVERYONE raves about Max Burkholder’s portrayal.  The big issue is Adam and Kristina and quite frankly, that’s always been my question.  Not being a parent I can only assume that parenting a child with AS is much different from parenting a neurotypical (NT) child (a child without a form of autism.)   But, if you’ve read any of my other posts on Max, Adam, and Kristina, I always question just how forgiving parents of Aspie’s should be when it comes to behavior.  Because I don’t know.  I watch the things Max does and says and I wonder how Adam and Kristina allow him to behave that way.   Some I understand he can’t control but does that give Max the right to behave however he chooses?   According to some of these sites I’ve read, it doesn’t.

In the case of last week with Micah, Max told him basketball was stupid and that Micah was an idiot for wanting to play because he’s in a wheelchair so he can’t play.  Adam’s resolution was ok then apologize and invite him to a basketball game and it will all be ok.  What?   Is he kidding?   I understand he wants to protect his son.  I understand he doesn’t want to see Max lose his only friend.  I get that.  But like Kristina told him, they can’t always clean up his problems for him.  At some point he has to realize there are consequences to his behavior and I don’t think Adam and Kristina have always taught him that.   Adam has to realize that Micah, who is a NT, isn’t going to be willing to forgive someone who was so rude and offensive to him and that bribing him with tickets to a Warriors game, isn’t going to cut it.   But instead of teaching Max this lesson, he tries to just make it go away.   How is this good for Max?   How is this going to set him up in the future to be able to cope with more challenging circumstances…like if he has as job and says the wrong thing and gets fired.  Then what?  He won’t have the coping skills to work through it.

It’s also why I think this relationship with Hank has to stop.  I used to think it was good for Max and now I don’t think it is.   When Max was telling Hank about the situation with Micah, Hank agreed with Max.   That is not what Max needs to hear right now, especially not from an adult.  Max needs to understand that you cannot speak to people who way.  But Hank is basically telling him that he’s right and Micah’s wrong.  NOOOOOO!!   Not the message that should be sent!  But we’re starting to see Hank tangle with his own inner demons wondering if he’s a long-lost Aspie himself.   And with all due respect, while I think it would be fascinating to see an undiagnosed adult learn about having AS 40+ years later, I just don’t want to see it.  I don’t.  I don’t mind Hank as a fringe character but not as a character with his own story line.  I just don’t need that right now.  And Max doesn’t need Hank right now.   I think Adam and Kristina need to get Max back with a one on one counselor (like they had with Minka Kelly’s character) and get him back on the right track.    Because if things keep going this way, Max is going to be a very lonely person one day.  If Adam thinks his heart is breaking now, try watching your adult AS son that you didn’t help, that you didn’t give coping skills to, struggle in his adult life because you didn’t handle him in the way that was best for him because it was too hard for you.   That will be a tough pill to swallow.

Other Stories

In other news, Amber initially wants nothing to do with Ryan anymore and coldly (but understandably) shows him the door and asks him to go as fast as he can.  After Ryan and Zeek talk, Zeek goes to Amber and tells her that while she’s hurt, she does love him and should at least say good-bye to him.  Eventually Amber does just that and we have a very tearful good-bye to a character I liked very much.  He isn’t ready to be with Amber right now and this whole wedding thing was happening too fast.  But it sucks it had to end like that.  I guess it could have been worse.   Just please, please, PLEASE…don’t kill him over there.  I don’t think Amber could survive that.

Sarah got a job as a photographer with Surf Shop, or something like that, with a little help from hottie Dr. Carl and from the fact that Hank was so obnoxious in his interview that the contact for Surf Shop didn’t want to work with him.  Problem is, she has no equipment, studio, or experience.  So she goes to Hank for help and he’s a real douchbag about it.  He makes her admits she’s in over her head and makes her pay him 50/50 of the job.  I understand he doesn’t do charity work but you know what, you lost the job because of your attitude.   At least the person who got the job has a connection with you and has asked that you work together so you’ll be getting something instead of nothing for the gig.  Sarah hasn’t always been my favorite character because of her choices and the way she handles things drive me crazy, but she’s been much better this season and I think she’s really trying to make a career for herself.  So what that it’s a bigger job than she’s ready for and who cares how she got it.  She has a chance to prove herself and make a name for herself.   And Hank made her feel bad about it.  Screw you Hank.   If I were Sarah, I would have gone to another photographer and worked with them instead.  Or, spent some money and got the equipment and started studying hard to get as prepared as possible for the job.  Nothing beats experience but she doesn’t need Hank.

That’s pretty much the big stuff.  What are you thinking of Parenthood?  What do you think about this whole J&J story line?    What do you think about the way Adam and Kristina are handling Max?  Are you sad about Amber and Ryan?  Are you hoping Sarah succeeds?   Sound off below!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Let’s Be Mad Together” S5 E5

Parenthood is having another great season.  This is the type of show that can go for 10+ seasons because there is always something new and real going on with each of these families and I’m invested in all of them…even Zeke and Camille’s storyline is great.  So let’s jump in.

Kristina/Adam/Max

Max has really been flourishing working with Hank and learning how to become a photographer.  And as it turns out, he’s really good.   As it also turns out, not surprisingly, he’s not always appropriate when snapping photos of people.  Max is now on the yearbook staff and he’s role is to take pictures for the yearbook.   The problem is, Max doesn’t want to take traditional yearbook photos.  He wants to get real moments with real people.  And I can’t disagree with him.  And you can do that for the yearbook but maybe he could be a little more subtle.  And maybe he can pick better moments.  While the picture of the crying girl was a beautiful picture, it wasn’t appropriate because of the way he did it.   And she asked him not to do it and he kept doing it anyway.  This resulted in the parents calling the school and the head of the yearbook having to bring in Kristina and tell her that Max is being moved to layout.  It results in lots of back and forth over what’s right and wrong, feelings are hurt and it ends with Kristina telling Max he’s being moved to layout and that it sucks.

It’s always hard to comment on stories about Max and his behavior because I’ve never been around a kid with Asperger’s and it’s slightly unfair to make judgments and assessments without that knowledge.  And I certainly don’t want to be ignorant or disrespectful but I will try to comment without sounding like a jackass!   You all know how much I love Kristina and specifically Monica Potter.   But the one time Kristina gets under my skin is when it comes to Max, she thinks he should be able to do whatever he wants because of his condition regardless of how it impacts other people.   I think, she thinks, Max deserves exceptions and I take an exception with that.  Again, this comes down to me not understanding Asperger’s very well and as such, I don’t know what Max can and can’t control.  I don’t know how much leeway he should be afforded.   I know that Asperger’s kids have a hard time with social connections.  But from the little I do understand, they can read clues that can reveal how people around them are feeling.  Max knew this girl was crying and upset but that didn’t stop him from taking her picture even though she asked him not to.  So when he was moved to layout from photographer Kristina wasn’t happy and thought that because Max was so good he should get to be the photographer.  She even called in the principal to back her up regarding how good Max was on student council.   Unfortunately that backfired on her as well because the principal confirmed that Max was very hard to deal with and made the experience not as fun for the other students.  So he backed the yearbook supervisor and Max got demoted.

It has to be tough for the parents.  And I love Kristina for wanting to fight for her kid.   And she should.  But that doesn’t always make it right.  And I think part of it comes back on her.   She always fights so hard for Max to get to do what he wants to do, I’m not sure if he’s learning that whether he likes it or not or whether he thinks it’s fair or not, his actions have consequences.  He has to use what he’s been taught to assess situations to make better decisions.  It’s can’t always be that he gets to do what he wants when he wants.  Kristina was trying to explain this to him when Hank started butting in.  Hey Hank, mind your own business!  Let Kristina handle her son.  I think he gave her horrible advice because he told her how good he was and that’s what he should be doing.  All that did was fire up Kristina to keep pushing for Max and I don’t think this is a fight they should win…and they didn’t.  How about, no one said Max could stop taking pictures.  He just can’t take them for the yearbook any more.  Ok Hank, then you hire Max and you have him take pictures.   Find another way.   But Kristina likes to push the square peg in the round hole when it comes to Max, regardless of how it impacts everyone else.   Remember the vending machine?  Ugh.   But you can tell how hard this is on her.  You can tell that she hates if Max is negatively impacting other children’s experiences.   But I think it also kills her that Max can’t have those experiences the way other kids can.   So what’s the right answer?   I have no idea.  But in this instance, I think the school was right and Max will have to find another way to channel his new-found talent.

Joel/Julia

When did the second strongest couple on the show become the most fragile?  I know, I know it’s been happening for a little while now when they adopted Victor, Julia lost her job, Joel went back to work, Sydney and Victor aren’t always getting along, Victor is struggling in school, Julia is struggling to find her place again, Joel’s trying to re-enter the work force again.   Yep, it’s all building up.  And I think you see each person judging how the other person is handling their former role and it isn’t going over very well.

Joel does comment on the way Julia is handling the kids or he says nothing but has a tone and exasperated look on his face.  Julia meanwhile is trying to tell Joel how to stand up for himself and he’s not being strong enough with Pete and how she would see people like him get taken advantage of.    So neither one is really appearing to be there for the other.  And the thing I hate most about this, is that it’s all leading to either Joel or Julia cheating with Penny from Lost or Roy from The Office.  Or maybe they both cheat.  Although it would be an interesting story.  Not that I’m rooting for one or both of them to be unfaithful, but it would be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

I think they biggest problem is, they aren’t taking care of each other.  They are so worried about Victor and Sydney, about Joel getting this business off the ground, that neither of them is taking the time to talk about how all this is impacting them.  I think Julia is being so driven about helping Joel because she feels like she isn’t contributing anymore.  She had a major career at a law practice, on the partner track, and now she’s packing lunches and settling Windex fights, and it isn’t enough for her.   There are many people where being at a stay at home mom is completely rewarding and fulfilling…it’s one of the hardest jobs out there.   But for Julia, she needs more, and she isn’t wrong for feeling that way.    With Joel, he has the stress of this start-up company and being the only person bringing in a salary right now, I think he’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to make sure this works.  But instead of each of them putting the kids to bed, grabbing a glass of wine, and talking about this, they are keeping it bottled up and everyone once in a while, like last night, sometimes it spills over and out.  Eventually, it will just explode.   Explode meaning affair.   It’s coming people.  It’s just who’s it going to be and when.

Zeke/Camille

You all know I’ve never liked Zeke’s character.   But this season I’ve felt a little better about him (he’s been so great with Victor), except when it comes to Camille.   I think this is such a great storyline.  You have two people who have been together for a really long (I’m guessing at least 40 years) and now they are looking for their “Act 3.”   Actually Camille is looking at that and Zeke is perfectly happy living out his life doing what he’s doing in their home.   But that’s not enough for her.

I think the part that’s most upsetting to me is how disrespectful Zeke is to Camille.  Camille has brought up the idea that it might be a good idea to sell their huge house and downside and maybe take some trips together.  Zeke basically said no and walked away and wouldn’t talk about it.   Then he goes out and buys a car, without speaking with Camille, and the car needs to be completely rebuilt, it’s a year-long project, and it’s a complete slap in Camille’s face.   How can he do that to her?   How could he be so disrespectful of his wife’s feelings and so dismissive of her feelings?   My heart broke for her.   When she opened up to Julia about how she feels like she lost her voice in their marriage and she doesn’t know how to get it back…that was awful to me.

I’ve heard of people who have been married, 25, 30, 40 years getting divorced after all that time and I never understood why.   After seeing these last few weeks, now I get it.   Camille is still young and there is a lot she wants to see and do.  She should go do it.  If Zeke is going to be like this, then if I were her, I would plan a trip, pack a bag, and go without him.   Maybe take Sarah or Julia with you.   But I would go and leave him behind with his damn car.    I just don’t understand how he can hurt her like that.  And I’m sure it’s tough.  That’s his home and there are so many memories there.  I can understand not wanting to leave that.  But it will happen at some point.  Don’t you want it to be on your terms?   Maybe he doesn’t.  Maybe he wants to spend the rest of his life in the home where he and his wife built their family.  I completely understand that.  What I don’t understand is not telling your wife how you feel and not having a conversation with her about it and then slapping her in the face buying that car so it forces her hand.  Especially since it’s such a great project for Victor.  She’ll look like the bad guy and that’s not fair.   But I wonder if she leaves him.  Again, I think that would be another great storyline.

Sarah/Amber/Ryan

Not a whole lot going on here except that Amber is still mad at Sarah for not supporting her.  Ryan is mad with Amber for not cluing him in.  And Sarah is still walking around looking miserable.   Seriously, this woman needs some happy in her life.

I see both sides to this.  I can see Sarah being concerned for Amber.  And instead of being pissed at her, Amber should understand that her mom is only looking out for her.  Amber, historically, has not made the best decisions in her.  In some cases, they’ve almost been catastrophic decisions.  So for her to be so angry at her mother for wanting her to take a step back and really make sure this is what she wants to do, seems ridiculous to me.

On the flip side, one of Sarah’s concerns is Ryan’s lack of family and his zero desire to have any of them there.  How is that any of her business?  She can ask the question, but if Ryan says no and he has his reasons why, then respect that.  It doesn’t make him a bad guy.  It just makes him someone not close to his family.    Although the one thing I will say, I think Ryan should be more open with Amber about his family.  She is going to be his wife so I think she does have a right to know what’s going on.   So he should at least clue her in.   The fact that she didn’t know his father passed away, is a bit strange to me.   Sarah doesn’t need to know that, but Amber does.

Eventually, Ryan goes to see Sarah and gives her a brief history on his background….father is dead, mother remarried a guy 6 months later that beat the tar our of him while still grieving over the death of his father.   So he said good-bye to that abusive situation and started his life anew.  And he tells Sarah “not everyone has a family like yours.”  He’s right.  And I think that’s one thing the Bravermans don’t get is that they think they have this great family and either everyone wants to be a part of it or everyone else has the same type of family life.   No and no.  But I think this is the wake up call Sarah needed.  Although it appears next week she is still pushing Amber to cancel the wedding.

The Lunchonette

They are starting their new label with the douchbag lead singer of the band whose former label dropped them.   They were having creative differences but Crosby worked it all out and now they are good to go.   And that’s really it for that story.  Oh and Jasmine and Crosby are still crazy tired and worn out keeping up with their new baby girl.

What did you think of Parenthood this week?   What did you think about Max?   Was it completely unfair or justified?  What do you think will happen with Joel and Julia?   Camille and Zeke?   Let me know!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SEASON FINALE RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood “Because You’re My Sister” S4 E15

I hate that it’s Jan 25th and Parenthood is over for the season.  But I’ve said it before, I’d rather have a 15 episode season of Parenthood, than no season at all.  So if 15 is all I get and it keeps Parenthood on the air, so be it.  But I’d still rather have the full 22…it has to be said!

Adam and Kristina

It’s been a pretty emotional season.  Kristina’s cancer storyline has really dominated the tear factor, with a handful of other stories vying for their Kleenex moment, so you knew there was going to be a decision at the end of the season…was Kristina going to be in remission or was she going to die?   I’m not going to lie.  I was worried Katims was going to kill Kristina off.  Because the storytelling that would happen in the build up to her death and in the preceding episodes dealing with her passing would be so incredibly powerful and interesting, I thought Katims might go that route.  At this point, luckily, he has decided not to go in that direction.  Although I fear seeing her friend Gwen might have been a foreshadowing of things to come.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am by no means wishing for this to happen.  NO.  WAY.  I’m just putting on my forecasting hat and, as usual, reading too much into everything.

Kristina had one more scan to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread because something looked off in her test.  But the doctor was just being cautious thinking it was probably just her body reacting to all the treatment.  Turns out that exactly what it was!    Yeah!!!  Now he did warn her that she can’t use the “C” word (cured) for 5 years but at this point, she is cancer free!!!

I’m so happy for her and for Adam.  This whole storyline was told so beautifully.  It showed how scary and lonely it can be for a cancer patient.  But it also showed how difficult it is on the spouse.  And it showed that both sides can be flawed in their actions.  There were times Adam was trying to be supportive but in his quest to support (like with bought Kristina the trip to Hawaii to celebrate her clean health), it pushed negative buttons in Kristina.  Likewise, when Adam was doing his best to be supportive (like when he bought Kristina the wig) Kristina really overreacted to what her husband’s intentions were.  Showing the side of the cancer patient in a supportive light is a dangerous and tricky storyline to go down.  You never want to show a patient unfavorably because of what they are going through but if you are going to show this as real as possible, then you have to cross that line.  But Katims did it so well that it was never disrespectful or insensitive.   But it was a perfect ending to a very well told story from start to finish.

Joel and Julia

Speaking of a well told story, this story had some mixed emotions over the course of the season.  I didn’t have as much of a problem as some people did…until the last two episodes.   Now I am going to chalk up the fast turn around to only have 15 episodes to work with and wanting to wrap this story up on a happy note this season and not drag it out into the next one.  But is that the fastest turn around you have ever seen in a kid?  He went from being really nasty and mean to Julia and Sydney to now begging Julia to adopt him and asking Sydney to show up at his adoption ceremony because she’s his sister.  This from the kid that just 2/3 weeks earlier was saying Julia wasn’t his real mother.  It didn’t make sense to me.  And there seemed to be no explanation as to what caused him to have this major change of heart.  That’s the only part that really disappointed me.  But my assumption is that Katims really wanted the adoption to happen in the finale and there was only so much time between certain episodes to make that happen.

Other than that, the adoption was wonderful and classic Braverman.  Of course the ENTIRE family would be there to support J&J.   And I LOVED how each one of them stepped up to say how they now related to Victor and how there certain areas in life where he should reach out to them for advise.  (Oh and really Sarah, YOU’RE going to suggest relationships for your area of expertise.   Ugh.)   But the best part was at the end of the scene when they were running out and Victor said to Julia “Mom can we get ice cream?”   The look on her face when he called her mom was priceless.  I love it.

Crosby & Jasmine

I still don’t agree with Jasmine on how her mom should have been handled.  Are there some sensitivities to the situation that should be respected because of who Renee is and what she has been to Jabbar?  Absolutely.  Does that give her the right to tell Crosby and Jasmine how to parent their son?  No.  And Crosby had every right to be upset with Renee interfering with their way of raising Jabbar.  Renee wasn’t happy with their routine (Crosby getting in late and having dinner as a family when he got home.)  so she just changed it.  That isn’t right and Jasmine should have put her foot down more.  She was just as much to blame in this for putting Crosby in the position of having to be the heavy and that’s why it became worse than it needed to be…because she didn’t have his back, even though she agreed with him.  Ironically, I think Renee was right that Jabbar shouldn’t be eating dinner at 8:00pm during the week.  That should be closer to a bedtime than mealtime.  But you know what, it doesn’t matter what I think or she thinks.  The only thing that matters is what his parents think because it’s their decision.  And quite frankly, I think it’s nice that they try to do what they can to have dinner as a family, no matter what time it is.   But because Jasmine didn’t have the guts to have an honest, but respectful conversation with her mother, the situation and the tension built up and exploded when it didn’t need to and Renee’s feelings were hurt.  And somehow Crosby had to apologize, which was wrong.  If anything, Jasmine should be apologizing to Crosby and her mother, because this whole thing is her fault.

I forgave Jasmine very quickly though because I LOVE the way she told Crosby she was pregnant.  Even more, I love the fact that they went to see Renee and let her be the first one they told.  And the way Crosby told her was so sweet and adorable, it just melted my heart.  So it looks like all if forgiven and another happy ending for another Braverman sibling.

Sarah/Hank/Mark

Thankfully, this storyline is over.  Sarah finally made up her mind and decided to give it a go with Hank only to have her heart-broken by him when he told her he was closing the shop and moving to Minnesota to be with his daughter.  I have to say, I can’t blame him.  But he did tell Sarah that he loved her and wants her to move with him to snowy, icy, Minneapolis.  I say, go.  I’ve said this before, I love Lauren Graham, I don’t like her character.  Sarah isn’t bringing a whole lot to the table and her stories, quite frankly, haven’t been that interesting.  So I wouldn’t mind seeing her haul off and follow Hank to Minnesota.  But that won’t happen because LG isn’t going anywhere.  I also had a MAJOR problem with how she told Mark.  Are you kidding me? You walk into his classroom and stiffer than a board, tell him you’re going to make a go of it with Hank and good-bye.  Could she have been more cold?  For God sake he was her fiance.  Didn’t he deserve a little more warmth and respect than what she gave him?   Take him for coffee, take him for a beer.  But don’t do it at work and don’t be so cold and unfeeling that we’re wondering how you two were ever together in the first place.  I assume  she was trying to play it as awkward, which I’m sure it was.  But it came off as bitter and rude, than awkward.

Amber/Drew

A quick note on these two.  I’m glad Drew got to wrap up his story with Amy and we got to see her one more time and they were able to resolve their break up in a satisfying way.  What they went through was so hard and difficult for teenagers.  For anyone really but especially teenagers.   I’m also thrilled to see his moment of joy learning he got into Berkley, after all the sadness he’s had the last few weeks.  The only thing that was disappointing is that there is still no fallout from his moment with Sarah when he fell into her arms crying after it happened.  Does she know?  Did he tell her?   We still don’t know.  My assumption is that he did because when she was congratulating him on getting into Berkley, she told him “I told you everything would be ok.”  Now was that the gentle nod to let us know that she knew?  I’m still not 100% sure.   Either way, I’m happy for Drew and I’m very excited for him.   I’m going to say something cooky, crazy now.   Is it possible Amy didn’t go through with it and is still pregnant and that we’ll see her two seasons from now where Drew bumps into her with a kid in a stroller?   I’m just, throwing it out there.  My guess is no, but you know how my mind works!

Amber and Ryan are back together…yeah!!  As they should be.  I love this relationship and it’s so nice to see how far Amber has come from when we first met her and how mature she is being.  She is getting her life together and she is being very responsible and respectful to herself and Ryan in regards to making this relationship work the right way.  The chemistry between Whitman and Lauria is incredible so I hope Ryan will be a permanent fixture on the show moving forward.

So that’s season 4 of Parenthood.  Did you love this season?  Are you sad it’s over so soon?  I hope NBC does the right thing and brings it back.  I think they will.

 
 

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NEW PODCAST: Episode 34 Covers Scandal, Homeland, and Parenthood

While this may be one of the longest podcasts I’ve recorded, it only covers three shows:

  • Scandal
  • Homeland
  • Parenthood

Fortunately and unfortunately, there was so much to talk about with each show that I couldn’t go past three!   But I’m hoping to squeeze another one out sooner than later so we can get to some other shows.

Click here for the link or head to iTunes and download.  And if you like, leave me a nice review!  And if you don’t, you know what they say…if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your trap shut!  🙂

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Podcast

 

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QUICK REVIEWS: Parenthood

I really thought I was going to get through an episode without a tear shed.  Then the scene with Camille and Kristina happened where she gave her the sweater that was worn by 7 other cancer survivors curing Chemo.  Earlier there was a scene where Camille walked in and heard the tail end of Kristina’s conversation with her mother where her mother just told her she couldn’t come see her because someone else in her family had kidney stones.  So later when Camille showed up with the sweater she tells Kristina’s that she isn’t her mother and would never try to take her mother’s place but that she loves her so much and would always be there for her no matter what.  Are you kidding me?  I was a mess!!!  I love Camille and I love when the writers give Bonnie Bedelia these chances to shine.  It’s what Parenthood is so good at.  It was such a simple scene but it was so moving and beautiful and it was exactly what Kristina needed to hear.  I loved it.

I love Amber and Ryan.  Zeek and Sarah better not find a way to screw this up.  I’m getting a bit concerned since Sarah asked Zeek what he thought of Ryan and he told her that he’s a great kid but vets coming back from war have major struggles ahead of them.  The look on Sarah’s face scared me a little.  I hope it’s just a mother concerned for her daughter in not wanting her to get hurt than the “Oh My God I have to break them up because Amber deserves better” face.  I hope Zeek doesn’t go to Ryan and tell him he shouldn’t be in a relationship until he gets some direction and tells him to break up with Amber.  I want Zeek and Sarah to respect that Amber in now an adult capable of making her own decisions, as is Ryan, and that if they want to give this a shot…LET THEM.  If it doesn’t work out, fine, but let them make the decision for themselves.  I will be beyond pissed if Sarah and Zeek find a way to screw this up.

I love the effort Julia is making to make Victor feel more at home.  From going to get his friend Miguel to learning Spanish, she rocks.  And it didn’t go unnoticed by Victor who is old enough to understand what Julia is doing when he came downstairs and heard her practicing Spanish.  Between what Julia did for him at school and getting Miguel to come over and learning Spanish, I think Victor and Julia are going to have an amazing bond.

Parenthood people.  Time to get on board!

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in NBC, Quick Reviews/Recaps

 

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RECAP & REVIEW: Parenthood

I think the people from Kleenex and Johnson and Johnson should give the producers of Parenthood a nice portion of their incremental profits from this year due to all the tissues and Tylenol I’ve been using during each episode.  I don’t know if I can take much more.  Oh who am I kidding….of course I can!!!!!

This season is really defined by Kristina’s cancer storyline and I couldn’t be happier with putting Monica Potter front and center.  Maybe now she’ll get some Emmy love.  Wait who am I kidding, she’s not on Modern Family.  Anyhoo, last week Kristina went in for her surgery only to find out that while the cancerous lump was removed successfully, the doctor still had some bad news.  The cancer found was a more aggressive form than previously thought and one of her lymph nodes also had cancer in it.  So Kristina is still up for quite a battle.

There has been a lot of discussion out there about how Adam and Kristina handled telling Haddie.  I’m torn on this one.  On one hand, how do you lie to your daughter about something so serious?  I know they don’t want her to worry, I know they want her to go to school.  But come on.  She’s an adult.  You can’t expect your daughter to act like an adult and then you treat her like a child when it really counts.  On the other hand, if that’s how Kristina wants to handle it, that’s her right.  And if they want to insist their daughter go to school that they are paying for, they have that right.   I have to imagine if things got really bad, they would tell Haddie to come home right away.  But if I had to pick one side or the other, I would have to go with they made a mistake and should have told Haddie.  What’s delaying college one semester or even a year if it means being around your mom and family if, God forbid, something happens to her.

As weird as this sounds, I love to see how this has impacted the extended Braverman family…more so Amber and Crosby.  I never really thought of Amber and Kristina as close.  But then I remembered her working for Kristina and all the times Amber was there for Max and I realized that they are pretty close.  It was painful to watch Amber on her first date with Ryan not be able to hold it together as she was thinking about her aunt.  (More on Amber and Ryan in a bit.)   But what really struck me was Crosby’s response.  Crosby and Kristina, to be kind, haven’t always seen eye to eye and gotten along.  In fact, there were times they down right disliked each other.  But Crosby was one of the first people to jump at the chance to help.  Even though in typical Crosby fashion, it had to be all about him.  When he asked Adam for something to do to help, Crosby didn’t like the task Adam gave him and wanted something more important to do.  Finally after whining for a while, Adam gave him the responsibility of getting Kristina her last meal before the surgery…which she had to eat by a certain time.  I really thought Crosby was going to be late and miss the food cut-off time but he showed up just in time and Kristina was really very sweet about it.  But the sweetest part was when Crosby hugged her, he couldn’t let go of her.  Oh, it was so touching!

I wonder where this storyline is going to go this season.  Do you think the writers would actually go down the path of killing Kristina?  Most people say no, but I don’t know.  This show has always done what’s in the best interest of the story and I think it would be an amazing story to see what would happen after losing Kristina. Not that I want ANYTHING to happen to Kristina because I would be devastated if Monica Potter was no longer on Parenthood anymore.   But you know what?  I’m not ruling it out as a real possibility!

Can I just say that Sarah’s character is really annoying the crap out of me this season?  I hate to say that because I LOOOOOOOOOVE Lauren Graham.  But I just want to drop Sarah off the side of a cliff.  What a terrible parent she is sometimes.  I really don’t understand how anyone with any morsel of a brain cell would think moving in with Mark after what happened with Hank was a good idea.  AND, not only do you rush this moving in thing, you do it with your 17-year-old son and without thinking a lick of how it would impact him.  Actually, she had already thought about how it would impact Drew and she knew it would be bad.  That’s why she originally told Mark she didn’t want to move forward with anything until after Drew graduated.  So much for that.  All because of one kiss.  If that doesn’t send off warning signs and alarms, I don’t know what will.  But Lord is she driving me crazy.

I’m going to go on record right now and say that I am 100% fully on the Amber/Ryan band wagon.  I love this storyline with her.  Amber has always had MISERABLE luck with men.  And now we know why…because Matt Lauria (Ryan) had to come along with his amazing smile and looks and sweep her off my feet….oops, I mean her feet.  Amber really deserves a good guy and a good heart and even though there’s a big back story with Ryan (I think) and more layers of him to peel back, I think he’s going to be a keeper for Amber!!!

The only thing I ask the writers…please give us a little more Julia and Joel?  This is shaping up to be a really fascinating storyline and I want it to be given the respect it deserves.  So please, more J&J and less Sarah and her insanity.   Thank you!

So what are your thoughts on Parenthood so far.  And where do you think this storyline with Kristina will end up?

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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