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Parenthood

Parenthood Review: Aggravation and Annoyances

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"You Can't Always Get What You Want" was like going to a family holiday when every relative you have is doing something to drive you absolutely nuts.

Mind you, not all of the chaos on tonight's episode was even from a Braverman perspective, but it sure made me wish I had worn some rose-colored glasses to get through the tough parts. Just like as there are happy times, so are there downright miserable times, and we encountered some of them this week.

Julie & Joel Adjust

Joel and Julia: Julia has always been extremely controlling, so the idea of free time must be driving her crazy. She not only doesn't have a clue what to do with herself, but she doesn't have fires to put out all day long. That's a huge change after a years-long career that required hectic days and long nights. Once she set her sights on a second child, her life was like a runaway train. It came pretty close to derailing, but they found Victor and she quit her job to devote time to motherhood.

It's interesting to watch Julia deal with life as a new mother again, especially while unemployed. She has been throwing everything into accepting Victor into their lives, and that includes Joel's time. All of the teachers at the school had crushes on Joel (parents as well, I'm sure), not just because he was a cute, stay at home father, but because he got involved. Remember all the things Joel used to do with the other parents when they only had Sydney and Julia was working full time?

Joel put his career on hold to care for their child, and he did so selflessly. He could have sat around and twiddled his thumbs, or sat alone in the kitchen making homemade pasta, but he got involved. Julia seems to have missed that bus. She's only directly involved with the children's lives when Joel gets home from work, which makes it really difficult for him to now focus successfully on his career. Their argument was so emotional, and Joel finally said what we viewers have been thinking: have some respect for your husband, Julia! Let him have his chance.

Even when Julia apologized to Joel, she somehow turned it around and made the reason for her argument about her being unfulfilled. She had her chance at fulfillment. Now it's her turn to step back and give some room to Joel to grow in his pursuits. Once their family is solidified, I see no reason they won't be able to work successfully, but this was the path Julia wanted and to see her fight Joel at every turn is hard.

His gracious acceptance of her apology backed up what a strong man he is. I just hope Julia finds a pursuit of her own, that somehow involves her in the kids lives. A win win situation.

Crosby and The Luncheonette: I thought I was rid of Marcy Runkle when I stopped watching Californication, but the addition of Pamela Adlon as a resident neighboring The Luncheonette was like bringing her back on crack, without a sense of humor. Despite what we learned at the end, that The Luncheonette was built in a residential district and her suit against them has merit, I was totally digging Crosby's point. She never spoke to them kindly about making any changes, but barged into a place of business guns a-blazin' and thought someone was going to listen to her?

It was more proof how far Crosby has grown that he treated her so decently, because if she had done that in my place of business, in front of my clients, things would have ended differently. Sadly, since there wasn't a conclusion to the suit against them, Runkle will obviously be back for more episodes. Oh joy.

Amber and Ryan: Amber is learning what it means to care for someone else more than you do for yourself in loving Ryan. All of the interview tips in the world couldn't prepare Ryan for that extra special interview question, "did you kill anyone?" People can be so lame. It was so fitting that Amber turned to Zeek for reassurance of her feelings for Ryan and for advice on how to care about him. Not so much for him, but about him.

Amber doesn't want Ryan to feel as though she thinks of him differently, but she also doesn't want to become someone who does by reacting the wrong way to new information thrown her way. Chatting about returning from war with Zeek was a the perfect way for her to get a handle on things. 

Sarah and Mark and Hank: As much as I hate to make it a threesome, Sarah's childish behavior has forced the issue. She should have dealt with her feelings about Mark and their future together before moving in with him. What she's doing to him now is irresponsible and embarrassing.

Mark's reaction of pain was justified, and I was surprised Sarah was so blind to what she was doing by refusing to say no to Hank. I'm trying to figure out where she got so lost, but I can't quite remember when it was. Was it when her family made fun of her dating a younger man sometime around Crosby and Jasmine's wedding? Their relationship hasn't been right for a long time, but the way she continues to drag it out is sucking the charm out of her character. I find it hard to enjoy her quips and fast chatter because she seems to unsure of who she wants to be. 

The time for games is over and she needs to make a grown up decision. She expects Drew to make them, but she can't figure out how to do it herself, so that's a rather tall order on her part. I don't know about any of you, but I've lost my infatuation with Hank and worry that she's going to make a very bad choice. If she gets to make one at all. Maybe Mark will wise up and kick her to the curb. Could you blame him?

Kristina, Adam and Max: Oh geez. As soon as Kristina asked Max if she could show him what to do if he asked a girl to dance, and she said yes, I could feel the floodgates rising. Kristina didn't want to miss any milestones, and she probably never imagined she'd have a dance with Max. Max has been borderline impossible to stomach. 

Part of that is due to the lack of help at the Braverman house. Things are still out of control there, and so his school antics flood into their home life and I just want Kristina to eat more ice cream. She's going through so much, and wondering whether she will live to see the end of it. The one positive that has come from her illness, with regard to Max, has been Adam's communication with him. They've finally reached a place where Max listens and respects Adam as much s he does Kristina. When he wants to.

It wasn't my favorite episode of Parenthood Season 4, but neither are those holidays when the family seems to get in the way at every turn. Parenthood remembers to show us to good, the bad and the ugly, reminding us that our own families aren't so different. That's why we come back every week. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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    4 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Avatar

    Come on, are we the only people who can't stand the character Mark on this show? We are so happy that he finally seems to leave for good. Badly shaved, too short, really an unpleasant figure to look at. His behaviour is also so immature all the time. He always seems to be insecure. A miscast and if you'd ask us, we'd say: no match for Hollywood.

    Avatar

    I love this show!! I just need to vent bc they make Sarah's character out to be so stupid! What she is doing w/ Hank is not her only dumb decision. There were the episodes where she continued to linger around her alcoholic ex-husband. She strikes me as the type of person who has a shitty lot in life bc she is just plain stupid. I don't really like watching dumb people on TV, but in real life there are plenty of them, so there is bound to be at least one in the Braverman family. It's a pity bc she has some likeable attributes, but it's so frustrating to watch her make mistakes. She is old enough to know better.

    Sarah-silva

    Oh Sarah, what the hell are you doing? Mark is a great guy! She did tell Hank she needed the time off and Mark and Sarah had planned this for months and for Sarah to make a lame excuse that there was no way to get out of it, just made me mad and next week it looks like Mark breaks up with her! I love Jason Ritter and will hate to see him go but has far as his character goes he deserves better than Sarah, I am not liking her very much now.
    I cried at the end when Max was dancing with Christina! Adam's speech to Max about the dance and doing things sometimes that they may not want to do, now that Christina is sick was a super sweet moment!

    Sarah-silva

    This was another solid epiosde.
    I was so happy for Joel saying what he said to Julia! I too have a crush on Joel! LOL. I agree with everything he said. However Julia is a perfectionist, and someone that needs to be busy all the time, like Joel said she has never had down time in her life. However I think she will eventually like staying at home.
    The crazy lady that lives next to the Lunchonette has to move! She is super rude and like the review said, she did not talk to Crosby nicely she was a rude from the get go and even when Crosby tried to make nice she got even more rude! I hope Crosby wins the suit if it goes that far and she is forced to move.
    I say in each week, I love Amber and Ryan and Ryan is super funny! He is a great guy. I felt so bad from Amber when she felt helpless trying to help Ryan and I hope the talk from Zeke helped her. I really want Amber and Ryan to go the distance.
    Oh Sarah, what the hell are you doing? Mark is a great guy! She did tell Hank she needed the time off and Mark and Sarah had planned this for months and for Sarah to make a lame excuse that there was no way to get out of it, just made me mad and next week it looks like Mark breaks up with her! I love Jason Ritter and will hate to see him go but has far as his character goes he deserves better than Sarah, I am not liking her very much now.
    I cried at the end when Max was dancing with Christina! Adam's speech to Max about the dance and doing things sometimes that they may not want to do, now that Christina is sick was a super sweet moment!




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