I regretfully admit that I still have my doubts as to whether Parenthood will make it to a 5th season, but last night’s episode ripped my heart out and returned it to me with a box of Kleenex. I identified with so many aspects of the show, namely Haddie and Julia’s story lines. I relate to Haddie because when I left for college out of state, I couldn’t get away from my family fast enough, only to miss them dearly when I got there. I honestly think Adam and Christina need to adopt a deaf child so that their family can learn not to talk all at once. Talk about annoying!
While I have no idea what it’s like to adopt a baby, let alone a ten-year-old, my husband and I are experiencing our second pregnancy, yet still waiting for our first child. As if I’m not hormonal already, the floodgates opened wide when Julia said, “I feel like I’m waiting to fall in love with our son.” Like Julia, I’m still in the stage where I want to be excited, but I don’t want to get too attached in case something doesn’t work out. Meanwhile my husband is already calling me Mommy and making room for a crib in the nursery we painted last summer.
However, I was totally confused by Drew’s dilemma in this episode and I blame the promos that aired during Go On and The New Normal. They showed Amy dumping him in the teaser trailer, so I had to go back and watch last season’s finale to realize that hasn’t happened yet. That being said, I spent the entire episode wondering why he was trying to bulk up to get her back, and why he kissed her after they were already broken up. Obviously, I know now that they’ll break up next week, but the story line is ruined for me already.
The underlying theme of this episode is everyone feeling left out of something. The most obvious case is Mark, who wants so desperately to be in the family photo. While heartfelt and unique in its own way, I can’t help but feel like they stole this scenario from the “Random Skank” episode of How I Met Your Mother. Then there’s poor little Victor, who doesn’t feel like he’s part of the family because he didn’t grow up with them. Max’s brutal honesty isn’t helping either, though I hope he can eventually bond with Victor like he has with Jabbar. Jasmine’s mom feels left out of raising Jabbar, as do Jasmine and Crosby because they don’t know what to tell him about religion, which they should have hashed out before they got married, but who has time for that? Crosby and Jabbar’s heart-to-heart at the end of the night was perfect though, and made me cry yet again. Adam feels left out of Haddies life, which is why he manifests his fatherhood duties onto Amber. That leaves Haddie, who wants nothing more than to be left out, until she reaches out to Max and he doesn’t tell her he loves her, though I guess he shows her with his appreciation for her gift.
Let’s shift gears to Amber and Sarah. When is Amber going to learn to stay away from guys she meets at work, especially when that work involves aunts or uncles as her bosses. First there was George, the druggie burnout she met while working for Julia, played by Greek’s Scott Michael Foster. Then she did a 180 with Bob, the politician whose campaign she worked on with Christina. Now she’s sleeping with two-timing musicians at the Luncheonette, which threatens both business and her relationship with Adam and Crosby. Maybe she gets it from Sarah, who’s clearly about to enter into a love triangle with her long-time PYT Mark and old man Hank, played by Ray Romano. Though he’s clearly going to guest star in more than one episode, it still feels a little bit like stunt casting to me after he appeared on The Middle last season. In addition, the part where Hank tells Sarah that he didn’t fire her until after she loaded the van reminded me a lot of James Van Der Beek’s appearance on HIMYM, in which he dumps Robin after she does all the heavy lifting for him and his bandmates.
My biggest complaint is not with the show’s writers, but Dax Shepard for cutting his hair. He no longer fits into Jason Katims’ archetype of the long-haired misfit, but it’s his own head. I can’t help but feel like this show is about to reach its expiration date, and I will be sad to see it go. What did you think of the premiere? What are you most looking forward to this season?