Tag Archives: Parenthood

Parenthood Series Finale – May God Bless You and Keep You Always (S6, Ep13)

54cb14fc5d2d2.imageI started watching ‘Parenthood’ day one because I love show-runner, writer, and producer, Jason Katims. The incredible cast, wonderful Ron Howard movie, and hole in my schedule for an hour family drama are all secondary reasons I flipped to NBC on March 2nd, 2010. The show-running ability that Katims displayed on “Friday Night Lights” had me looking forward to his next project, regardless of who or what was involved. I currently watch ‘About A Boy’ because his name on it, regardless of its debatable quality. Fortunately, we all lucked out that ‘Parenthood’ turned out to be one of the better series on TV.

I believe the reason it has permeated itself into the lives of those who watched it is not because we couldn’t wait to know what would happen the following week. It was the execution of moments. The family and friend moments that we could all relate to on a weekly basis. The way the siblings interacted with each other when all together or in smaller groups and how each parent had a different relationship with their children was real and believable. The little life moments, that we may not remember in our own lives, are displayed in each and every episode. Even the larger moments, some of which Katims took from his own life (his wife’s breast cancer fight and their autistic son), we see ourselves in and wonder how we would handle these situations. All of these little and large moments are earned and that is extremely rare for a TV show. Katims wrote the finale and it continued his sentiments wholeheartedly. But enough of that: onto the final hour.

I cried for an hour. I cried for a full hour. I didn’t cry because “sad things” were happening. I cried because it was beautiful and I will genuinely miss these people. The closing montage 150121_2841664_Coming_Up__Parenthood_Series_Finalewas incredibly satisfying in the way that ‘FNL’ or ‘Scrubs’ was way back when. Here, our favorite family spread their patriarch’s ashes on the little league field ,as they played as a family, bringing the whole series full circle. This show started with baseball and ended with baseball. Baseball, an individual sport played in a team setting, is a great metaphor for this family. They are carving out their own individual paths, but are much stronger as a unit.

Weave this in with flash forwards of what each Braverman family tree branch is up to in the future and you’ve got family television gold. After adopting Victor’s half-sister, the Graham branch not only adds a fourth child, but an adorable puppy. (Communication saved that marriage.) The Luncheonette reopened with the Braverman-Trussells at the helm, Aida with full afro, and another one on the way. Hank and Sarah have cemented themselves at the top of their branch with Ruby, Ryan, two grandchildren, and Amber’s husband (a fatter, balder Jason Street [Scott Porter]) joining the crew. Kristina moves on to working for a non-profit, as Adam takes over as headmaster of Chambers Academy, handing Max his diploma in front of the family. (Adam seemed to be more suited for Chambers Academy than Kristina anyway.) As they walked off into the distance, family both smaller and bigger, we got to say goodbye to them with happy endings and tears of joy.

Sarah moved in with her parents to raise her kids. Now they have a stable and strong nuclear unit. Crosby lived on a boat, unhappily dated Katie (Marguerite Moreau), and did his laundry at his parents’ house with no game plan. Now’s the man that Zeek knew he could be all along. Adam and Kristina were lost in how to raise their autistic son and dramatic daughter, but became great community leaders for many causes. Uptight Julia had a seemingly perfect life, but needed to learn how to be flexible and open after it all fell apart. As we witnessed the relatable trials and tribulations of the Braverman siblings and their families, the believability that all of these characters’ changes were justified always came across as genuine. When Zeek peacefully passes away, having held on to walk his daughter down the aisle, the opening moments of Hank asking for her hand, as well as telling him why the wedding is so soon are all the more poignant, especially knowing how far this family has come since day one. That’s when I realized something that had never truly hit home before.

“Boy, we did good, didn’t we, Camille?” This show was always about Zeek. Everything about this hour and the six seasons was about Zeek. It was a comprehensive snapshot of the legacy that he and Camille put together and help grow. Through bad times and good, they were the trunk to the Braverman family tree. By being told the the stories of Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Julia, we were essentially seeing his story. In a way, the season 2 scene Parenthood - Season 6with Zeek and Amber in the junkyard is this show’s most important. You don’t mess with somebody elses dreams when they are of the highest importance. His family going down the right track with their roots firmly planted in the family he has grown with Camille was always his first priority. I by no means am calling him a saint. He was a stubborn man, who was unfaithful to his wife, and a chronic conversation avoider, but had the biggest most understanding heart of all of the Bravermans. Symbolically, once Sarah walked down the aisle into Hank’s arms, Zeek’s job was done. All of his children were the trunks of their own trees and his heart could no longer go on. When Camille called for him and he didn’t answer, the moments of silence were deafening.

One of the reasons that Zeek didn’t want the surgery is to spare his family the grief of watching him “die.” He went out the way he wanted: peacefully without his kids worrying. I’m glad that there wasn’t a funeral sequence.That somber mood wouldn’t have reflected what the show brought to us every week. His life was celebrated in the final montage by his family’s successes. Some will complain that it was too happy of an ending for mostly everybody. The Braverman’s all getting exactly what they wanted isn’t realistic. Say what you will, but I love watching characters get what they want. Especially ones I love. They all changed enough to have the courage to go out and get what they want for themselves and for their families. Sure, at points the episode felt a little rushed, some conversations seemed inorganic because it was a ‘final episode’ (Haddie/Max), but they were justified in the larger sense of their pre-existing relationship.The thing is, that didn’t matter at all because overall it was an excellent finale for a show that consistently produced great episode, moments, and multitudes of tears.

My intention was that I was going to list all the moments I cried during the finale, but I realized it would be too tedious to list every moment in every scene. (I even teared up during the “Forever Young” opening credits sequence.) The absence of ‘Parenthood’ leaves 1422590399532.cacheda gaping hole in my weekly programming and my Braverman heart. It was the show I have most looked forward to for years. This type of show is a dying breed that we may never see the likes of for a while or ever again. It may have been about an upper middle class liberal white family just outside of San Francisco, but its focus on the importance of family is universal. Jason Katims let us be all be Taylors and now a Bravermans. I guess I should start watching it from the beginning again, yes?

Keep on Watchin’!


The 20 Best ‘Parenthood’ Moments (Top 10)


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’!


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

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

…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’!


The 20 Best ‘Parenthood’ Moments (20-11)


As we count down to the final episode of ‘Parenthood’, this Thursday at 10pm on NBC, my family, friends, and the internet (in general) have started to recount the best and “tearjerkiest” moments from the run of the show. Like the Braverman need to reminisce of times past, below is my sister, mom, and I’s list of the best moments/things from ‘Parenthood’. From my family, about their family, to yours. I mean, we all are a part of the Braverman family. WARNING: TISSUES NEEDED (also Spoiler Alert)

20. The Addition of Ray Romano as Hank – S4-S6

Whenever a show adds a new, stunt casted, character as a clear pawn for some sort of love triangle, I automatically think it’s a quick grab for ratings or forced plot. I am both shocked a_560x375and pleased with how Hank has fit in with the Braverman clan. His humor, insecurity, relationship with Max, love for Sarah, and ability to learn and grow have been a welcome addition to a show with characters that we’ve loved (and hated) for so long. To finally see the Braverman family through a third person point of view, after years of being tired, fed up, and worn out by some members was and is a real treat. He’s stolen many of the scenes recently in season 6 and I’ll be just as sad to say good-bye to him as I will be the rest of my TV family.

19. Camille in the Hospital – S6, Ep10 “How Did We Get Here?”

She hasn’t had a ton to do over the years as Camille, the Braverman matriarch, but when PARENTHOOD_612x380called upon, Bonnie Bedelia knocks it out of the park. Her sadness, fear, and love throughout the episode permeated through the screen. I wanted to be there to comfort her, but alas, Adam had to come to the rescue instead. Every moment for her in this episode is tear inducing.

 18. The Casting of Monica Potter and Sarah Ramos

I know this may be a lame addition to include on a list of best moments, but the two actresses have so many physical and vocal traits in common that it sells everything about MV5BNTM4MTU3Mzc1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQ4OTY5Mw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_this branch of the family tree. To believe that I’m actually watching a mother and daughter pair go through life’s trials and tribulations adds so much to the show. You can see a little bit of Potter’s Kristina in Ramos’ Haddie. This tiny little thing has stuck with me for all six seasons, which is why I may miss Haddie more than most people.

17. Haddie Coming Out – S5, Ep22 “The Pontiac”

In one of Haddie’s few appearances after her season 4 college departure, she arrives home for summer vacation with a “friend.” While a little rushed and out of the blue, the wonderful coming out moment between characters is still a series highlight. This was an untouched area of exploration for the writers, and since we know the Braverman mindset, it was going to be okay. It was still a great moment for a missed character. It was a throw back to the early days of ‘Parenthood’.

16. Amber Breaks Up With Ryan – S4, Ep 11 “What To My Wondering Eyes”

When Ryan shows up outside of the Braverman Christmas, Amber’s recognition that she wasn’t going to allow herself to make the same mistakes as her mother, despite her pure love for him, was absolutely beautiful. Of all six seasons of Amber Holt moments, this shows such a surprising amount of growth and maturity. If you’re not crying over Ryan’s broken heart paired with Amber’s strength, then you just can’t be helped.

15. Jasmine and Crosby’s Rain Reconciling – S3, Ep17 “Remember Me, I’m The One Who Loves You?”

tumblr_mr705qbVdQ1rbgu1so8_r1_250I mean, even the title gives me goosebumps! After sleeping with Gaby, Max’s behavioral aid, Crosby ruins his relationship with Jasmine and does everything in his power to correct it. While the healing and forgiveness process may have been sped up to TV time, the rain soaked cliche of an engagement is a moment that doesn’t get washed away so quickly. If only Jabbar had gone on a camping trip earlier that season!

14. Drew Breaks Down in Front of Sarah – S4, Ep 13 “Small Victories”

This may be Drew’s only appearance on the list, but it’s a doozy. Drew, dealing with the stress of girlfriend Amy’s pregnancy and abortion, comes home to talk to one person: his mom, Sarah. All of the tension that he’s held in, trying to be an adult, is finally released. The mom hug that turns this high schooler into a crumbling baby boy is the importance of family in a nutshell.

 13. Max and Kristina Dance – S4, Ep9 “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

parenthood409-dancing1Maybe I’m just a sucker for season 4 and Kristina, but the thought of this being her only time seeing her boy go to a dance is already heart breaking. When she starts to dance with him–I mean, come on. Max doesn’t understand the complications of this moment, but Kristina and Adam sure do. Have you no soul!?

12. Zoe Decides to Keep the Baby – S3, Ep17 “Remember Me, I’m The One Who Loves You?”

ParenthoodWe knew it was coming. It was completely inevitable that this would happen. But it did and it was just as heartbreaking and it could have been. The back and forth of Zoe, Julia, and Joel led to this powerfully sad moment.

11. The Chemo Shirt – S4, Ep7 “Together”

Camille’s gift of the chemo shirt grounds Kristina’s cancer in a reality she hadn’t felt before. When they begin to discuss the first time Adam brought her home and how much they love each other now, the waterworks begin.

The Top Ten coming soon…

Keep on Watchin’!


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


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’


Parenthood – Let’s Go Home (S6, Ep11)

We’re heading into the ‘Let’s Go Home’-stretch of our favorite Thursday night activity and boy is it bringing it all home. As the episode started, I had intended on this blog’s major lg_parenthood_s5_promo_lifetheme for episode 11 to be “the elephant in the room.” This would refer to Zeek’s, Adam’s, Sarah’s, and Julia’s impending decisions. How are their decisions going to shape the remaining hours we have left with the Bravermans? As the episode ended, I realized it was all about, as the title to so aptly puts it–going back home. How do these people, who have been all over the place lately, get back to their families? How do they build or rebuild these units?

I’m going to officially get over the fact that Adam and Crosby’s storyline is so similar to their past Luncheonette predicament and just sit back to see how it all plays out. I respected Adam’s original decision to back out of the business. He seemed genuinely happy about it too. We knew it was going to happen, but I still don’t know about Jasmine’s visit with Adam, but regardless it was very in character for her. Stern, caring, and bold, she commanded Adam’s attention, but may have crossed a line playing to his soft spot for  the emotions of his brother. I don’t expect his most recent “all in” choice to stick. (Especially with those looks that Kristina gave him in her only scene.) His final hug with Crosby was as hesitant as hesitant can get. Hopefully, if Adam does back out again, part of Crosby’s major six season character arch will be acceptance and understanding. This is Adam’s way of trying to rebuilding his business and family, but is he making the right choice for his wife, kids, and the Cornell billing department?

Sarah and Hank are literally building something (crib) when they decide to solidify their own family. It was actually much sweeter than I anticipated. Yes, I expected Sarah to say “Yes” at some point, but I never expected to believe it came from a place of true love. Her Parenthood - Season 6fear of what he does and doesn’t bring to the table was so great that it started to poison my view of the relationship–a relationship that was at one point really fun to watch blossom. Sarah’s reaction to her mother’s question was so well acted and infused with a sense of commitment. How could I not agree with her decision? So throw out the Julia pros/cons list at park pilates and drown Hank’s rant to Max in photo chemicals–they make each other happy. It seems sappy (it is), but that’s really what it comes down to for them and most people. For weeks Hank has been trying to fit himself in with her family. Sarah has even helped his to fit back in with his family. (Yeah, so where did Ruby go?) This symbolic crib gift from Seth was a great catalyst for Sarah to see what a great guy she has on her hands. Sarah and Hank have each other and Amber has a crib–aka great support system to raise her kid. (Note: I would love to see John Corbett as Seth one more time, but they probably don’t have the budget.)

I was hoping for a not so clear cut ending to the two year inconsistent Joel and Julia story, which we didn’t get. I may be reading in to it wrong, but they’re reconciliation almost seemed a little too happy/perfect. Based on their earlier coffee house conversation, which I guess ended up being enough for the two of them to kiss in front of the kids. For the record, I didn’t realize that Julia’s fight with Chris from December meant that they were no longer Parenthooddating. That’s new to me! Julia’s fear of another failed attempt must of been quelled by Joel’s “I’ll never leave you again,” sentiment. If Julia, trying to handle the situation in a logical manner, is giving in to her gut feeling as a show of character growth, I had trouble believing it. I will say that I am happy they are back together and each taking responsibility of what they did to get them to this point. There’s still more show left, so the show probably still has more in store for these two love bugs. Oh, and under the bed texting, while a cliche sequence, got some chuckles out of me.

Zeek has been an advice machine lately–which doesn’t bode well for his odds. To Joel and Julia, now Adam and Drew, the patron of the family is in full, “I might not be here for you later” mode. He’s even giving away possessions. Zeek knows he’s on his way out, and every scene with him carries a sense of “this may be it,” and it’s very powerful.  The nostalgia flowing through this episode (the storage unit, baseball, old photos used in the opening, and the house) informs so much of where the Braverman’s came from and what they’ve accomplished in their lives. He’s delaying his surgery by not having an immediate conversation about it. Stealing every moment with the people he loves is top priority. Whatever comes next for Zeek, we are ready. He and Millie have a lot of important decisions to make, which affects everybody in the family. Either way, it will make the family stronger.

Each branch of the family tree is getting stronger (or seemingly getting stronger) as they enter the next chapter of growth.NUP_166195_0209-400x242 Slowly, but surely, each Braverman has to make tough choices to ensure their collective family happiness. There can be happily ever afters, but you have to work for the pieces to fall into the right places. This show is great when it focuses on the family-centric plots and plays with character relationships. I don’t care about a big running for mayor story or building a school, I care about how Hank shows up for Amber and Joel takes a leap of faith and shows up at the ice rink.

Sure, you can just “go home,” but, as Camille and Zeek know better than everybody, it take a lifetime to build and it’s never really done. A home is not just a house–it’s the people and baseball shoe box treasures inside. This episode was tightly constructed and potentially foreshadowed the rest of the series. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t cry this week because with only two more hours with the Braverman’s and I can feel that they’re going to be rough on the tear ducts. If only everything was as happy as an Adam/Nora tea party.

Keep on Watchin’!


Parenthood – Season 6: PART 1


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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’


Parenthood – The Pontiac (S5, Ep22)

Regardless of how you felt about this season of our favorite Berkeley family, I’m sad to think it’s going to be a long time before I get to see them again. One of the strengths of this show is that somehow they’ve created a family that viewers not only want to be a part of, but believe they are a part of.  The clear Braverman bias works for the good of the show overall.

Last night’s finale was over stuffed with characters, but simplified in a way that we haven’tparenthood-season-5-finale-haddie-lesbian seen for a while. Plot lines this year have been in abundance, and seemingly more trivial, now that we’ve dealt with Kristina’s breast cancer. Nothing seems as serious, so even the most major of issues aren’t as heightened. However, even if they didn’t work, I appreciated the attempt to go ‘bigger’ with some of the ideas. Sure, I disliked the mayoral campaign from the first half of the season and am not sold on the Charter school, but we’ve always knows that the smaller ideas were more effective. Essentially, that’s what this finale was–well executed small moments within the bigger picture of life and drama.

Strong, ongoing plot lines took a backseat to both fun and intimate character moments–some of which end those stories. It had been a while since all the Bravermans were together without the weight of world on somebody’s Parenthood - Season 5shoulders. (Well, except Amber, because, well, the weight of the world is always on her shoulders.) Centered around the return of Haddie, plus the Zeek and Camille’s house good-bye, (the island giveth and island taketh away), the episode took its time with the small moments.  In conjunction with that, it also seems to speed through some big ones.

Before I even begin discussing Haddie’s return, I want to say that I will never, ever, ever get over the fact that Adam and Kristina aren’t at the airport picking her up. (They didn’t get on the plane with her either when she was sent away.) It’s the complete opposite of the way I would think they would be involved. Granted, they haven’t talked much about her this season, so maybe they hate her. You wouldn’t know it, but Cornell is bleeding them dry. (That was a joke… about the hate… I think.)

This being said, I loved seeing Haddie back.  Maybe it’s my own nostalgia, but her presence is definitely missed. (I’ll say it again here: the Ramos/Potter casting is the best thing this show has ever done.) Her sexuality story, while realistic, seemed to be shoehorned in.  I would have loved to see it explored a little more and maybe it will be, yet the separate moments between her parents were the highlights of the show. Adam ‘figuring it out’ was, by far the greatest moment. (Are we supposed to assume that Kristina and Adam talked about it after he saw what was happening?) Seeing that whole sect of the family back together again was exciting and a nice touch for the finale. I’d love to see Sarah Ramos back or at least incorporated a little bit more, even if only in conversation.

While Drew’s story may have stretched for one episode too long, the time spent with him was well worth the car/gf pay off. The first year of college can be a tricky thing, but the freedom of the first summer with and girl friend was felt. This was a really nice optimistic Braverman youth story line that we haven’t seen a lot of lately from this show. His sister on the other hand…

…is a bit of a mess again. Well, not mess, as much as a predictable mess. The element of Ryan’s mother and her ignorance towards Ryan’s relationship was nice point of contention, Parenthood - Season 5but nothing that happened (except for the amazingly vulnerable kiss sequence) was top of the line material. What that plot line did for me was highlight Hank and Sarah’s relationship and how Amber sees him and how that affect Sarah. And please, if you didn’t know that a pregnancy was going to somehow factor in (thankfully NOT Julia), you weren’t watching the same show I was, so boo on that potential plot development. (I guess we’ll see more of Ryan and his mother.) The daughter is set to re-make the same mistakes of the mother. The mother, who finally made some good, and inevitable, choices by taking the ‘tomato in the room’ and making it obsolete.

However, the slight, but still forward moving relationship that is Julia and Joel was nice to see. I never thought that this show was going to split them up for good, but I appreciate that it wasn’t set in solid stone that these two are automatically back together, as proven by Sydney’s outburst. It was a nice touch to not include Joel in the final dinner scene. They aren’t magically back together, even if they infer they’re on the right track.

Zeek and Camille have been my MVPs of this season and it culminated in a magical dance in the empty old house. They’ve been through a lot and will go through more, but a home is where the family is, so they’re big move only brought all the Braverman factions together again. As Adam now sits at the head of the table, a torch has been passed and weight has been lifted off of these two people’s shoulders. The old house may have contained the kids, but Zeek and Camille raised them. I’m very excited to see what comes next for those two crazy kids.

Wet Eye Moment: TIE – Zeek’s face while listening to Victor’s paper & Kristina’s conversation with Haddie. (Maybe even Zeek/Drew/Car–SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!)

Moment I Didn’t Talk About About, But Want To Shout Out To: Crobsy and Adam acting like little kids again on the stairs is why I watch this show and how it relates to me on a specific level. It’s moments like those that remind me how real these characters have become in their world.

This extended 22 episode season milked a lot of these storylines for what they were worth (for better or worse). This finale tied most of these with a nice (or loose) bow and while it mostly worked, a part of me thought certain stories deserved a little more time in this hour. Then again, I wound’t want to have lost any of the beautiful moments. Let’s face it, I just want an imgresexcuse to see a little more Braverman. Additionally, this could be due to the fact that the promo for this week essentially ruined all of this week’s pay offs (Sarah/Hank, Haddie/GF, and Joel/Julia), so I was waiting for plot points to happen as opposed to being actively involved in how we got from the 1 yard line into the end zone. Sorry, Amber’s potentially predicable pregnancy test didn’t do it for me. (She also picked it up like a day after they had sex.)

This season wasn’t as tear inducing as it has been in the past, but it still delivers. It’s one of the best on TV, as it does the little moments so well. The show hasn’t officially been picked up for a sixth season just yet (I don’t see it getting cancelled), but if this his how we’re going out… I’ll take it.

Keep on Watchin’!


Parenthood – You’ve Got Mold (S5, Ep14)

Stupid Olympics. Making me wait for more Parenthood. But for this week’s episode, let’s just break down the three major plots from this week:

Julia/Joel – The moments feel real. Everything feels real, except the justification for it all. I’m sorry, based on who we know Joel to be, I don’t think that he would go crazy before TRYING to make it all better. I don’t believe that he would be willing to tell his kids (in a wonderful scene) before actually trying to mend what is broken.  I just see plot/drama over characters.

Kristina – She would totally help these parents and kids. No doubt in my mind. A school? Parenthood-Youve-Got-MoldCome on…

Zeek/Camille- I hate other people who have vacation hang overs. The way she was trying to introduce Zeek to prosciutto? Ugh.  But Camille hasn’t been away… well, ever. Her husband sees how happy she is and how much further away he’s getting. He’s making a decision to sell the house to save everything. It’s beautiful.

The last scene really pulled everything together: What the house means to them all as a home. It’s a place where they can always come back to and feel safe. It also shows Camille what she’s missed while she’s been away.  She still feels a deep responsibility to all of her kids and grandkids.

I’m excited to see where this all goes.

Keep on Watchin’!


Parenthood – Jump Ball (S5, Ep13)

Another excellent episode of Parenthood. Tonight I’ve decided to post my notes from my viewing, as I think it captures my emotional roller coaster. (I edited them a little bit for structure.)

I guess coming back from Italy means you try new hair styles and be fabulous with movie 558dacb3319fa7c5.parenthoodstar sun glasses. I get post trip depression and excitement. I’m sad Zeek didn’t surprise her, but his attempt to make her return better was nice. He sees himself losing a best friend. Camille, don’t get too snobby. I need them to find a medium ground. FRANCE!? What class is this? I want to take this painting class. I understand both of their points of view. Like Joel and Julia they need to actually talk and not just be. Here they are just trying to be supportive. At least Zeek is…

Joel and Julia are tough nuts to crack. At this point, they’re both wrong. He’s not trying, but has to figure out what he wants. She keeps pushing a solution on him. What are they going to do?

Oh, poor Drew. This is just too hard to watch. I get they love each other. Amy had me in tears. It can be so hard. College is tough when you’ve never really been away from home. Is she playing Drew? Probably not. She’s just a freshman. We’ve all been through it, but she’s putting a ton of pressure on Drew and taking away his experience. The tear potential came from her. Unexpected.

Julia and Sarah scene is a nice combination that we usually don’t see. Sisters.  After talking to Adam, she talks to her sister, and now I love her 1/2 a second speech.

Amber. I get her deal. She wanted her dad. She’s totally torn up and we know she has destructive behavior. This was an expected spiral. She wanted a fight. Amber’s little smile Parenthoodwhen her dad came to protect her made the entire episode worth it. It was perfect. Chills. She wanted her dad. She wanted to be taken care of by a man. Her man. She wanted a fight. Tear alert. I might start crying. So layered. So layered. Oh man. Oh man. John Corbett. Mae Whitman. Oh man. That’s the benefit of having been watching this for years: scenes like that weigh so much heavier. His talk with Sarah was wonderful. I really hope that Corbett sticks around a little bit longer.

Ray Romano gave another wonderful performance tonight as Hank. The Dr. Pelican scene was pretty incredible.

Oh Poker night. Was it really gonna work? Nice glasses Hank. Adam is so polite. It’s funny sometimes. Especially with Hank. Lovely moment between the two characters.

DREW, GET ON THE BUS!!!!!! NO NO NO Come on. I really need her to see what she’s taking away from him. He won’t say anything until it’s too late.

Joel coming home? MOVING OUT?! That’s too much for me. I kinda don’t believe it. It seems that it’s just to touch on another aspect of “marriage and parenting,” as opposed to being a natural organic step for this couple.

“You could never be me because you’ve got your mother in ya.” Beautiful way to end the episode. At least on a positive note.


Keep On Watchin’!