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'Parenthood' - 'Wassup' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 24th 2010 1:30AM
parenthood_nbc_2010_lauren_graham(S01E04) If you are watching 'Parenthood' with the idea of learning anything about how to be a parent, you should consider finding another form of education. The Bravermans seem to be more about how not to parent or "how to get lucky and not screw up our children too much" school of learning. Every week is a lesson in how parents can really make a muddle of their parenting.

Adam and Kristina's attention this week shifted from Max to Haddie. Sarah's advice to Adam was so rigid -- practically lock up your daughter and don't let her out of the house. Considering Sarah's troubled relationship with Amber, why was Adam listening?

Sarah's over-protectiveness of Amber was really more about her feeling insecure when it comes to Julia, her younger and very successful sister. Exactly why Sarah feels this way isn't clear yet. Sure, she married a loser and isn't a lawyer like Julia, but she was probably the cooler sister most of their lives growing up, don't you think? Maybe it's because it's Lauren Graham, but I expect Sarah to have more gumption than she does.

Meanwhile, Julia and Joel are such pills. Have they never had Sydney cared for by a babysitter? Julia has all the earmarks of a parent who's in desperate need of a full-time nanny for her kid. Joel doesn't really count, even though that's the set up. He could use an outlet outside the house.

The surprise of the series, so far, is Dax Shepard's Crosby. The fact that he's been so open to accepting Jabbar as his child, a five-year-old thrust into his life out of the blue, is refreshing. Instead of running from commitment, he's fallen in love with the kid. The kid is adorable, so he's hard to resist. It was a major step when he told Julia who Jabbar really was.

'Parenthood' suffers from an overabundance of precious moments. Every act seems to have one, you could probably set the clock by it. Sarah and Amber and the turtles. Kristina and Haddie. Adam and Drew.

There's also a propensity to get the Bravermans together for some reason at the end of every show. It's overkill. I know for the sake of TV, they have to do this. But as a member of a very big family, it's just unrealistic that all these people are in each others' business all the time. This happens a lot on 'Brothers & Sisters,' too. Like I said, it's the nature of television, but once in a while, end the show without a get together.

Other points of interest

-- Facebook reared its ugly head when Adam and Kristina found about about Haddie's boyfriend thanks to her Facebook page. Of course, when they checked out Steve's home, his parents were super hippie cool.

-- Crosby talking about Jabbar's sleepover: "I'm fired up." That seemed like prefiguration based on the previews with all the lighter fluid. Instead it was a thumb stuck in a soda can emergency. Julia came through, proving that she can parent a child, just not her own.

-- Water conservation and masturbation. Connect the dots. Too funny. Zeek's memories of Bangkok while Drew was showering was hilarious.

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ally

Your review was way off. Joel and julia said that there regular babysitter had the flu and wanted Hattie to babysit. Amber is new to them and therefore not yet high on there list of who to trust. They are not pills for wanting to protect their child. Even Sarah didn't trust Amber completely which is why she spied on her and got caught when her phone rang!

As far as too many precious moments - I can only say that this family and there get togethers just work. THey are not forced and not too sweet. When Sarah saved Sydney from the fire it wasn't all "Thank you for saving my daughter", It was Sarah sticking her tongue at them making faces back and forth. I love that this family makes a point to be together. It's truly a wonderful show.

March 24 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john

For the most part, a show centered around normal, "correct" parenting that just teaches parents lessons would make for some boring TV.

Overall, good episode. Definitely more of the "comedy" side of Dramedy injected this week.

As far as Julia and Joel having never had a babysitter watch Sydney, that wasn't the issue. They didn't trust Amber to watch Sydney.

March 24 2010 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charles melrose III

Here's a concept with which you can wrestle: Lauren Graham is an actress, not a character. She doesn't determine the personality of her character--the writers do that. Are you so unsophisticated that you think she created her Gilmore personality? Or that she's creating her current character? Let her succeed or fail on the merits of the writing and her performance in this show without bringing all your baggage to your review.

Otherwise--pretty good review.

March 24 2010 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to charles melrose III's comment
Rodney

@Charles:

Regarding your comment about writers' determining the characters' personalities: Yes. But.

1) Actors are who they are. Chameleon-like actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis are very rare. They're hired, especially on TV, as much for what they bring to the show in terms of an established "persona" as for "ability." I wouldn't be surprised if the writers of the pilot didn't write the character as a "Lauren Graham" type.

Now, the actress may not want to do a Gilmore clone, because that's boring, so she accentuates a different part of herself in this character than in the other. But they're still similar because... it's the same actor.

April 02 2010 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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