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October 6, 2015

'Parenthood' - 'The Big O' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 7th 2010 4:23AM
Peter Krause on 'Parenthood'
(S01E06) "Wow, Crosby, you're a dad." - Zeek, after hearing about Crosby's son for the first time

I'll admit it. 'Parenthood' has been a hard show to read. It tries very hard to connect the audience with the human drama of the American family, but at the same time, it expects you to understand and appreciate every problem they come across.

It drags you through their cornfield of sadness and expects you to come out feeling as happy and reserved as the characters do in the end. It makes me wish life actually worked this way. Then it just makes me angrier.

A lot of the scenes from this week's episode had no other reason to exist other than to move the plot, like when Crosby tries to tell his parents about his kid but chickens out, and the "play date" scene where Crosby witnesses Racquel's fandom for Joel. It's just exposition that a character could explain in a scene worth watching. I'm all for plot, but there's got to be something else there that makes it worth watching and already, comedy isn't one of its stronger suits.

And speaking of plot, some of these characters' feelings and how they drive their moves make me wonder about their sanity. Sarah, for instance, knows that her daughter has a crush on her English teacher and yet she chooses to start dating him without really addressing what's sure to be a huge conflict down the road.

Even Adam and Kristina's argument about whether or not she's "faking it" seemed pointless and just there to add more stress on an already stressful situation. Dr. Phil needs to stop chasing the ambulance of every teen pop star who is one Jack and Coke bong away from rehab and work on parents like these.

That being said, there were some notable improvements. The script seems to have started tailoring itself to Lauren Graham's strengths, particularly in the scene with her and Peter Krause as she tries desperately to explain why some girls fake it. She gave it a nice touch of frantic and scatterbrained, as if she's trying to convey two billion ideas at once that won't make sense if she doesn't. It just had a nice flow, if frantic diatribes can have such a thing.

Even the scene where Joel admits to Julie that the Buddhist menace came on to him carried a really nice sense of drama and heaviness. It sucked me into the moment, just to see how she would react. Where the hell has this been all season?

But then we got right back to the happy ending and the weekly Braverman family get together, this time for an impromptu puppet show at the Braverman compound. It wasn't as overblown and ridiculous as the indoor pool scene awhile back, and the ending where Jabbar gets his old man's old bike was actually kind of sweet.

Still, they couldn't spring for a decent helmet?

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What, so it's only a good review if it's a positive one? The people at TV Squad aren't allowed to not like some shows? At least we can scroll through and click on all the links to all the other reviews people have posted elsewhere, because that's why I come to TV Squad--to read other sites' reviews.

April 19 2010 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chuck's comment

not the same Chuck as above.

April 19 2010 at 12:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I read this review and started to wonder if I was watching the same show. It was great to see so many people post their opposing opinion. I think the show is very well-written and the cast is really strong - from Graham to Krause to Nelson and everyone in between!
Gallagher's supposed attempt at comedy with his ending line about "springing for a decent helmet" just shows his lack of artistic appreciation for relating sentiment.

April 11 2010 at 5:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel like the show is turning a corner. The writing is coming along albeit with a few eye rolling moments where I ask myself, "Really? Is this the best they can do? I don't believe you." I feel like the drama within families and parenting is significant enough that we don't need to be lied to and we don't need a show that hams it up. (See Lauren Graham climbing over a table to get condoms. Really?!?!) I find the character of Joel to be genuine, and certainly Dax Shepards character. I'm wanting a little more for Krause to chew on because the guy is phenomenal. I'm also wanting Grahams character to tame down on the ditsy, flailing, borderline train wreck that has been written so far. Here's hoping because the show has legs and I'd love to watch it for longer than a season or two.

April 09 2010 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i really like the show.
it's not as heavy with the drama as brothers and sisters.
And it's light, easy to watch television with good acting and story telling.

April 08 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Couchtime With Jill

I'm surprised, I've been loving Parenthood and a lot of my blog readers have been too. I recap it every week at a site called Couchtime With Jill (and I actually know how to distinguish upcoming scenes from actual content), check it out - I always respond to comments if you want to share your thoughts on the show.

April 07 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Have to agree with most of what Mike and Erica had to say... I haven't really committed to the show yet, taking it one episode at a time, but the drumbeat here has been really negative - I guess you get more readership that way, etc., but it really undermines confidence in the reviews.

April 07 2010 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yep, their recap review was much better. Shocking... When you actually discuss what happened in the episode, rather than simply listing your disappointments based on you thinking it's supposed to be a laugh riot, the review can be quite nice... as can the show.

I'm sorry, but it just seems to me that DG isn't capably of reviewing anything beyond a sitcom... and probably not one with too much irony.

April 07 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How do you figure that Sarah knows her daughter likes the teacher?

You've been bashing this show since it started. I'd hope TV Squad would assign someone to a show that would at least give it a chance. You aren't... and your reviews are consistently filled with stuff that either isn't true, you've misunderstood, or don't care enough to get the details right on.

You think she knows because in last week's promo for this episode Adam tells Sarah that. You know what didn't happen in this episode? That. But you might actually have to watch and pay attention to notice that... But maybe you're just too wrapped up waiting for the comedy to kick in...

Can we get someone who at least has an open mind about the show and wasn't expecting a laugh-out-loud comedy and rails against it accordingly to review it? Every week? Please?!?

Otherwise, if you're just going to hate the show from the pilot until it's cancelled, save yourself the time and us the irritation of another stupid review by the one and only Danny G.

April 07 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Mike's comment

I actually felt the show turned a corner on to more solid ground this week. Maybe I was just emotional, but I felt the scenes between Julia/Joel & Adam/Kristina pretty strongly. I think that it is pretty crappy that Sarah is going out with the teacher, but likely it is true to her character. Yes, they have chemistry, but could they wait the 9 months or so until Amber isn't his student anymore?

April 07 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am not yet sure if this is headed to renewal despite the strengths of an all-star cast. No real emotions brought up for me. We had more of mom than ever before and I do not know if it added a thing. Every plot line was predictable which is a bad thing. Well-acted which is a good thing. An easy watch which may be the main thing.

April 07 2010 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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