While tonight’s episode of Parenthood” was good, I’m thankful it wasn’t too tear inducing.

I like to call Parenthood a reality show because it is the most realistic show on television. Even the less realistic stuff is so heartwarming. It’s a perfect blend of escapism and realism, which is ironic considering the so called “reality shows” are the most unrealistic scripted shows currently on air.

As I type this I’m on vacation visiting my dad and the rest of my family. Being around so much family makes me both miss them when I’m away and wish for some peace and quiet while visiting them. My family is loud and boisterous and way too pushy while being caring and thoughtful. It’s wonderful and annoying, much like Camille. Sent to make things easier for a recovering Kristina, she winds up making Kristina’s life more stressful. Already feeling alone and useless, Kristina finds out her mom can’t even be bothered to come up to be there for her as she begins chemo treatment. The scene at the end with Camille telling Kristina she can never replace her mom is when I lost it. Especially that hug and sweater gift. I have now cried in every episode this season, so thanks for that, “Parenthood.” (By the way, that sweater was the sweetest and most thoughtful thing I have ever seen.)

mae whitmanWhile Kristina is stuck at home, Adam is yelling at Crosby and berating him for little things because he’s so worried about Kristina. Adam venting to Crosby in the bar and finally confessing his fears was just the therapy he needed. It was on par with Kristina eating ice cream and taking Max to the arcade: they both finally found a way to channel their fears and angers and insecurities into something else. At the end, they are right where they want to be — together. They will get through this but only if they do it together. Man. There goes the tears. Again.
In other Braverman news, Joel and Julia are still trying to assimilate Victor to his new life and invite his old childhood friend Miguel over. Finally the boy opens up and has a genuinely good time. It was so great to see Victor smile and be a kid. It’s not easy adopting a young boy, but Joel and Julia are making the best of it, as evidence of Julia studying Spanish at the end of the episode. It’s not something she has to do — especially since Victor speaks perfect English — but rather something she wants to do for him in order for him to remember his culture and background. It’s an incredibly sweet gesture and even made Victor smile. But since Julia quit her big fancy lawyer job I guess she’s got a lot more time on her hands.

Cute new couple alert! Matt Lauria returns as war vet Ryan and Amber’s new flame. While out on a sexy putt putt date, the two agree to take it slow by hopping into bed together. Later, Ryan confesses to Zeek that he’s got some guilt he can’t let go of since serving in Afghanistan. Amber really likes the guy, and Ryan seems to adore Amber, so I hope the PTSD thing doesn’t become too much for them. Most shows throwing in the PTSD angle would be cheesy and melodramatic, but I have faith in the writers and actors that it will be well done and realistic. Plus, Mae Whitman and Matt Lauria have fantastic chemistry, so please don’t go anywhere, Ryan.

Finally, Drew uses his aunt’s cancer and new living situation to get a little something from his ex-girlfriend. Is she just feeling sorry for him or does she regret breaking up with him in the first place?

Overall another fine episode in what is proving to be “Parenthood’s” best season yet. As the episode title suggests, family will always be together, whether we will want it or not. As someone who lost a brother to cancer — among others as well — these episodes are hitting close to home without it feeling forced. If the theme of the night is realism, then the writers are making it as real as it can get.

Written by Jordan Hickman. Read more from her at www.reallylatereviews.com and follow her on twitter at @jordan_hickman.

(Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC)