Have you chosen a side yet? On last night’s episode of Parenthood, Kristina and Haddie both stuck to their guns about the Alex situation while Adam started to waver on his initial call. Up until this storyline neither Haddie or Kristina were standout characters on the show, but I really like what this disagreement has done. Especially because neither person is really wrong.
On the one hand, I’m growing increasingly irritated at Haddie’s accusations that her parents don’t want her to date Alex because of his race. I was even more annoyed that Alex had that reaction at first as well, but he’s since redeemed himself. It’s immature and unfair of Haddie to interpret her parents’ reactions as racist. The issue with Alex is the age difference, the alcoholism, and the maturity difference. He’s an adult with an apartment and no parents around. It’s natural for her parents to be concerned.
On the other hand, Camille has voiced some valid points about why Haddie should be allowed to date Alex. He’s a good person, and Haddie is falling in love with him. But forcing her to stop seeing him, they’re just pushing her away. After all, if Haddie left home even though Alex won’t see her without her parents’ support, then she’s obviously serious about it. Besides, age and parental supervision don’t mean everything when it comes to teenagers and relationships. Look at Haddie’s first boyfriend, Steve. He was an appropriate age. He had parents. But he wasn’t nearly as polite and respectful as Alex around Haddie’s parents, he pressured Haddie to have sex and he eventually slept with her cousin. So Haddie is right – Kristina was only looking at the negative aspects of Alex, and not the positives, like the fact that he will probably treat her daughter very well.
Even more interesting than the divide between Haddie and her parents is the divide it created between Kristina and Camille, and that was brought out really well in last night’s episode. Relationships between in-laws are always complicated, and Kristina feels like Camille has betrayed her and is, in a way, being judgmental or condescending. But Camille is just trying to help do what’s best for Haddie. If Haddie couldn’t stay with her grandparents, would she have gone back home? Not necessarily. The whole “teenage rebellion” thing can seem so cliche on TV dramas, but I think Parenthood has managed to keep this storyline interesting and fresh by creating this tense situation. In particular, I liked the final scene where Haddie told her parents she regretted telling them she’d choose Alex over them, but that she wasn’t changing her decision. I thought it showed that Haddie really has thought through her decision, and rather than running away in a childish, impulsive way she’s really standing up for what she believes.
At this point, I do feel really bad for Kristina. She just doesn’t believe that it will be good for Haddie to date Alex, and now that Adam has changed his mind she’s the only one that feels that way. That can’t be easy.
Julia’s party was the perfect way to display the tension between Kristina and Camille because there was the added tension of Julia wanting the party to be perfect sooooo badly. I’ve always really liked the character of Julia, and I think part of that is because there are aspects of her that definitely remind me of myself. I could totally relate to the way she planned everything out so carefully because she wanted people to think her house is fun. I also really love her relationship with Joel, and how they’re so opposite but work so well together. Joel is great at revealing what he’s thinking with just his facial expressions or one little comment.
In other developments, I’m a little worried about Sarah quitting her job as an intern with Adam’s company. I understand the reasons – she wants to make money to send Amber to college – but I just really hope that she finds something better and more lucrative than bartending. Next week we’ll meet her ex, played by John Corbett, who looked like a total ass in the scenes from next week. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the show, and seeing how that will develop Drew’s storyline. Drew hasn’t had a lot to work with so far in terms of plot, so it will be great to see his character develop some more.
I really enjoyed the subplot of Zeek’s camping trip with Max, because it was another interesting insight into the childhood of a kid with Asperger’s. It was obvious that there was so much that could go wrong on the trip, and that Zeek has never really had a good handle on what Max’s meltdowns can really be like. But the trip was a tradition for all the Braverman boys (I loved how Jasmine called Zeek out on the ridiculous sexism – her character is growing on me) and I didn’t want Max to miss out on that experience because of his Asperger’s. I loved how Adam was able to talk him into staying.
Speaking of Adam, seeing him accidentally high was every bit as fun as I thought it would be. Kudos to Peter Krause for playing that so well. Plus it livened up Julia’s stiff party, and any time the Bravermans get together and dance, I’m happy. Also, I’d like to join their family just a little bit.