It's the nuances on Parenthood that I love so much. The naturally written conversation, the little accents that make it seem like the Bravermans could be your friends. To wit:
When Max and Kristina were taking a walk, her pants were just too short. On what other television show would they allow their characters tiniest flaws to make the cut?
These tidbits are also what make the show so difficult to watch at times. We experienced both joy and disappointment in "Taking The Leap," but it was the latter that really hit home.
For once, Sarah was on the receiving end of what could potentially be good news. Even though he did it behind her back, Zeek invited his old friend over to share her incomplete play, and it was a great idea. The odds that Sarah herself would have thought highly enough of herself to shop her play around were pretty low.
In spite of her array of beautiful qualities, she has very little confidence in herself. I am hoping this will give her the kick she needs to step up.
Meanwhile, Amber's hopes for her own future were crushed, and when she saw how excited Sarah was, she kept her news to herself. They are so very close, and for her to put her own fears on hold to give her mom a moment of happiness made me so sad. What's so amazing about these two is how their similarities keep them from really embracing what they have. I look forward to the day they open the doors and keep them open. Perhaps gaining some confidence will give Sarah more strength to support Amber. She is going to need it.
Joel's scenes regarding his "fish" were very funny, but the result of the entire story was so sad it was easy to forget all of the fun that came before. The heartbreak Julia was suffering as she shared her diagnosis with Joel was so well received by him that it reminded me just how solid their marriage is.
All of the marriages constantly face challenges that would be faced in the real world, and sometimes with different results. But, on Parenthood, even when things are not going well between the couples, there is still a deep trust portrayed.
This was depicted well when Kristina and Adam found out that Max was an incredibly talented student. For two years they have been struggling to ensure his social skills would allow him to function in the mainstream world. When they were faced with the fact their efforts have paid off and it was time to challenge his intellect, they were at odds. How do parents make such a huge decision with certainty that they have their child's best interests at heart? We learned the answer here.
As much as I hated Jasmine's decision, I knew it was the right one for her, as well as for Crosby and Jabbar. Crosby has proven he is a great dad for Jabbar. By cheating, though, he has also proven he is not ready for the rest of it. Jasmine has been an adult, raising a son alone for many years. She understood what marriage meant. Crosby did not. The future may change this, but I doubt Jasmine will easily break.
As we near the season finales of all of our favorite shows, change is the name of the game. The lives of the Bravermans were tested in both positive and negative ways, but I have no doubt they will continue to support each other through it all, and that's what makes Parenthood a unique and welcome hour every week.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.