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The Heart Squishiest Moment From Last Night's Lackluster 'Parenthood'

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | October 25, 2013 | Comments ()


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All and all this wasn’t one of the strongest episodes of Parenthood. They can’t all be wall-to-wall cryfests. On the one hand, while I really dislike the infidelity/marriage strain plot that Joel and Julia have been saddled with this year, I really loved everything about Drunk Joel and That Cake. My heart was completely warmed, once again, by Victor and Zeek. Someone in the comments last week snarked that “of course” the show was making the Latino kid a mechanic. Not the point, friends. The point is that Grandpa Braverman is using something Victor has an aptitude for (being mechanically minded does not make you a mechanic) and using it to build his confidence in other areas. Besides, back off, some of my best friends are mechanics.

Kristina was bogged down with a Max plot and, as he has been all season, Ray Romano’s character was the key to understanding Max and the way he approaches the world. Meanwhile, Crosby and Adam were locked in irritating Luncheonette in-fighting which brings us to this…

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They teased this scene in the promos last week and I was fully expecting Matt Lauria to go for it with everything he had. I thought Ryan was going to unload some heavy childhood trauma and I was prepared to cry my little Luke Cafferty-loving eyes out. But Lauria’s performance was quite restrained. Subdued almost. And that might be in keeping with Ryan as a character but it was Lauren Graham’s performance and Sarah’s reaction that brought the tears. She knows she’s right. Hell. *I* know she’s right. But what can she do? In the face of this plea, what can she do but say “okay?” I really don’t think these two kids are going to make it. Or, if they are, I don’t think it’s going to be with a marriage. Not now. Amber is, what, 20? 21? I have to side with Sarah.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • dizzylucy

    I feel like Sarah has the right to be concerned, but she should also try to be supportive and not take over. Plus she's not reaaly in a position to give much advice, since her own life seems to be a series of mistakes and ever changing interests, without learning much as she goes.
    Joel's professional situation was so ridiculous, I don't blame his attorney wife for questioning things that surely would have been addressed by a contract before construction in real life. But the cake was funny.
    I've never liked Zeke, but darn those scenes with him and Victor, I'm starting to change my mind.

  • Repo

    You know, I'm having a REALLY hard time buying Kristina as a viable mayoral candidate. I wish the show would illuminate a little more on that because as it is, it seems flimsy. Apparently they will address next week whether she will leverage being a cancer survivor with a disabled kid (spoiler: she won't, duh) but I don't know. At this point, I'd vote for her campaign manager to be mayor over her.

  • I don't think Sarah is right. How long did it take Seth to genuinely admit wrongdoing on his part and actually seek to address it? He had temper tantrums and begged for forgiveness and went right back to doing what he'd been doing. She is still concerned, as well she should be, but not necessarily *right*

    ETA; What worried me more is that Amber and Ryan can't speak openly to each other about their concerns and challenges...but then look at Joel and Julia.

  • Kate

    Sometimes this show gives me the warm fuzzies, other times the way they all intrude in each other's personal lives breaks me out in hives. This episode gave me the latter feeling. Everyone's so self-righteous all the time when really they're all messes. The whole thing with Sarah and Amber is getting ridiculous. All Sarah ever does is make blindingly obvious mistakes in her love life and sulk when her family doesn't love whatever guy is 'the one' this week, and now we get episode after episode of her advising her daughter on her love-life in the most passive-aggressive way possible. And Amber hasn't told her mom to take a long walk off a short pier yet? There's closeness and then there's just dysfunction and co-dependency, and sometimes I'm not sure which I'm watching.

  • Michelle

    I'm two episodes behind, but I agree that Amber and Ryan will probably not make it, if only because I think the show is too smart to have her follow the same path as Sarah in marrying a troubled man when she's far too young and doesn't yet know who she is as a person in her own right.

  • Ruthie O

    Okay, here I go: I kinda hate the Amber/Ryan plotline. Not because I hate either characters or actors; I actually love both. But because this is the second season where Amber's plotline is not actually about Amber but about Ryan. I guess this episode put the spotlight on Amber more, as she slowly realizes that this marriage isn't a good idea (and I think she is realizing this in little chunks), but I'd love to have a whole season on Amber really figuring herself out, finding direction, and kicking ass.

    Also, where is Haddie? When I went to college, did my parents go through cancer and a mayoral race without telling me? WTF?

  • Jifaner

    I loathed Haddie's character. I hope she stays in college forever. I do agree about Amber, though. Girl needs a strong storyline of her own instead of being what progresses someone else's story.

  • Michelle

    Haddie came back for an episode or two during the cancer stuff, didn't she?

    I got the sense based off of some stuff that Jason Katims said that we wouldn't be seeing much of her at all, regardless of how realistic it is or not.

  • Ruthie O

    Yup! The last scene we saw of her (oops, Haddie, not Hayley!) was when Christina and Adam lied to her on Skype about Christina's diagnosis.

    I agree; she's probably gone for good. Which is too bad because I adored her. If they can't get the actress, it would be nice to see Christina or Adam on the phone with her every once in a while.

  • JoannaRobinson

    I wouldn't count Sarah Ramos out yet and actually the last we saw of her was in the hospital room with Kristina and Adam. I know because that's when my gentle weeping turned into guttural sobbing. http://ihaveaprestigiousblog.t...

  • Ruthie O

    Oh god you're right! I guess I blocked that out because I blacked out from all the sobbing.

  • ryallen

    Joanna, that scene actually made you cry? Hmm... I think the amount of crying on this show has desensitized me from any future crying scenes. And Amber's dialogue and delivery have been... off lately. Idk what it is... seems... weird.

    The only TV scene that ever got me close to crying was Jesse Pinkman... in the car... gagged... you know... but not cafferty.

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