Parenthood – Season 4 Episode 12

I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to format these posts, so I’m just going to do what feels the most natural until I find my footing and we’ll see how it goes.

Parenthood is one of those shows that I love and hate all at the same time. The story lines are organic and very realistic and draw me in week after week, but the characters sometimes really get on my nerves. The thing is, I know this comes from the fact that they are very real, and the dialogue is so natural. But more often than not, the talking over each other, and the frequent awkwardness is disconcerting. I’m used to tv shows sounding like tv shows, not like a conversation within my own family. The characters just seem to have such a hard time articulating and explaining themselves, and it bothers me.

Sometimes the characters themselves can be annoying as well. This week’s prime example is little Sydney, Julia and Joel’s biological daughter. She’s adorable, which is fine, but she’s also desperately obnoxious. Constantly tattling on her new adoptive brother Victor and really just being a little whiny baby. One of this week’s story lines was about Victor getting a great grade on a math test and wanting to share that with his biological mother. I don’t know if it was in the legal terms of his adoption, or it if was Julia and Joel’s decision, but they told him he wasn’t allowed to see her. I really don’t understand why though. I know his mother has substance abuse problems, but really, what’s the harm in a supervised visit with her own son? Sydney didn’t make things better by screaming at Victor that his mom didn’t love him. Part of me wishes Victor had actually hit her with the baseball bat. I mean really, did her parents never teach her how to behave, at all? I was an only child for ten years before my brother was born, and I was never that bratty. She needs a serious time out, and Victor needs to see his mother.

One of the other minor story lines of the week was Lorelai Gilmore going on a date with Everybody loves Raymond. Or Sarah and Hank as they would like you to believe their names are. This story line bothers me. I’m a Sarah/Mark lover, and I’d really just rather Hank be her buddy, but Mark is insecure and Sarah doesn’t know how to explain herself, back to my dialogue complaint, so at the moment that’s kaput. I’ve seen around that he’ll be back, and I hope that leads to a reconciliation. Someone needs to be happy on this show.

I’ll only touch briefly on Crosby and Jasmine’s life this week because it was a rather quick and easy resolve. Crosby had a nice little growing up moment when his mother-in-law showed her humble side. I’m sure there will be conflict when her super religious side comes out, but for right now all is well.

The bigger story line of the week was a delving into the side effects of Kristina’s chemotherapy. Her hair began to fall out while out with the girls, which led to probably the most powerful scene the show has ever done. I almost believed that Monica Potter was actually shaving off her hair. The mixture of joy and sadness and pain on her face was perfection and she is one of my favorite actresses on the entire show. The subsequent wig drama was slightly hilarious, and I’m interested to see if Kristina sticks with staying bald as she decided to do at the end of the episode, or if the desire for a wig will resurface.

Overall, I’d say the episode was a winner, with the exception of Sydney, for whom I would seriously be looking into boarding school. I’ve never really been a fan of the Braverman grandparents, so the lack of them in this episode was perfectly fine with me.

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