Monday, September 19, 2011

Parenthood: Bravermans Get By



Parenthood, the fantastic family show from Jason Katims kicked off last week, picking up 6 months after the finale. Christina and Adam are struggling to support themselves with Adam still unemployed and a new baby on the way. Crosby lost Jasmine’s love, but regained her friendship and he’s making an effort to co-parent responsibly. Sarah is still struggling to carve out a life path on the eve of her 40th birthday, while her daughter Amber battles her own identity issues. Joel and Julia are still determined to adopt a baby, but Julia is impatient and frustrated that they’ve had no response to their video.

The Season 3 premiere set the stage for Braverman drama in the coming year. Here are my thoughts on where the gang is headed this season:

Adam and Crosby might be opening a music studio together:I am ALL on board for that, especially after their relationship was put through the ringer last year.  Adam is too uptight and Crosby is too carefree, but they’ve always balanced each other out beautifully. One of the best scenes in this episode was Adam’s painful job interview with the least enthusiastic boss ever at a soft-drink company. It was awful to watch him swallow his pride and bite back his spirit to sound excited about a diminished position at a lower salary. That one moment where the guy said, “this is not a creative position. It’s getting the beverages into the stores and getting paid for them. That’s the job” – you could just see the fire die in Adam’s eyes. We’ve all been there…in that position where you are steps away from begging for something you don’t really want. “Just tell me what I have to do to get the job”. My heart broke for him! All this to say that Adam and Crosby embarking on a new adventure would be fulfilling for them and wonderful for us to watch!

Julia and Joel might be buying a baby from a knocked-up coffee cart barrista.
Maybe it’s just the fact that she used the word ‘buy’ in reference to a baby, but the situation skeeves me out. I find Julia’s impatience a little irritating actually. The woman is barely 30 and she can’t wait more than 6 months for an adoption process to get underway? Talk about a type A personality!  I still don’t think Joel and Julia properly resolved their work vs. home issues from last season. Will Joel pursue his career this time while Julia raises the children, or will he remain a stay-at-home daddy? Julia is so desperate for another child, but is she willing to give up her upward mobility for motherhood? 

Sarah is re-kindling her romance with Amber’s former teacher Mark (Jason Ritter)
I gather he’s a fan favourite, but I’m not completely on board this train. Sarah’s love life is one of the few aspects of the show that has been poorly handled.  She went from sleeping with a schlubby coffee guy, to making out with a much younger man (Mark), to dating Adam’s sleazy, spineless boss. I still can’t for the life of me figure out why ever gave Gordon the time of day. The only thing he had to offer was fancy dinners and limo rides, which made her look incredibly shallow. I actually liked Mike, the guy who worked in the warehouse at T&S footwear. He was sweet and charming and he and Sarah went out on a few great dates before she ditched him for Gordon. It’s not that I don’t like Mark, I just don’t buy into the special ‘connection’ they’re supposed to have yet.

Haddie is behaving like an actual teenager
I really like this plotline because so much of Haddie’s ‘rebellion’ last year was backwards. She spent so much time trying to convince her parents that she was a mature responsible adult who was ready to handle a grown-up relationship. She proved herself and won the right to date her much older boyfriend, who in reality was as safe choice. He may be a recovering alcoholic and have his own apartment, but he’s as clean as they come. He obviously doesn’t drink or do drugs, he’s patient and chivalrous and he works at a food bank! So now what? Maybe Haddie is starting to realize that she was a little too eager to put the teenage life behind her. She’s a senior now and there are parties to hit, drinks to be chugged and guys to flirt with. Suddenly being mature is looking a little lonely and less fun that she thought it would be.

Amber is moving out on her own
Amber started off as a bit of a ‘wild child’ stereotype, but her character really blossomed and revealed more depth in the second season. I just wish she didn’t have to implode completely now that she’s not going to college right away. Waitressing and moving into a hideous loft is a  little…cliché . Couldn’t she try to trudge a more unique path?

Favourite Quotes:
Sarah (to Julia): “I mean she sells coffee, you know, so probably she’d sell her baby”

Max (to Haddie): "I know there’s alcohol at high-school parties. I watch Friday Night Lights." -HA! Meta!

Ratings: Parenthood has 6.78 million viewers, which is down from it's Season 2 Premiere, but still its best numbers since that episode. It had a 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo - good for 2nd place in the night! Not that there were a lot of new things on, but still ;)

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