I took advantage of the ABC comedies being in reruns last night to catch up on a couple of dramas I didn’t have time for on Tuesday night, and that I tend to watch and/or write about on an irregular schedule in one case, and almost never in the other: “Parenthood” and “The Good Wife.” I have a few brief thoughts on each Tuesday episode after the jump, but I’m mainly curious about how people are finding their respective second seasons…
In some previous “Parenthood” reviews this season, I’ve suggested that the show shouldn’t try to force a story for all four siblings, plus at least one kid or grandparent, into the same episode. So I was pleased to see that “If This Boat Is A Rockin'” didn’t bother with a Julia/Joel story just for the sake of it (though Joel did have that nice moment with Jasmine while assembling shelves). And while the Haddie/Michael B. Jordan storyline still seems goofy and unnecessary, the added breathing room worked really well for the Adam story, where so much of it was about uncomfortable silences between Adam and Zeek, and Adam and Kristina. A very well-played story, given all the pressures on our first among equals sib, and while I was at first surprised that Max disappeared after the grocery store incident, I’m glad they didn’t go for some kind of forced happy ending where Max and Adam bond again and Adam is reminded of why he should feel happy. Some weeks with your kids are just tough, special needs or not.
As for “The Good Wife,” I missed some of the early season two episodes, but I quite liked the episode from a few weeks back about the VIP masseuse (which, like the better “Good Wife” episodes, never went exactly where I expected it to, but never felt like cheating or surprise for its own sake). As a big Michael J. Fox fan, I’m always glad when he’s able to come out of his forced semi-retirement for a part like this, and while it felt very similar to an old recurring character on “LA Law” (a little person attorney, played by the late David Rappaport, who was always annoying Jimmy Smits by exploiting his disability in court), it’s a pleasure to see that the old Fox charm is still there underneath all the Parkinson’s tics.
Like “Parenthood,” “The Good Wife” is a show where there’s always a ton happening at once, but in this case I think the busy quality works to the show’s advantage. I’m not sure how much I care about the election story in and of itself, even with Alan Cumming, but because the show has to keep bouncing from it, to the case of the week, to the Kalinda/Blake rivalry (here with Blake digging up one of Kalinda’s ex-lovers, well-played by Lili Taylor) to Florick domestic issues, etc., I enjoy the small doses we get of each.
So what does everybody belatedly think of this week’s installments? And how do you feel about each show’s season so far?