A quick review of last night’s “Parenthood” coming up just as soon as I tell you about my love of “Millionaire Matchmaker”…
Not that I disliked last week’s episode, but “Clear Skies from Now On” felt more the kind of hour that “Parenthood” does well: laughter (the string of erectile dysfunction jokes(*), Adam dancing in the control booth), tears (mainly from Alex(**), as the writers know by now that Michael B. Jordan cries well), awkwardness (Amber taking over Drew’s date, which was also a bit of a meta comment on how Drew is constantly upstaged by everyone else on the show), and moments that are so honest that they become hard to watch (both of the Max/Jabbar lunch scenes, and the argument between the adults that followed).
(*) My favorite of those was Joel – who was otherwise, like Julia, completely absent from the episode – saying that one of the medicine’s side effects is that it “may cause erectile dysfunction!”
(**) Given that Camille still volunteers at the food bank (and also that the writers are clearly trying to give Bonnie Bedelia something to do, even if it is, like Drew, to complain about how marginalized she is compared to the other Bravermans), I imagine we haven’t seen the last of Alex.
I especially liked the way the show dealt with the Max/Jabbar issue. It’s not fair to make a little kid like Jabbar have to shoulder the burden of helping out his older cousin, even if Max has difficulties to go along with his qualities, and yet his presence was clearly such a big help to Max. The scene where Crosby told Jabbar why he should keep eating with Max for a little longer was really lovely – even if, in the end, it blew up in Crosby’s face(***) – and showed how difficult it can be to choose between what’s right for the family you’ve made versus what’s right for the family you were born into.
(***) And it showed the difficulty of getting someone Jabbar’s age to understand and convey nuance. Crosby saying that Max has problems wasn’t the softest way to put it, but it was still better than Jabbar translating that as Max having something wrong with him, which hurt Max’s feelings at the lunch table and Adam and Kristina’s when they heard it later.
What did everybody else think?