Friends, my ‘Parenthood’ tears are not always brought on by great moments. Later on I’ll post my top 10 list, but in the meantime, I’m going to break your hearts in another way. While there was nothing equivalent to season 2 of ‘Friday Night Lights’ and “Lance: Serial Rapist Killer on the Run,” our beloved Braverman family and their writers aren’t always perfect. Below is my list of worst moment and story lines for all six seasons. Once again, Spoiler Alert!
7. Adam and Kristina Not Moving Haddie into College – S4, Ep1 “Family Portrait”The moment Haddie comes back to hug her family is beautiful. It really is a wonderful sequence. One of the best the show has ever done. It also makes no sense. Haddie is going from Berkeley, CA to Ithaca, NY to attend Cornell University. It’s a one or two connection trip at the very least and the small Ithaca airport is not that close to campus. That’s even if she flies to the Ithaca airport! She could be getting into Syracuse or a surrounding airport and have to commute. I know this is overthinking it, but there is no way that Kristina or Adam wouldn’t be going with her to help her move in on the first day of college. After three seasons, it’s so out of character for Haddie to be going alone. They’re lucky they nailed the sentiment because the details make absolutely no sense at all.
6. Sydney Acting Out – S6, Ep2 “Happy Birthday, Zeek”
When Sydney starts to bully others at school in season 6, Joel and Julia (and the writers) blame her behavior on their own separation. The continually argue that, “this isn’t like Sydney.” Really? Really?! I beg to differ. The Sydney Graham I know treated her new brother like a criminal, repeatedly locked herself in her own room, yells at her parents regularly, and has shown over and over again how spoiled her parents have made her. I would argue that this behavior is exactly like her and needs to be corrected another way
5. Braverman Finances – S1, Ep8 & S3, Ep18 “Rubber Band Ball” & “My Brother’s Wedding”
The writers have written themselves into a few corners concerning the financial situations of the Braverman clan. Early on in the series Zeek came to Adam about a bad real estate investment that became a dire issue. That situation fizzled out and Zeek’s money problems were never brought up again. Later in season 3, Adam and Crosby have to make the decision on whether to sell The Luncheonette or not. Adam, with Max in private school, Haddie at Cornell, a giant house to make payments on, and a toddler, was under a tremendous amount of stress when he decided to rip up the deal at Crosby’s wedding. The following season, add some medical bills to the mix and we still never heard a peep about his woes. While it doesn’t need to be brought up on a regular basis, it felt abandoned when it was a major issue. Hopefully Adam and Crosby will have learned some sort of lesson and make smart decisions in the finale.
4. Sarah’s Job Evolution – S1-6
Remember when she was a bartender? Remember when she was a graphic designer? Remember when she was a playwright? Remember when she was a building super? Remember when she was a photography assistant? I mean, at least she found her calling, as a photographer–right? I understand that her search for a passion only came second to her role as a mother, but these job opportunities are all over the place and never had any follow through. Most of Sarah’s story lines revolved around love triangles and fighting with Amber, but her jobs verged on comical. I think the playwright phase is still what gets me.
3. Julia and Joel – S 5-6
Over the long haul of the Joel and Julia’s split plot, I would probably agree that it worked, if not executed well at all times. However, I do think that it started from a disingenuous place which has tainted most of it for me. Since Julia is a Braverman, she is looked upon in a relatively positive, yet biased, light. Realistically, almost everything that has gone wrong with their marriage can be attributed to her because the show only showed her actions that lead up to the Ed “affair.” A marriage is 50/50 and we were only getting half of the story–following her troubles with Victor and not working. These were also her choices. Then, when, Joel walked out, it was so out of character that it didn’t read or feel like it was earned in the slightest. It was an unjustified character move that forced a dramatic story line rather than organically moving something forward. I’m not saying that Julia was 100% at fault. What I am saying is that since her side of the story and mistakes she made took a large amount of spotlight, her incessant blaming of Joel didn’t make any sense. I get that there are no black and whites when it comes to a messy relationship and Joel and Julia clearly had communication issues. Even though the writers have tried to course correct (the season 6 scene at the Italian restaurant and last week’s car fight), early on this was a convoluted, poorly executed, and forced mess.
2. Kristina’s Mayoral Run and School Creation – Seasons 5-6
These plot lines came from a great place of strength and “YOLO” after Kristina’s cancer scare. Unfortunately, they fell so far outside of the writer’s comfort zone, that they never landed. Not only was Bob Little written as a straight up bad guy, even the emotional moments didn’t work because everything else was so ridiculous. The school (which seemed to take an incredibly short amount of time to get up and running with no teachers in sight) is so all over the place and has put Adam and Kristina in an unflattering light as of late. They aren’t educators and a lot of things at Chambers Academy would never fly at any school–regardless of the good they are doing for the community. Granted nothing was going to live up to the season 4 cancer plot, but these didn’t even hold a candle. ‘Parenthood’ is on its best game when the writers are writing intimate family moments. These Kristina stories started to lose track of why the show is called ‘Parenthood’.
1. The Haddie Cancer Lie – S4, Ep6 & S4, Ep11 “There’s Something I Need To Tell You” & “What To My Wondering Eyes”
Haddie asked Adam to treat her like an adult, so he relayed the details of Kristina’s cancer in a tear filled scene. She then surprises her family by flying cross country to be with her mom as she goes through the hardest time of her life. Finally, after Adam and Kristina learn that the cancer has spread and chemotherapy is needed, they lie to Haddie about it, so that she will go back to Cornell to focus on school. Okay, fine. This just means that they’re setting up a confrontation when Haddie finds out they’re lying because Kristina has taken a turn for the worse, right? Nope. It is never addressed at all. The anticipation of the argument is for naught. Haddie just shows up at the hospital during Christmas and their lie, which was used as episode cliffhanger scene (denoting that it was important) is just left out to dry. In such a high stakes situation, I don’t believe that their wouldn’t have been a discussion at all. To this day it really bothers me, as it is a small, but sour point of an incredible season.
Well there you have it folks. A worst of the best show list. Stay tuned for my TOP 10 LIST coming soon…
Keep on Watchin’!