April 7th, 2010
09:27 AM ET

TV Recap: Telling secrets on 'Parenthood'

This seemed to be the night for telling secrets on “Parenthood.” Little secrets husbands and wives keep from each other, big ones that kids are afraid to tell their parents. Nothing out of the bounds of reality that some late night dramas tend to resort to, but I think they’re just as interesting - and much more relate-able. I’m hoping the ratings hold up and the show is picked up for another season.

Kristina and Adam are um, finishing up. He seems a lot more enthused about the morning encounter than she is. She’s clearly (to us, anyway) concerned about the kids. Haddie isn’t studying, and they’re meeting Max’s behavior specialist later.

Gabby the specialist arrives, and asks questions about Max’s behaviors and what Adam and Kristina would change if they could. I thought maybe they’d be better now that they know what is going on with Max and they’ve got him in a new school.

But Kristina feels like a failure after Gabby gets Max to do things she couldn’t. She later tells Gabby how much she worries about Max and Haddie. She lets it slip how much the worrying affects her sex life with Adam. Apparently she has occasionally faked it, which leads to an awkward conversation between Kristina and Adam. And then he has a really awkward conversation with his sister Sarah about why women fake it.

Overall I think this show has been realistic, but that is a conversation I have not ever had, nor will ever have, with my brother. Ever. But I digress. Another thing I love about this show and these actors is that there haven’t been long over-acted speeches, explaining how they feel about things. I can look at Kristina and tell how she feels, watching a stranger have more luck getting her son to complete tasks she couldn’t.

Crosby gets the DNA test back, and it confirms Jabbar is his kid. He tries to convince Julia to go with him to tell their parents, but she tells him to grow up and do it himself.

He does make a half-hearted attempt, but Camille and Zeke tease him about the “something important” he has to tell them, assuming he’s talking about another new girlfriend. He finally does tell them, in a funny scene where he scares his parents talking about how he’s making plans for the future.

At the playgroup, Crosby notices how much Zen mom Raquel appreciates brother-in-law Joel. He goes to talk to Julia about the afternoon and Julia figures there’s more than stay-at-home parent bonding going on. Later at home, Joel admits Raquel more than appreciated him.

I knew that chick was trouble; Zen mom tried to put a little emphasis on the “date” part of a play date. Joel says Raquel tried to kiss him and he shut her down, but didn’t tell Julia. Julia insists he shut her out of their lives, even though their kids are best friends. Later at another play group gathering, Julia sees the little girls together and thinks better of cutting her daughter off from her best buddy.

That seems much too easy. I wouldn’t be forgiving about it. The kids could play together, but Zen mom would have to back up off my husband. What do you think? Would you insist on distance between your spouse and a too touchy-feely parent even if it meant your kid could spend less time with a friend?

Do you think the show is good as is, or does it need a little melodrama to make it more interesting? Let us know what you think!

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. DiGits

    I saw this show advertised but missed the first four of five episodes. I found them online and have been a fan ever since. The situations are so real and not contrived like some other family shows, I really hope they can keep it going. Finally..a decent show that isn't cops and lawyers!

    April 11, 2010 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Crystal

    Thanks for making Parenthood available online. Missed the last episode, but the trailers were hilarious. Will try to catch up. NBC, please, please, please keep this refreshing show.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Julie

    Awesome show! I agree with everyone who posted before me. Big Peter Krause and Lauren Graham fan - they are fantastic as always. And I truly enjoy watching the rest of the Bravermans, too. Whoever cast the family was right on. Craig Nelson plays a wonderful dad/granddad; tis refreshing to see him again (my last experience with him being "Coach"). And though I can't quite remember where I've seen Julia and Kristina before, they are excellent as well. And who couldn't love Crosby! His character has so amazingly grown already just in these first episodes. Anyway, I could babble further, but I won't. Instead I'm headed over to http://www.eonline.com to place my vote for another season. Good luck, Parenthood!!

    April 8, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. donna

    I love this show!!!!! I am 65 and I think this is the BEST show I have seen on TV for years.

    April 8, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. LizaJane

    Berkeley is in Alameda County, not Marin County as the school buses had written on the side. Plus no schoold buses go to Berkeley High!

    April 7, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maddy

    I absolutely love this show. I feel like I've known the Braverman family for years. The characters and relationships are so well established after so few episodes that it's thrilling to wonder how much better it will keep getting. Lauren Graham is my favorite part of the show- she enhances every scene she is in and for me is the reason I began watching in the first place. She and Mae Whitman are incredibly believable as mother and daughter, especially in the way Whitman's character often resembles Graham's character in personality when she's in her own scenes. All the actors are terrific though and I already feel so invested in all of their characters' lives. It's my favorite show in a long time and I would be devastated if it doesn't get picked up for next season.

    April 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elizabeth

    I really enjoy this show.
    I do have a son with Asperger's and I know it has had a HUGE impact on our family, my marriage, neighbors and friendships....and frantic laundry sessions to get that special item clean....
    I have siblings and while we sure don't live this close to each other we have our own interesting dynamics.

    April 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Ringling

      I, too, have a child with Asperger's. Someone on the show (producer, writer, director) must also have an "Aspie" child because the depiction of Max is spot on. Even the books the Braverman parents read about Asperger's are real books read by parents like me. It's so nice not to feel alone with this issue. Like my child, Max is a great child who will always be quirky but who, with his many talents, may someday find a cure for cancer!

      October 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kim

    Wow I love this show. I can't wait for Tuesday night because it a wonderful show. Every character is well done. I think Julia needs to tell Raquel right where to go! I hope this show lasts because it is something new. Way to go Ron Howard!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cf

    I loved the movie! The TV show is fantastic and does not disappoint. I have tears and smiles every week and can hardly wait for the next episode! We are experiencing a varied look at real people and the families we live with or know! Love it!

    April 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Justin

    Great show...because of the acting and the MUSIC! SCORE! I've seen many great shows get cancelled by NBC over the last 2 years.. fingers crossed that it survives.

    April 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KC

    Excellent show – characters are engaging and relatable while the writing is thoughtful and grounded in reality. Conversations between the siblings are eerily realistic and the individual personalities of each of them feel genuine. The teenagers act and talk like real teenagers. The parents act like real parents. The portrayal of Max's Asperger Syndrome is not overplayed or melodramatic, but just right. I have not seen an episode I didn't thoroughly enjoy. There have been few network shows (Thirtysomething, The West Wing, Battlestar Gallactica come to mind) that possess the rare combination of attributes found in Parenthood. The brass at NBC has spent the past year making huge mistakes; let's hope they learned a lesson and in doing so, renew this wonderful show.

    April 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jane

    This is a really good show, I liked the movie Parent hood as well. I feel it is the most realistic show that most people can relate too.

    April 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kristy

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Raquel makes me SO angry! I agreed with Julia's initial reaction that this woman needed to be kicked to the curb. If anything, she should've taken her aside and told her to back off – "I'm on to you lady, so stop coming on to my husband. Marriages are hard enough (obviously you know that) without us women making it harder on each other."

    April 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Betty

    I love this show. I have watched it from the beginning. It is a show that we discuss at work the next day because we can relate. Thank you – please keep it.

    April 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marsha H

    This show reminds me a little of 30 something years ago.
    As for Zens Mom hitting on Joel,. it ain't Joel that needs the talking to,
    or the kids not getting to be friends.. It is Julia talking to Zen's Mom and give her a boundary lesson.

    April 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jim

    This is an amazing show. I love the family get togethers and the conversations all occurring at once over each other, exactly the way families do at large gatherings. The interplay between the characters is brilliant as is the acting...so much conveyed just in facial expressions. This is a perfect show!

    April 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  17. madonna

    I started watching this show because I admire Ron Howard's work. I had high hopes for the series. I am NOT disappointed. This show is wonderful. The emotions and struggles are right on. The range of ages of the children being raised, and the differences in the parenting skills covers so many aspects of every parent's experiences.

    Not a reality show. Not a cop show. Not a T&A show. Hmmmm. Go figure. How did Opie do it this time?

    April 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Palm Beach Parent

    I love this show! This is a reality show!! I can relate in different ways to all of the characters. They need to keep this show on and make more like it!

    April 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Dianna

    My husband and I both love this show. We have raised 3 children and have 5 grandchildren and in my opinion the dynamics of this family is right on. From my observations of real life, each sibling has its own unique personality just like this show portrays. It will be a real shame if this show doesn't continue. There are so many more family experiences to be told.

    Each character and situation in the show seems to be right on. The acting seems right on for every one of the characters, not off the wall drama that gives the watchers a healthier outlook about real life experiences. I think this show is refreshing and wholesome. We need so much more of this in our life!


    April 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Molly

    I started watching the show because I love Peter but now I'm hooked for all the other reasons: great acting, true life writing, and super story lines. This one of very few shows where you can really relate to it.

    Don't cancel this one!! I've voted at eonline.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  21. NorthernLad

    Fantastic show!

    Family dynamic is perfect blend of comedy mixed with heartfelt (but not overdone) moments. Finally something any family can relate to!

    I'm hoping so badly they keep this show! It's a shining star among all the crap reality TV, tedious sitcoms and re-runs of law and order! Less we forget the talk-show debacles!

    Keep this great show GOING!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  22. lynerin

    This show is my guilty pleasure... My son can't figure out why I like to watch it, but the characters are so compelling and their stories all hold together even though they jump between actors every five minutes. The writing is good and these people really remind you of yourself or of people you have known. Also, I was born and raised in Berkeley, so I identify with the show, even though virtually none of it is actually filmed in Berkeley (it looks a lot more like Marin County!). But the references to things like the merry-go-round in Tilden Park and San Pablo Avenue have been fun for me.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Cara

    Fantastic show!!! My favorite currently airing. I love how they handled Crosby telling his parents about Jabbar. The writing and acting in this show is spectacular – a winner hands down. I really want a second season, NBC, please!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mimi

    My NEW favorite show. The family dynamic is on point. They may have their differnces but they always come together in the end.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  25. micha

    I love this show. great writing. This could actually be a family I know.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Paula

    I watched the first episode thinking it would be the last, but I watched a second week and was hooked! I LOVE this show!! It gives me a "warm-fuzzy" of real life in a big family – well most of the time... The discussion about faking it in last nights episode was funny, but not something that I could imagine would happen in real life. I hope it gets picked-up for another season!!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mark B

    The writing and acting are both First class !!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Jax

    This is a fairly good show and I hope NBC gives it time (longer than 6 episodes) to simmer and prosper. Do me a favor and don't let Any of the married guys on the show, all of a sudden start having affairs on the side. We already know what happens in real life (Tiger and Jesse James are more than enough examples). Work it out and make it happen.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Maria

    Best show on TV right now. It will be a travesty if it's not picked up for 20 more seasons!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  30. liz

    I love love love this show! Im praying it stays on for a long time, cause i HATE investing in show characters only to have them leave me! every single person in this show has already shown how good they are in other shows, except maybe Crosby..he's kind of the exception to my enthusiasm..but, hope springs eternal..Monica Potter always reminds me of Julia Roberts! same voice! has anyone ever noticed that? this is the kind of family we all wish we'd come from, or were able to create for outselves! please please network, dont cancel this show!!!!!! I wondered about how the parents sort of kowtow to Max, if this is how it really is, and I do think the teenager girls are pretty snotty, and their parents seem a little afraid of them...but maybe thats how it is these days... I would watch Lauren Graham read a phone book, thats how much I like her, and how cool she is...I saw her as a guest on Rosie O'donnell a few times, and she's actualy as funny as her lines are! I wish she was my bff, & thats saying something! lol

    April 7, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  31. Skyler

    I love this show so much, This is the only show that I look forward to each week. I hope it gets renewed for another season. I love the story lines because it is so real. I love the closeness of this family. I agree with Jessica re zen woman and Harmony. No way I am going to let my daughter get used to be some girl's 'maid' all the time. It doesn't matter that my daughter doesn't want to be princess. I will gradually help her to like being a leader as we go along. Julia is right about her daughter making new friends eventually. Children adjust easily. To have a big brother like Adam is a gift from God!

    April 7, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  32. Terri

    I love this show. I agree that the acting is fantastic between Peter Krause and Lauren Graham. The way the show emphasizes the insecurties that every parent has is right-on. You also can read so much into Monica Potter's expressions. I hope the show comes back next year.

    April 7, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  33. Eric

    I have loved every episode of this show!!! Parenthood is an excellent show!!! I too would love for it to come back next season, it's not very often a good show comes along and sticks around. Those also interested in seeing this show stick around need to head over to EONLINE.COM and vote in the "Save One Show" poll. Parenthood is one of the shows on the poll, so go VOTE for it!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  34. Bette

    I love the family dynamic on this show and I really love Lauren Graham! It's the only show I stay up until 10 for during the week.

    April 7, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jessica

    I loved this episode as usual. It's good every week.

    I found the scenes between Kristina and Gabby to be so emotional. I have a special needs child; my daughter is almost 15-months and has yet to crawl or walk, and has been diagnosed with low-muscle tone. I could empathize with Kristina's emotions and her worries that if only she'd done something different her child would be different. I know that feeling and it brought tears to my eyes to see Kristina struggle with seeing Gabby work so easily with Max.

    And I can understand how worrying can permeate other areas of your life and affect other members of the family.

    I thought it was a great thing for Crosby to introduce Jabbar to his parents. They're intimidating in every sense of the word. And, maybe it's just me, but I felt like his parents paused as they were walking up to the two of them, and I thought it was because they saw for the first time that Jabbar was half-black. But then once Jabbar smiled they could see their son in him. And I thought it was so emotional and sweet when Jabbar was riding the bike and the little license plate said "Bickerman".

    And I felt very strongly about the whole Julia/Joel vs. Zen lady issue. I couldn't be the bigger person about it. Definitely not. I would confront the woman, I would state very clearly she would not be around my family anymore, and our two daughters would not be hanging out together anymore. I'm sorry. I agree with Julia when she said her daughter is five years old and she'll make new friends. Harmony isn't even a nice little girl! I think she's a bad influence on their daughter; always ordering her around, etc. Always acts so superior to their daughter. And, I think, that if they keep Zen woman and her daughter in their lives it will only spell trouble. Julia trusts Joel, she doesn't trust Raquel. And she can't be trusted. Even after she attempted to kiss Joel (supposedly months ago) she's still all inappropriately touchy-feely with him at play dates, etc. No. No way. Julia's first instincts were right.

    Again, I just love this show! It's pitch perfect!

    April 7, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  36. Tracey

    I just watched this show for the first time last night and loved it! I am going to have to go online and try to find episodes to catch up. It is definitely going to become part of my Tuesday night tv!

    April 7, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  37. annie

    I also love and look forward to the ending of every episode. The family is always together . . . bonding. The four siblings are so close. They almost finish each other thoughts/sentences. Love the cast. Crosy's my favorite tho I am a huge (Lauren Graham) Gilmore Girls fan. Wouldn't change a thing.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  38. Austin

    Any parent who has ever had a child as challenging(or close to it) as Max can relate to how Kristina was handling the fact that the therapist was getting Max to do things she couldn't. Parenthood is sooooo challenging in and of itself and oftentimes we are too close to our kids to be effective...and we worry, which sometimes overpowers us and makes us unable to act or think about the best way to handle a situation. We want our kids to be happy and to succeed and when it seems to us that they're not either of those things it is gut wrenching. Kristina's reaction and emotion was so real, it made tears come to my eyes – I've been there and it was genuine. Kudos to the show – every parent can relate to at least ONE of these characters. Keep it going!!

    April 7, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  39. Anita

    I do hope this show makes the list for next season. I do enjoy watching it. Zen mom would have to spend some time with me and not my husband. The relationship she has with "rockstar" Joel is a recipe for disaster!

    April 7, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  40. liz

    I love this show, I actually stay up to watch, whereas with other shows, I'm content to catch it later online. I loved when Zeke and Camille met Jabbar, it was extremely understated, but still played just right. And i agree, I would let my kid play with her bff but I wouldn't let zen mom hang around my husband. The woman has no boundaries and it's obvious she doesn't respect Julia

    April 7, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  41. JaneyW

    I love this show – the acting is fantastic (the scenes with Peter Krause and Lauren Graham are so spot on – it feels like they are really related), the stories are believable and they feel at so many times like a family. I have high hopes for this show.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |

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