I’ve been watching Parenthood since the beginning and in my opinion this season is the best one yet. So many wonderful moments and superb acting throughout this whole season, and tonight’s was no exception. I’m actually having a hard time writing this review. Please bear with me; we’ll get through this together. I have so many thoughts.

PARENTHOOD — Season: 4 — Pictured: (l-r) Dax Shepard as Crosby Braverman, Lauren Graham as Sarah Braverman, Erika Christensen as Julia Braverman-Graham, Peter Krause as Adam Braverman — Photo by: NBC

Parenthood  “Small Victories” Review

“Parenthood” has never shied away from the difficult topics, and tonight’s episode is living proof. The teen pregnancy trope is a tricky thing, and usually when conveyed on screen it’s got an after school message attached to it. When I watched last week’s trailer, I just did a WHAT! as the screen went to black. Jason Katims did the abortion storyline exceedingly well on “Friday Night Lights” a few years ago, (it was actually one of the best and most honest things the show did) and I wasn’t sure how NBC would play it out. Maybe Amy would suffer a heart wrenching, plot convenient miscarriage, or a fellow Braverman would raise the child, but I never thought there would be an abortion. Honestly. I mean, everything happened off screen, but I think it’s okay to assume she went through with it. Especially seeing Drew’s emotional hug with Sarah at the end. Like everything in “Parenthood” the storyline was handled with tact and honesty, but something felt off to me. It just felt too heavy handed and too hard-hitting for this show to take on. Are we to believe that there wasn’t even a little bit more of a discussion on adoption, especially considering Joel and Julia’s plight? I know having an 18-year-old dealing with a pregnancy is scary, but it seemed a little false to me.

This show is very talky. Characters say twelve words when two will do, so it seemed a little odd to have most of Drew and Amy’s scenes be mostly scored to music. Overall it was well done, and I’m not upset by the abortion, I just thought the whole scenario seemed a bit rushed and harried. But, as an aside, I’ve yet to point out Miles Heizer’s acting, but tonight he was on fire. You could really see the little boy in there who only wanted to support and comfort Amy. Kudos, to both Heizer and Skylar Day who plays Amy.

I lost my brother at too young an age, so Drew’s scene with Amber and him telling her he didn’t want his baby taken away really made me miss my brother. My brother never got to grow up and have a future, so with Drew’s being taken away against his wishes really got me worked up. A small scene from Mae Whitman, but a powerful one nonetheless.

In a storyline I hate, Julia is debating about whether to go through with the adoption of Victor. After he calls the cops on them and falsely accuses Julia and Joel of child abuse is the moment she gave up on him. Joel walking out on Julia was the exact reaction I would have had given up on her. Julia’s never had to work for anything in her life. She’s the big fancy lawyer with the perfect family who jumped into the adoption process without a whole lot of thought. Now that times are tough she’s ready to give up. I hate it. I really do. Victor’s acting out because it’s what kids do. Here’s an 11-year-old who was dropped on some stranger’s doorstep; things aren’t supposed to go smoothly. But they made a promise and a commitment to him and Julia giving up just shows her weakness. Sam Jaeger’s tears as he walked up the stairs dumbfounded at his wife’s confession had me wishing I could give him a hug.

In less serious news, Max is going through puberty so Adam has The Talk with him. We’ve never seen Max embarrassed before, (I mean, when he saw Zeek he said “Hey grandpa, I have pubic hair”) so him telling his dad he wasn’t ready for the talk was a bit of a surprise. Honestly, I thought Max was going to say that he was gay or something, but instead I think he’s finally conscious of his changing body.  But, if anything, it got Max to shower more and put on deodorant. In the words of Kristina: “Small victories, Braverman.” Indeed.

Last week saw Jasmine’s mom moving in with her and Crosby and Jabbar, so we already knew where this one was heading. Renee is driving a wedge between Crosby and Jasmine and if Jasmine doesn’t speak up to her mother then she will begin to lose Crosby. Her forcing Crosby to eat fish, and not waiting to eat dinner with him before he got off work all seemed like little things, but eating with the family is something he looks forward to.  I blame all of this on Jasmine not putting her foot down and choosing to support her mom over her husband. And she had the nerve to be pissed off with him at the end of her mother’s patronizing speech. Whatever, Jasmine.

Finally, we get more Sarah, Hank and Mark drama. Mark visits Sarah because he was worried about Drew which stirs up all sorts of feelings from Sarah. At this point I don’t care who she chooses to be with. Neither deserve her, and jealous Hank was neither charming nor sweet. Next week’s episode looks to deal with this very issue so I already hate it out of spite. I’m betting she chooses Mark, but at this point I don’t really care.

A wonderful episode, again with small moments which I’m sure will all culminate into one beautiful package in the finale. I like these small moment episodes, and while parts felt rushed, it still made me cry a river and made my brain all cloudy which resulted in this review being all over the place and befuddled; apologies to all.

Written by Jordan Hickman. You can read more from her at www.reallylatereviews.com and follow her on Twitter at @jordan_hickman.



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