Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Deep Thoughts About 'Parenthood': "Mr. Honesty" Edition...


"Some parents come in different colors, like you guys." "More flavors."

It's that time of year when everyone is giving thanks for-- or at least spending copious amounts of time with-- their families. So when Parenthood busted out the "you know families come in all kinds, right?" speech in the most recent episode, "Mr. Honesty," to young Jabbar (Tyree Brown, who I want to keep), it couldn't have been more relevant. These days my family is pretty much me and my dog, so it's just nice to see others, even those who have big, seemingly somewhat traditional, families are embracing differences.

But aside from that sweet moment (who's heart didn't break when Jabbar didn't even look up from his ice cream but just whispered that he wished they were an "under the same roof family!?"), Jasmine (Joy Bryant) seriously confuses me. Her six year-old doesn't know the difference between living together and marriage. Hell, some adults don't even really get that whole thing. So why wouldn't she have thought to sit him down and explain to him, when it happened, that Mommy and Daddy are not living together nor getting married. Sure, Crosby (Dax Shepard) has a responsibility in that, too, but Jasmine is the one who has brought another man into his life, so I'm going to put most of the blame on her. Especially because after she said she shouldn't have promised Jabbar he could be in a wedding until they were 150% sure they were going to have one, she then told him just as surely that they weren't going to have a wedding. About a day and an hour before they fell into bed together again. All of that back and forth is super confusing, not to mention emotionally detrimental, for a little kid like that.

And on that note: when did Crosby become the voice of reason? I like it, but I'm supremely surprised by it. Last year he was sleeping with health aides and binge drinking on his boat. This year he's able to maturely joke about tough situations and offer his elder family members advice. He is quickly becoming the unsung hero of this show, and it appears it was not a moment too soon because in "Mr. Honesty,"
the parents who seemed to have it all together from the get-go began to fall apart. It's really no surprise that Adam (Peter Krause) and Kristina (Monica Potter) are about to do something so unthinkable I honestly didn't think it was even still possible in this day and age: in next week's episode, they have a miscommunication that leads to their autistic son being left on his own on the streets of Northern California. Why doesn't that kid have a cell phone!? Distractions are normal, especially with a new baby, and some new lies floating above their heads, but really? I mean, really, Adam and Kristina!? This is not like you're still kids who have just had your first kid (not that I would excuse it then either)! But we'll get there once that plays out on-screen. Sorry for the potential spoiler.

You know who has a right to lose a kid, though? Troy (Rafi Gavron). Troy seems like he would easily lose a kid-- just forget he had brought the kid with him to the store and walk out without him. Probably not even remember he needs to go back to him, either. Poor Gavron! He's going
to get typecast as bad boyfriends. First on Life Unexpected, where I actually liked him for Lux, but that ship has sailed, so I won't harp on that again. Here, he was Zoe (Rosa Salazar)'s little extortionist. His "You really want this baby bad, huh?" comment to Joel (Sam Jaeger) and his smirky "I like steak" follow-up made that obvious, even without the bluntness at the dinner table. Where I once gave Bug the benefit of the doubt left and right, I wanted to slap Troy in his lop-sided mouth. Had Bug looked around at the house and said he grew up in a different neighborhood, I would have felt bad that he felt he couldn't measure up. But that's exactly why Gavron shouldn't be pigeonholed. He plays facets to these types of "wrong side of the tracks" characters; they are not interchangeable, though they may seem that way on paper.

I may watch too much Judge Judy, but 1) Julia (Erika Christensen) is a lawyer (said in my best Star Jones voice), how did she not get these kids to sign something first thing when asking to buy their baby!? If it were me, I would have marched over to that coffee cart and had that girl sign on the dotted line way before I caught her sneaking sushi and introduced her to my daughter. And 2) Amber (Mae Whitman) needs to get a receipt when she drops off her rent in cash, duh!

Continuing the "I kind of can't believe what's happening right now" portion of the evening/episode was Adam once again. You know, when I first saw him in the season premiere, all scruffy and PJ-covered, sitting around watching daytime TV, I though this season would be his mid-life crisis season. But then he bounced back so easily by going into business with his brother (though I guess some might argue that such a drastically different career path such as that is the kind of manic decision a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis would make...). Seeing at how he cowered in the presence of his cliche receptionist and then told his wife that yeah, he actually did go ahead and fire the girl seemed to reiterate the flashing neon HELP lights, though. I don't know how long he thought he could go on pretending he hired a new receptionist-- they are of the age of people who still do use landlines, after all-- or how he thought he would explain it then. He probably didn't think about that at all, and that's what's so scary. He's becoming a character I barely recognize, and I'm finding myself hoping his scenes just end faster to get to the other, less disappointing people. But then, that's my approach to family. I cut out those who I consider negative or ill-suited role models or detrimental to my own emotions and/or mental health.


Oh, and this is a total aside, but there have been a couple of musicians on the show post-Cee Lo Green stunt, but they are none I have recognized, nor ones NBC has paraded out in promos as additional advertising. Are they real musicians? Should I know them? Also, second week in a row that Adam and Crosby's bickering has interrupted a musician's process. Those walls really should be thicker or better sound-proofed than that. And they need to use indoor voices when they're "in session."

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