Parenthood Review: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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Oh, hooray!

Funny Parenthood was back with "Just Smile," as the bit at the beginning with Adam getting makeup for a local city magazine had me laughing out loud. On what other show are you going to be talking about a businessman's t-zone and the inability to cover his crease? How I love when they blend some carefree fun into episodes. That doesn't mean it was all fun and games, however.

Adam In the Makeup Chair

When they got the cover, I had the dreaded feeling that the story was going to be about Adam and his personal journey through unemployment during the difficult economy. Just as I had that thought, the frame Crosby was refreshing every few seconds appeared: Adam with the headline "Music Saved My Life." Sadly, he was just chatting, passing time talking to the reporter. Being Adam. He had no idea he was usurping the entire premise of the article.

Moving from the shoe business to a music career and taking such a huge chance with a family and no experience is a big story. That didn't stop me really feeling where Crosby was coming from. Even after all his inner changes, the incredible choices he made during the year and in his life, Adam somehow still stole his thunder.

I thought the cellist needing his respect, needing him to hear her and care about her project as much as he wanted the same from Adam was brilliant. It knocked him right out of his shell. Is it wrong that I kind of hope, based on such minor interaction, that they might have a fling? There was a real chemistry between the characters, something we haven't seen with Crosby. He wasn't trying to impress a girl, he was talking with a fellow professional and it worked. Trying to force him to have a love life has not.

It's always been obvious that Adam and Crosby have had a tumultuous and adversarial relationship, but it really came to a head over the article. Neither one of them came out ahead. Adam felt like a conquering hero for just a moment. He delighted in his son saying it was cool that he was on a cover of a magazine. But he also knew that in the blink of an eye he'd go back to being the businessman and Crosby would again be Mr. Cool.

The reason their partnership in The Luncheonette works so well is the same that keeps them from being closer brothers. They're two sides of the same coin. They would be really weird alone, lost if apart, but they can't really see each other from where the other stands. When Crosby turned away from Adam's admission at the end, it was all he could do. They have each other's backs and save each other's lives when the chances arise. What more would you want from a brother?


  • Amber started working at Bob Little's campaign with Kristina. She felt in over her head and as though she wanted to crawl into a hole. But while all the interns who graduated from Harvard were kissing his ass telling him what he wanted to hear about the under 25 demographic, she told the truth. The truth always impresses.
  • Even though Julia had concerns that Zoe might make up with her boyfriend, Zoe got the adoption papers signed and made sure her ex was out of her life for good. Her pain was intense, but I wanted to cry in happiness for Joel and Julia.
  • Sarah couldn't stop thinking about that misplaced comment Mark made about having a baby with Sarah. But, is it ever a good idea to go to your beau's house to talk about such a huge topic when drunk? If it turns out he's been thinking about it in a good, excited sort of way, then yes!

I missed Zeek and Camille, but the Crosby and Adam storyline more than made up for their absence. I dare say it was one of the best inspections of their brotherhood to date.

** As for next week? Get an early look at the upcoming episode now!

Just Smile Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (46 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 13 Quotes

Sarah: I thought 40 was the new 30!
Doctor: Not for your ovaries, no.

Makeup Man: This little crease will not go away.
Adam: Okay, are we about done?
Makeup Man: No, no. You have a very shiny T-Zone. We're just getting started. It's a lot of work, all right?
Crosby: You know I always tell him he should exfoliate and he just won't listen to me.