Tag Archives: Parenthood Season 6

The 20 Best ‘Parenthood’ Moments (Top 10)

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Tonight is the finale of NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ and I couldn’t be more excited to see the episode, yet devastatingly sad to see the show go. In anticipation for one of my favorite shows on TV to go bye-bye, my mom, sister and I listed our top 20 best moments. Braverman favorites from my family to yours. You can see #20-11 HERE, but without further ado, our Top Ten. WARNING: TISSUES NEEDED (also, spoiler alert).

10. Adam and Kristina’s Cancer/Wig Fights – S6, Ep12 “Keep On Rowing”

deddb41b7249def9_TWOAdam can only keep a smile on for so long. He’s been a huge source of Kristina’s strength and normalcy and as she suffers the fallout from chemotherapy. When he tries to help with her wig selection, Kristina snaps. She can’t take his comforting tone because everything isn’t okay. Adam then drops his guard and in a moment of vulnerability, we get to see past his ‘perfect husband’ facade, learning what he’s actually feeling–fear. A tender moment from a great character. (He then picks her up in a limo for a night out!)

9. Max Finding Out He has Aspergers – S2, Ep17/18 “Do Not Sleep With Your Autistic Nephew’s Therapist” & “Qualities And Difficulties”

0AcjYgMax overhearing Crosby and Adam yelling about his autism was only the jarring precursor to the moment that really takes the #9 spot on this list. Adam and Kristina sitting Max down in an attempt to explain to him243679_512x288_generated what he has convey’s the weight of the moment within the episode and in the course of Max’s life. In their careful spin on his issues they both change his life and break their own hearts.

8. Haddie’s Off To College – S4, Ep1 “Family Portrait”

After Haddie casually say goodbye to her parents at the airport, the underscoring begins and we know the tears are about to follow. She looks back, hesitantly forward, and then breaks from the line for one final hug. As the camera swings away from the three hugging in the middle of the airport, I just want to join them. We’ll miss you too, Haddie.

7. Max’s Student Council Speech – S4, Ep6 “I’ll Be Right Here”


He owns it. Max comes out of his shell a little bit more by explaining what he has and how it hinders and ignites him. As Haddie watches on in place of a surgery ridden Kristina, the pride in her eyes (especially after scenes like “yelling at Max” in S3, Ep11’s “Missing”) and in our hearts is unmatched in Max moments. Cheesy? Yes. Awesome? Yes. This is all followed by Kristina asking Adam ‘How it went?’ when she wakes up from her operation. She isn’t referring to herself. Kristina wants to know how Max did in the election. He won! That’s her first thought and the tears roll on.

6. Adam Begins To Come Terms With Max’s Aspergers – S1, Ep2 “Man Vs Possum”

parenthood102-swing1It actually happens progressively in this episode. Adam deflecting all of Zeek’s questions. Dr. Pelican confirming Max’s diagnosis. Adam not really understand that it isn’t a temporary issue. He and Kristina then have a lovely conversation about how this is going to take their all. When the episode closes, Adam has dressed up as a pirate to play with his son. It isn’t a tearjerker, per say, but in only the show’s second episode it sets the stage for years to come.

5. Max’s Car Ride – S5, Ep18 “The Offer”

max5“Why do all the other kids hate me?” Oh, Max. It’s hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies for Max over the year, but recently it had been getting a little better. When Kristina and Adam finally allow themselves to let Max go on an overnight, they have to pick him up because Trevor peed in his canteen. Max’s break down in the car ride home, coupled with Kristina climbing in the back to comfort him is incredibly painful to watch. He may not want the hug, but we’re sure glad he got one.

4. Adam and Haddie’s Phone Conversation – S4, Ep5 “There’s Something I Need To Tell You”

It’s not just that Haddie steps up and demands to be treated like an adult. No. No. No. It’s when Adam tells her what’s actually happening. When he tells her he’s okay and hanging in there. It’s the tear that falls as he’s saying goodbye to Haddie. It’s the pain behind both of their eyes because the future is uncertain. It’s everything about everything.

3. Zeek’s Junkyard Speech – S2, Ep22 “Hard Times Come Again No More”

“I dreamt you, Amber. And Haddie and Drew and Sydney, Jabbar and Max. We almost lost you, Amber. I know you had some bad breaks; not feeling good about yourself; didn’t get into Berkeley. Well, boo-friggin’-hoo. You got a suck it up, girl. You’re a Braverman. You got my blood in your veins. You ever do something like this again. You even think about doing something like this, I will personally kick your little butt all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. You do not have my permission to mess with my dreams. Are we clear?” Don’t EVER mess with your grandfather’s dreams.

2. Kristina Tells the Family – S4,Ep5 “There’s Something I need to Tell You”

As Kristina looks around at her family, she knows at some point her news will break their status quo. She’ll be the family member with cancer and not Kristina anymore, but it has to be done. When Haddie surprises everybody, there’s a sense in the air that something is wrong. “I love you all so much and I just wanted to say that. Um, and there’s something that I need to tell you.” Then the dialogue cuts out and we are treated to and pained by the silent reactions of her family. It really doesn’t get much better than this scene.

1.The Video – S4, Ep11 “What To My Wondering Eyes”

There was never a question of what the number one spot was going to be. Not only was this moment a cry-fest, it was a truly earned tearjerker and that makes all of the difference. Just watch the video.

Conclusion: Season 4 was the best and Monica Potter’s lack of an Emmy Nomination is outrageous. I will be tragically upset on Thursday. The Braverman family will be dearly missed. Stay tuned for my finale review tomorrow morning!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

The WORST of ‘Parenthood’

parenthood_67511Friends, 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”gw5a9The 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”

tumblr_mg0a1igc0z1qe4wc7o1_500When 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”

parenthood318-napkin-rip1The 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

dreyfuss2Remember 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

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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

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…but you lost just more then the race. You lost my attention.

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”

tumblr_mbwga6dsac1rw0h9zo1_1280Haddie 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’!

-Bryan

Parenthood – We Made It Through The Night (S6, Ep12)

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The baby’s name is Zeek. It wasn’t too hard to guess, but still, I can officially retire.  Next week’s series finale can just be the cherry on top of my proverbial ‘Parenthood’ cake. Now all I need is an ending that can satisfy and tie up six season of some of my favorite television programming. No big deal. But for now, we can discuss the penultimate episode of what will be a hard show to bid farewell.

As we venture into a TV landscape without our favorite Berkley clan, the Bravermans are looking to the future of their own lives. These characters are starting to reflect and beginning to question their life decisions, both past and present. How do they directly relate to the days or years ahead? Joel and Julia, Zeek and Camille, Sarah and Hank, Kristina and Adam, Crosby and Jasmine, and the entire student body of Chambers Academy are laying the groundwork for what comes next. Marriage, babies, fighting, jobs, passions, and surgeries are all in question in episode 12 of season six.

Kristina just had to get a word in with Jasmine, didn’t she? I don’t judge Kristina for that move in the waiting room, as she’s always ready to take some sort of action as much as Jasmine, but Jasmine was asking for it with some sort of confirmation that everything was okay. There’s a part of her that knew inserting herself was a bad move, even if it only momentarily revived the Luncheonette. She really did guilt Adam back into the studio, but that’s on him. This is something Crosby and Adam needed to hash out with honest conversations. As the episode progressed, it became more and more clear that the business is over. A heartbroken Crosby doesn’t want the business just to have it, when Adam doesn’t feel the passion for it. It was always about the two of them and just like in a romantic relationship, it has to be 50-50. Will the two of them fully reconcile next week? Will they each figure out what’s next or will we be left to wonder how they will pay for Cornell and Hogwarts? If anything, at least the show seems to be taking a different approach with this storyline.

It was nice to finally see something actually happening at Chambers Academy. Actually, this paragraph is going to be short because, as you know, I dislike this aspect of the show and there are Parenthoodbetter things to write about. Fine, I’ll try to talk about it positively. It was great to see that there were mentors to help the kids, as I’ve still never seen a teacher yet–especially the one that Julia slept with last year. (Her first post-Joel fling.) I liked that Adam and Kristina are looking forward to Max and all of the other kids’ future. Max clings to the 85% statistic, as it is a number that he can understand. Kristina and Adam may not have gotten through to him just yet, but they know it’s a journey that’s just starting now. Chamber’s has an amazing dance studio that houses Kristina and Jasmine’s ‘head-nod reconciliation’. Oh I’m done with the nice. Ave Maria/Souffle montage? Too much. WAY too much–except for Adam’s slow motion dance. That may have been worth it. Let’s hope this is the last of the school, forever.

No matter how you see it, Joel and Julia going out to hash it out in the car is a very good thing. There’s a passion they rediscovered for each other that they’re working to keep around. If only they worked it out BEFORE they told the kids it’ official! There are struggles that they’ll have to face: their ‘magic numbers’, lingerie bought for Chris, Chris and work, but they recognize those obstacle. (Keep in mind: all Julia issues.) Victor asked some great questions that deserve to be worked on for the sake of all four Graham members. By taking the negative energy out of the house, it will save them from going to bed angry. It makes the bedroom and house a safe space. Going to the car may be a key to make their marriage and family last a long time.

It’s been a while, but you got me again ‘Parenthood’. When Sarah lays her concerns on the table to Hank, revealing she wants to get married soon and close to home so that Zeek can walk her down the aisle–my tear ducts started to work overtime. Sarah’s transformation over these six seasons has been one of the bigger ones. Now that she’s 4284036c997d2547061f2eb48fb3settling down with Hank and in a wonderful scene with a terrified Amber, shows calm, instills trust commands a motherly demeanour, Sarah is no longer the unstable person we we first met in 2010. After all of those poor decisions and love triangle, she better! Was anybody else a tad nervous that something bad was going to happen when Amber asked her to come alone? Everything’s okay though because the baby’s name is Zeek!

I never actually thought Zeek was going to get the surgery, but he’ shown a great deal of inner strength to be dealing with big life choices in less stubborn ways. Zeek has also been conserving energy, instead of expelling it. He backs away from the waiting room fight and leave the dinner table (#originalsix) when his kids started to get out of control. Usually he’d jump right 5633316a0919a3a70dd9a15cc456in, but if he only has a limited amount of time left, Zeek sure as hell doesn’t want to spend it bickering. I found it interesting that breaking of the news to the four children wasn’t shown. It seems like a missed tearjerking moment. Then again, we’ve seen the kids react to his decision before. Maybe it would be too redundant–an explosion of opinions, telling him that he’s making a mistake? However, this time, I imagine they were all accepting of his decision. Millie, with her super cool hat and hip portraits of a younger? Zeek, respects his decision, but only reads as heartbroken. Their early hike scene is heartbreaking, as Zeek can’t symbolically make it to end, so they enjoy the view from where they are on the mountaintop. Camille and Zeek know they need to take in the little moments where ever they may be, like when they lock eyes while meeting their great-grandchild for the first time. While we knew he was going to be baby Zeek, Zeek Sr’s (can I call him that now?) tongue-tied look of shock and honor is beautiful. I’m so glad the the Zeeks got to meet. Who knows how long they’ll have together.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that nobody dies next week. If anybody, Zeek dies after the wedding. I foresee no surprises, as this last episode is a prep for what come next, not necessarily a starting line. Maybe they jump forward in time at the end to show what everybody is up to down the line? We’ll have to wait and see, but this week they’re all making moves forward. Also, the baby’s name is Zeek.

Next week I’ll be dedicating most of my posts to the Thursday night finale. Stay tuned as we say goodbye to the Bravermans!

Keep on Watchin’

-Bryan

Parenthood – Season 6: PART 1

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As you all know, I haven’t been reviewing Parenthood on a week to week basis like I’ve done in past years. While I of course spend every Thursday night crying and laughing at 10pm EST with our favorite TV family, I obviously haven’t felt the need (or found the time) to put my Braverman opinions into words. Now that it’s on hiatus until NBC airs Parenthood’s final four episodes in January, I’d like to take a step back and look at what Jason Katims and his team have given us thus far. I’ll discuss both the ups and the downs of what is clearly leading to a tearful good-bye.

ADAM/KRISTINA/MAX

Ever since season 4 and Kristina’s cancer scare, these characters’ story have gone downhill. From last season’s mayoral run to this terribly executed school for Max (that is clearly missing the headmaster I thought they had hired. Are there any employees other than Adam and Kristina?). Here are two people that were the emotional and moral centerpiece of the show and are no longer serving that purpose. Overall, I think what the writers are trying to do, create a situation where Max has to face pubescent adversity, is an excellent direction and perfect moment in time to explore. However, framed within the context of this wretched school (that reeeeeally is only for Max), has brought out a side of Kristina and Adam that doesn’t suit them. Their fight in front of everybody at open school night coupled with their mishandling of Max and his aggressive pursuit of Dylan haven’t emphasised their ability to handle things like adults or as teachers. However, I have enjoyed the portion of the this plot dealing with Dylan’s connection with Kristina as a surrogate parent and how that leads Max to interpret her feelings differently. The thing is that the harassment Max elicits is not okay and it all wasn’t solved (for me) with Max’s apology. There’s still a lot to be done to course correct these characters, but I’d be just as happy to let this one go and never revisit the school. And how about their convenient money troubles?

CROSBY/JASMINE

For a while I had no idea what was happening here. Crosby was serving as comic relief and Jasmine was the nagging bickering wife, etc and so forth. When we were served the motorcycle accident and injuries red herring, I was a totally lost as to what was happening in this corner of the Braverman ring. Why even try to fake us out with Crosby? I know we’re all anticipating losing a member of our Berkley clan by the show’s end, but this was just poorly written (and executed). A cheap shot at a loyal audience. On the flip side, I am liking how it filters into Crosby and Jasmine’s larger issues. With the Luncheonette failing to produce any income, the Braverman-Trussels are in a tough spot and it’s been Crosby acting out and hiding this info in a juvenile manner from his wife. When they’re working together, I like the Jasmine and Crosby dynamic, so I anticipate seeing more of that as the season enters its final stretch. The Braverman clan has always had moments of financial uncertainty. Zeek with his botched land deal, Adam losing his job with Cornell payments, and now Crosby and the Luncheonette, again, are clear examples of money problems that never truly get solved. They get dropped and forgotten. (They should have sold, of course.)  Hopefully this won’t happen again and there will be actual consequences. The Braverman bank accounts have never been a great story telling device for these writers.

SARAH/HANK/RUBY

I really, really love Ray Romano on this show. His presence has always been a welcome addition to the everyday lives of this family. That doesn’t mean that i’m going to want to spend my last couple of episodes exploring his family life. Early on in the season, I thought Sarah’s role in the life that she had chosen with Hank was a story worth telling. As it has strayed from that, with the exception of the wonderful scenes with Mr. Cyr, Sarah’s story has become lost amongst a family who’s drama I am not interested in, especially as I say good-bye to the Bravermans. Sarah is becoming lost to the Ruby drama, and I want her out in front of this as a viewer. There isn’t enough Amber/Sarah interaction for my liking.

AMBER/DREW

Nothing is better than an Amber-Zeek scene. From early on in the series, when he took her to the junkyard after her car accident, to this season when she told him that she was preggers, they always hit the emotional highs that this show can deliver so well when it’s on a roll. Zeek on the other hand, has put Drew in an unfair position in lying to Camille. He’s concerned, so of course he’s going to relay this all to Millie! His stress level has risen to an all time high now that he decided that his major should be economics. The sentiment (and obvious necessity) behind his need for money and stability is admirable, especially when you come from Sarah’s branch of the family tree. A nephew on the way and a lifetime of financial struggle will absolutely make you re-prioritize. When you’re also told by your uncle, who is in dire need of funds, to literally go for the gold, the thought process of a boy only seeing dollar signs is going to be majorly influenced. It sad to see him squandering a certain form of happiness for the support of others, but there’s still four more episodes to go.

JULIA/JOEL

As a person who has gone back and forth on whether this plotline is actually working, I would say that the current needle is leaning towards the “working” side. While I appreciated the conveyed messiness of feelings and unforgivable actions, I still think the show did a not-so-great job over the long haul of making it too much of Joel’s fault. They didn’t articulate, until the italian lunch scene, that the true unforgivable act they can’t surpass was Joel leaving–a questionable move when it first happened, as it was out of character. Julia did kiss and have too much of an emotional connection with Ed (that they FINALLY brought back up).  I thought that the conversations Joel, Julia, and even Chris have been involved in are raw, heartfelt, heartbreaking, and timely (if not too late). This helped me to be drawn back into their drama. Joel and Julia’s final kiss over the divorce documents really doesn’t bring any sort of final closure for me. I want to see what happens next because I just don’t believe that everything is solved if it’s been this long of a storyline. They made it messy and cleaning it up this nicely just doesn’t stay consistent with what we’ve been presented. Of course, most importantly in J&J’s life, HOW DO THEY CLAIM THAT SIDNEY IS NOT A LITTLE BRAT?! Just watch every Sidney episode…ever.

ZEEK/CAMILLE

When these two actors get the material they deserve, they knock it out of the ballpark. Millie’s frustration with Zeek, Zeek’s frustrations with himself, and watching Kristina help him back to his feet are all highlights of this season. The ultimate moment has to be just before his episode ending heart trouble when the two fall in love all over again over the French bed & breakfast. (Also, am I the only one that believes she is that good with her iPad? She did Skype with Zeek from Italy for a few months.) I have to say, if Zeek is a red herring and somebody else unexpectedly kicks the TV bucket, I’ll be a little disappointed in the writers. There is something to be said about how a family deals with the death of the patriarch and semi-knowing that something tragic is coming. Seeing Adam step up into the main family role and Amber naming her baby Zeek (I mean, come on–of course that will happen) could be a fitting end to these six seasons–if too predictable.

Other thoughts:

  • I could also see Kristina’s cancer coming back. Would that devastate me completely? Yes, regardless of my feelings toward their current school situation.
  • I like the Haddie references here and there.
  • To save money, Parenthood (and NBC) haven’t included all the characters in every episode. Almost every episode this season has been a random selection of story lines per Thursday–ala carte characters. I personally haven’t enjoyed this, as it’s been hit or miss with the revolving plots. It messes with the flow of the season and makes some hours feel so–empty.

As much as I love these people, I’m ready to say good-bye in January.

Keep on Watchin’

-Bryan