New year, same problems on 'Parenthood'
January 5th, 2011
03:15 PM ET

New year, same problems on 'Parenthood'

When we last saw the Braverman clan, Sarah was busy dumping Boss Baldwin/Gordon (who had just dumped the company where Adam had worked for years); Grandpa Zeek shared a beer with the way underage Drew; and young Haddie had found a new boyfriend in Alex, the seemingly much older manager of the community food bank and a recovering alcoholic.

But when 'Parenthood' returned last night, Zeek and Drew opted to do some alcohol-free bonding by changing the oil in Zeek’s old tractor.  Sarah was really grateful that her dad was spending time with her son, and Drew told some guys at school about the Thanksgiving beer and how cool Zeek is.

But then the guys immediately invited themselves over and into Zeek’s stash. Zeek caught them but he didn't scream or yell; instead, he made it clear the boys need to clear out. He didn't even tell Sarah what happened. Drew ended up telling on himself, about the boys drinking and about Zeek giving him a beer.

Sarah was really upset about it.  Zeek’s take on it was, teach a boy how to drink so he doesn’t make a fool of himself later. It turns out ex-husband Seth is an addict and Sarah is terrified her kids may end up like him. Zeek had no idea and the kids don’t know the extent of it either. Sarah would tell them their musician father was on tour when he was really on a bender somewhere.

Haddie, meanwhile, was in the room for Alex’s AA meeting. He talked about her, calling her his special friend who’s helping him through. The next day, Adam showed up at the center to see where Haddie’s been spending so much time and ended up meeting Alex and inviting him to dinner. Alex got the full Braverman treatment at the door, including Max pointing out that Alex is black, which mortified Max’s parents.

Kristina and Adam seemed to like him, but once he started talking about his life, how he used to eat at the shelter, how he hasn’t finished high school yet and that he’s in AA, they start to get worried.  He noticed, and quite eloquently tells them he’s in a good place and he understands their concerns.

They do really like him, but later they decide Haddie shouldn’t see him, because she’s too young to deal with what Alex has dealt with. Of course that conversation doesn’t go well; Haddie and Kristina both end up in tears. Haddie goes to the center to work, but she doesn’t tell Alex all of what her parents said, conveniently leaving out the “I’m not supposed to see you again” part. Adam looked like he knew something was up, though.

So it’s apparently two steps forward, one step back in Crosby’s development from man-child to man who has a child. Jasmine tells Jabbar his room is a mess, and Crosby said he hadn't noticed. He doesn’t seem to think little kids need to worry about cleaning up.  Jasmine replied that not only does Jabbar need to clean up, Crosby needs to back her up on it.

He gives a half-hearted try, but I think Jabbar already knows who the easy parent is, and Jasmine is having none of it. She reminded Crosby he’s Jabbar’s father, not his buddy. The next time Jabbar needs his room cleaned Crosby has to put his foot down, telling Jabbar he’s not going to the zoo since he didn’t clean his room as soon as he was told. Jabbar throws a full-on toy-throwing “you’re so mean” tantrum, which Crosby was clearly not ready for. Welcome to parenthood, pal.

On to Sarah, who hasn’t learned boundaries. She walks into Julia’s office while she’s meeting with an assistant. Sarah showed up to tell Julia her New Year’s resolution was not to date ever again. I don't believe her, but it’s a nice thought. She really needs not to date considering her choices. She and Julia decide to have a girls’ night out, which turns into a girls night in, soaked in wine.

This turned out to be A Very Special Episode of “Parenthood,” with lots of bonding, talk of substance abuse and discussion of child-rearing technique, but it didn’t get too sappy or preachy. What did you think?

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Filed under: Parenthood • television • TV recaps

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    I absolutely love this show. I can relate to the things they deal with each week because they are happening in my life as well. I have 2 children and 1 of them is currently in High School and learning to drive. The week when Hatti was learning to drive I was in tears. I have been in Adams shoes with the company I worked at being sold. This show is real life, it's what most of us live day in and day out, don't change a thing. If you don't like the dialog, scripting or story maybe you should turn the channel.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hannah1

    Is Parenthood really still on the air??? Who knew?

    January 6, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill Koehler

    The dialog and script are far from disappointing – I can't wait for this show each week. The thing is a family is not perfect – and when the dialog is scripted as perfect and conversations are smooth it just doesn't seem real. The writers have done a great job trying to relate to families and bring that family-like environment to the viewers. I can relate to many of the issues addressed in this show, not because I experienced all of them, but because I can actually put myself in their shoes as a parent and understand their decisions. It actually makes me think about all sides of a family decision – the father, mother and child – and how it could impact all differently. I definitely feel more open minded after watching the show. Good Job for keeping this family oriented show on air.

    January 6, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. jillypap

    i this this is a fantastic show. my teen-age kids and their friends love it as well. i feel it really deals with life-issues in a clever and heartfelt way. hope it stays on the air.

    January 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Irwin

    I thought it was great. Mature,low-keyed dialog, not like the always near-hysterical Walkers on Brothers and Sisters (which has gone steadily downhill with tis sudsie plots).

    Hopefully this one will stick around. It won't be easy since it's on that graveyard for TV (NBC).

    January 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Leslie

    I disagree with that. I find this show to be very heartfelt with fantastic actors and an intriguing script. And the dialogue is funny and real, hence the reason they all talk at once. It's what my family does and I love it. No disappointments here.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pat

    great actors, bad script, I agree. The kid with autism does NOT elicit my sympathy. really trite. trite all the way around– and I so wanted to love it. Rather watch brothers and sisters. I am so disappointed.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sadie

      Probably because we as a society are used to what stereotypical "autistic" is, but there's been no real TV show to target Asperger's. It's a hard thing to take on and yes Max doesn't always come off as sympathetic but that's the real world. He doesn't need sympathy because he's different, which is one of the reasons I like the show.

      January 12, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. prettywings

    Agrees with Cheefsfury about the dialog. It's awful. I can't stand the over talking that goes on when the family gets together. It's like everyone starts and stops talking all at once. I like the concept of the show and the issues it addresses but the dialog could be so much better.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cheefsfury


    January 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

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