April 21st, 2010
10:23 AM ET

TV recap: 'Parenthood' isn't easy

Before I get started, there's good news for those of us who love this show:  NBC is picking it up for a second season! No details yet on how many episodes, but considering the show hadn't been considered a lock until now it's great news.

This was not a happy, fun episode.  That’s not to say it wasn’t good one, it just had fewer laughs than previous shows. What there was more of was Zeke and Camille Braverman (Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia).

Until now we’ve gotten glimpses of the oldest Braverman couple, and hints there’s something going on with them.  We did’t get all the answers in this one, but we did get to see more of what the couple is like on their own.

First, we see Zeke getting more involved in granddaughter Amber’s situation.  She’s still acting out, acting up, whatever you want to call it.  Sarah catches Amber in the shower with her boyfriend, Damien the demon seed.  Sarah tries to apologize for going out with the English teacher.

She tries to explain how she moved them out of Fresno to get her in a better place.  She says she doesn’t want Amber to make the same mistakes she made.  In a heartbreaking admission, poor Amber says every time she hears that, all she hears is that her existence is a mistake.

While that’s going on, Zeke goes out to talk to (ok, threaten) the boyfriend, who for some crazy reason is still parked outside the house.  Zeke is calmly telling him to leave, not come back or else.  The kid is a piece of work.  He blathers about being a student of philosophy, live and let live.  Zeke responds with the line of the week: “I am an irrational hard-a** with rage issues. Don’t piss me off.”

Amber finally does send the boyfriend back to Fresno.  While they’re out on a date, she starts to see maybe he’s not everything she thought he was, including smart.

Crosby and Jasmine are trying to plan Jabbar’s party together.  She’s still copping a major ‘tude.  She hadn’t planned on inviting any of Crosby’s family.  He finally calls her on not telling him about Jabbar, then complaining he wasn’t there for her.

She admits she let her family think Crosby blew off his kid.  Just unbelievable.  First she keeps the guy from his kid, then she lets her family think it’s all his fault.  At the party they all give him the cold shoulder, and that’s putting it nicely.  Jasmine’s brother goes off on Crosby and to Crosby’s credit, he doesn’t tell Jasmine’s secret.  Once Zeke and Jasmine’s mother (Tina Lifford, who is great in everything she’s in) chime in, Jasmine finally fesses up.  They might be on their way to a better, grown-up relationship.

Julia and Joel go to see Sydney’s teacher who tells them their little girl has been fixated on a ball she made from rubber bands.  When they get home, she talks about how she’s counted up all the rubber bands and the colors, and it scares Julia.  She thinks maybe Sydney has Asperger’s like Max.

Julia goes to ask her sister-in-law what signs she saw in Max.  Kristina refers her to Max’s doctor but admits to Adam later she was happy to think Sydney was the same as Max.  Neither one of them likes to think of Max, or themselves, isolated from the family.

It turns out Sydney doesn’t have a disorder, she’s gifted and bored.  You can almost feel how relieved Julia and Joel are to hear that.  You also know how hard it is for her to tell Kristina that Sydney is fine.

I’m still loving this show, probably more now after seeing how they handle serious issues without resorting to jokes.  What do you think?  Do you like the show more drama-heavy or comedy-heavy?  Let us know what you think!

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. greyfam

    I just love this show - it really hits the nail on the head when it comes to parenthood - both the joy and the frustrations. It's been a long time since I found myself looking forward to a certain show every week. This is one of them!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cande

    I just loved a couple of scenes on this episode... Sarah and her mom, Sarah and Amber when she gives her the cake, and Crosby getting teary at the video

    April 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. darcy

    This is a wonderful family show and I couldn't be happier that they are coming back next season! I am a working mom and I love both Lauren Graham's character and Julia's character. I love the struggle between working and being with your family like Julia and Sydney. Sydney is way too cute and I love Lauren Graham's daughter too because she is so complex. Can't wait for more!

    April 23, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. anon

    i heard, and i may be wrong, that Friday Night Lights was canceled, but picked up by HBO / Showtime?? or some premier networking like that, and they will reair the episodes later? i might be wrong on that but that was the last i heard. it was a really strange situation, but my husband and i were excited to hear that it'll at LEAST be SOMEWHERE and we can just the get season on DVD later!

    and for Parenthood, we both LOVE this show! we are much younger than any of the ones in the show, but its amazing that once you have a kid you can relate! and everyone has a little bit of us. i think as parents it unites you no matter how old you are, how many kids you have, race, gender, anything. you have a common bond. and you see yourself in ALL of these parents.. and if you have a big family then you can more identify with this series.

    I think this is a wonderful show that so many people can relate to on some level, be it because you are parents, or kids that can identify with those struggles. i would love for this show to stay around for a long time!!!

    April 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BarbJ

    a second season for this wonderful program...good for you NBC; nice to see you make a good decision! and speaking of Friday Night Lights...where is it? or have I been missing it? 2 superb shows from a not so superb network.

    April 22, 2010 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. cathy

    I just love, love, love this show....exceptional writing and acting....tugs on my heartstrings every week!

    April 22, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sue

    I just love this show! Its like dealing with any family and the hidden issues we all are aware of, but don't discuss with others.

    Like Friday Night Lights, NBC has brought another outstanding program to us, lets hope we can get more to watch these great shows and the awesome actors in them!

    April 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lisa

    To your question drama-heavy or comedy-heavy? Guess what, that IS parenthood, a constant stream of laughter and tears. I love that this show is an example of both...

    April 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Intuitive Coach

    Had no idea the show might not get picked up again. I love this program! So-called reality shows can't come close to this combination of great writing and top acting. The characters feel like my friends and I'm loving watching them develop. Must say though I could've killed Sarah for not waiting until after the SATs to tell Amber about how much she likes the teacher. What would've been the harm in waiting? Makes me think of too many parents who live in that "it's all about me" world and forget how vulnerable their kids are....even the ones who seem so tough. Maybe especially those ones. It's so complicated!

    April 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Janine

    I like this show – funny, cool, real.

    April 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    Yeyyyy! I'm happy they've been picked up for another season......I love the show.....all the characters are so natural, so believeable, so down to earth.....you can relate to the situations.........

    April 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    This is some of the best acting I have ever seen on a weekly television series. Brilliant!

    April 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kara

    I'm a big fan!

    April 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. keri

    i really like this show. its is so nice to have a program on with actual, talented writers and great actors and not some silly (not real) 'reality' show. i love the way they handled these less than perfect family scenarios. kudos.

    April 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BigFan

    so happy that they decided to pick up this show next season. I find myself looking forward to my tuesday night break to view a family similar to mine in some respects; sometimes i feel like they are taking parts of my own personal life and replaying it on air! Nice job NBC!

    April 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  16. miranda

    So happy it's been picked up for another season!! Love this show:)

    April 21, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  17. Jerry


    April 21, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jerry

    I like this show and glad it will be returning. The actors are beleivable and their situations are ones I can relate too.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  19. Sam Fisher

    I've only watched this a couple of times, but I liked it, and I've really liked all of the actors for years. I watched every episode of Gilmore Girls (although just in re-runs) and was happy to see Lauren Graham back on TV. I just hate that it's on NBC, cause they suck and that does effect my viewing habits.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  20. Jessica

    Great episode. I've liked this show every week, whether it's comedy or drama-centered, I've enjoyed it. I think it has to be a mix of both comedy and drama, because being a parent is a mix of both. It's not always jokes and fun-times; kids can be rough. But they can make you laugh, for sure.

    I'm glad Amber came around to realize Damien is not the brightest bulb on the tree. I think everyone could see that from the beginning. He's the kind of guy you cringe and pray to God your own daughter never dates. At least he seemed to really like Amber and he treated her well, he just wasn't good for her.

    And I would find it incredibly difficult to let my daughter walk out the door when I know she's going to see him after finding the two of them in the shower that morning. Sorry. I guess I just don't have whatever it takes to let your child walk out the door.

    I was getting pretty annoyed with the Jasmine and Crosby situation. Crosby is such a good guy, despite the mistakes he's made. And he was right, when he said had Jasmine left him a message, even as crude and blunt as it might be, and simply stated "I'm pregnant", you know he would have called her back. He would have hemmed and hawed about it maybe, but he would have eventually stepped up as he did now. I'm glad Jasmine finally stood up for him and told her family the truth.

    I loved the Christina and Adam and Max scene at the end. That was so nice to see them together as a family and finally really appreciating Max for the neat little kid he is.

    The Zeke and Camille situation- I'd be worried if that were my marriage. Zeke is hiding an awful lot from her these days. Their financial situation (which, by the way, how could she NOT know how bad it is?) and that he's, perhaps, been having an affair or multiple affairs due to the condoms Sarah found in his man-cave.

    I always enjoy this show and I'm so glad NBC picked it up for another season! Yeah!

    April 21, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  21. cellogirl

    I really like this show- initially I was intrigued because of the casting of Lauren Graham, but I have really grown to like the whole ensemble. I'm not a parent, but I think the show is interesting for those of us who aren't in the 'parenthood' stage of life. I think there should be a nice mix of drama and comedy. There are enough drama shows on t.v., a little break is nice

    April 21, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |

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