Parenthood – Episode 1-9 Review

Parenthood just keeps getting better. I’ve been raving about the show all season long, and in last week’s post I expressed my glee that the show has been renewed for a second season. Every episode has been touching, real and sharply funny.

I loved, loved, loved this week’s episode. There isn’t a character on this show that I dislike or feel is unnecessary. Lauren Graham was on fire this week, channeling just enough of Lorelei Gilmore to make Sarah funny without being a duplication. Peter Krause dancing made my life. The chemistry between Dax Shepard and Joy Bryant was fantastic. I still can’t believe what a gem Dax Shepard turned out to be. He’s engaged to my favorite, Veronica Mars‘ Kristen Bell, so they have officially become TV royalty in my book.

One of the major storylines this week revolved around Kristina’s return to work, temporarily. Someone she knew from her days in civic politics had called on her to help with a big campaign, and Adam agreed to take care of the family while she went to help. There were two things I loved about this story: How supportive of a husband Adam was, and how Kristina struggled to keep up with the new tech-savvy workforce.

The first great scene came when Kristina was trying to figure out what outfits to wear on her trip. All of her business-wear was hideously dated. I was psyched that Sarah and Julia were there, because I love seeing the three ladies interact. “From the David Byrne collection…Cybill’s Shepherd’s lost jacket,” Sarah said. “It’s like an episode of Hoarders, when’s the last time you cleaned that closet?”

Poor Kristina arrived on the campaign scene to find everyone working furiously on their laptops, and throwing around foreign words like “tweets”. I felt really bad for Kristina. As a female college grad trying to start a career, with a lot of female college grad friends starting careers, the question of “Can you have it all?” has come up a few times. The answer? Not often. We’ve all had older female bosses with great careers and no home lives. We’ve all seen moms sacrifice. To see Kristina struggle to keep up with the other campaign workers was hard, but it was great to see her get back in her element and impress them.

Adam can be insensitive and brash at times, but what keeps him from being unlikable is the fact that the writers make sure to show that he is a genuinely good guy. Was he a jerk to Max’s behavioral specialist? Yes. Is he a crazy and overprotective father? Definitely. But he wants what is best for his family. When Kristina came home from her trip glowing with pride and with the news that she’d been offered a full-time position, Adam immediately supported her. Kristina decided on her own that it wasn’t the right time for her to return to work, but hearing Adam talk about cutting back his own work hours, having his mom help out with the kids and having groceries delivered was nice.

While Kristina was away working, Adam tackled a couple of fatherhood issues this week. He and Kristina found out that Haddie had ordered a sexy bra, and when she tried to wear it under an off-the-shoulder top to go over to Steve’s, he freaked out. I find that I’m always on Haddie’s side until I’m reminded that she’s fifteen, and then I’m on board with Adam. Haddie went to Steve’s house anyway, and when Adam stormed over there to get her he found her in Steve’s room, with the door shut, making out on the bed. Obviously, Haddie was furious and embarrassed. But Adam was right.

My favorite parenting moment, though, was between Adam and Sarah’s son Drew. Drew has come to look to Adam as a father figure, and so he came to Adam when he needed advice for a big school dance. He just wanted to be shown how to slow dance, but Adam misinterpreted and unleashed his high school dance moves. Apparently, he was known as “The Fever”. Next thing he knew, Drew was watching Adam, Kristina, Julia and Sarah all dance like there was no tomorrow in the living room. Not exactly what he’d had in mind.

Julia had a cute storyline this week. She suspected that Sydney had broken a vase, but Sydney wouldn’t fess up. I loved seeing Sydney display a bit of attitude almost as much as I loved Joel laughing in the background at how much Sydney takes after Julia. Julia cordoned off the area with the broken vase until Julia finally admitted she’d broken it. My two favorite moments were when Sydney told Julia that Harmony’s mom had told her that “lawyer” and “liar” were the same thing (I hate Racquel even when she’s not in the episode!) and Sydney begrudgingly telling her mom “I broke the vase. You win, I lose. Are you happy now?” What a cute little smart-ass!

Sarah tried to inspire Amber to go to college this week, and the process revealed a lot about both characters.

To make some extra money to be able to afford a college tour, Sarah had Amber work with her during a poetry reading. It sounded innocent enough, but it turned out that Jim the barista was the poet, and he’d written a few incredibly awkward poems about being…intimate with Sarah. I love the chemistry between Sarah and Amber. “It’s about flowers, right?” Sarah asked about the poem. “I think it’s about your vag,” Amber replied.

When Amber and Sarah went to visit Berkeley, Sarah raved about what a great experience it would be. Amber knew that Sarah was jealous that Jim was a published poet, and that part of her wished she’d accomplished that. I love how well Amber understands her mom, despite their differences. At the end of the episode, she dropped a Berkeley catalog in front of her mom and suggested that she apply.

The biggest story development this week involved Crosby an Jasmine. After putting Jabbar to bed one night, Crosby and Jasmine shared a kiss. At first they were awkward, and Crosby was nervous about starting a relationship with someone he couldn’t run away from. As immature as it might have sounded, it was a fair point.

He decided to ask Jasmine out for dinner so they could get to know each other better. In the middle of their date they had to leave because Jabbar was having problems at Julia’s. It was pretty cute to find out that Jabbar was only afraid of using the bathroom at Julia’s, and it was great to see Jasmine and Crosby coach him through the problem together. He stayed at Julia’s, and Jasmine and Crosby ended up spending the night together. The relationship progressed more quickly than it probably should have, so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. As great as it would be to see Jasmine and Crosby live happily ever after, I’m sure things will be more complicated than that.

There should be four more episodes left this season, and I can’t wait to find out what happens. I’m looking forward to finding out what will happen with the heads of the Braverman clan, Zeek and Camille, and to see if Crosby will man up or screw up.

What did you think of “Perchance to Dream”? Are you still loving Parenthood?