‘Parenthood’: Bravermans Can’t Escape Life’s Big Changes (Recap)

In season six, many of the characters on PARENTHOOD are leading uncertain paths.


Parenthood-Joel
Crosby is in the early stages of a midlife crisis, as Amber, Joel and Julia are recognizing the challenges of single parenthood.

Zeek sympathizes with Crosby’s need to maintain his independence, but he, like Jasmine, recognizes that his youngest son is on the verge of a deconstructive path.

Meanwhile, Amber is only now recognizing how hard it will be to maintain a romantic relationship as a single mom, and Joel is recognizing the possibility of another paternal figure in Sydney and Victor’s lives.

CROSBY, SHRILL AND RASH

Just one week after crashing his motorcycle, Crosby went against Jasmine’s wishes and drove off on his bike. This week, after recklessly driving his ailing father to physical therapy, he drank himself into a stupor as he contemplated the hardships of marriage and fiscal responsibility.

My Two Cents: Adam has always carried most of the family’s weight on his shoulders. Voluntarily or involuntarily, he has always taken charge in times of trouble, leaving Crosby to sit back and see how everything plays out. This season, he has his own clan weighing him down, and he doesn’t function well under pressure. This isn’t doing Jasmine any favors, who, once again, has been made to be the nagging wife. Her reasoning, though, is sound. Crosby needs to learn to cope with the realities of adulthood before he does something stupid that will not only effect him, but also his wife and children. He needs to get himself together, and figure out a new course of action for the Luncheonette.

SINGLE MOTHERHOOD IS NO WALK IN THE PARK

Amber isn’t even showing yet, but her pregnancy is already putting a damper on her dating life. Tech guy Chris seemed nice enough – almost too nice – but he wasn’t prepared to hear that his could-be girlfriend was with child.

My Two Cents: It is unbeknownst to me when Drew Holt became Amber’s voice of reason, but he has really stepped up his game in recent weeks, first rallying for her to set Ryan straight, and now vocalizing the need for her to confront her new beau. Sarah previously confronted her daughter, telling her how hard it would be to dabble in romance as single parent, but only now are her mother’s words ringing true.

THIRD PARTY ENCOUNTERS

It’s hard not to like Chris, that is, unless your name is Joel Graham. Julia’s new boy toy is a perfectly acceptable mate for the youngest of Zeek and Camille’s offspring, and he’s seemingly good with kids. That last part worries Joel, though, who feels threatened by Chris’ placement in Sydney and Victor’s lives. Even if he is just “mom’s work friend,” it broke Joel’s heart to see him at the Braverman family get-together.

My Two Cents: Joel and Julia’s season-and-a-half-long relationship saga has been an absolute mess. From week-to-week, we have been manipulated to see things from the perspective of one or the other spouse. This time, it’s hard not to side with Julia. She wasn’t inherently responsible for Chris’ stay at the family’s afternoon barbeque, and she also wasn’t the one to give up on her marriage. When Joel confronted Julia about Chris being apart of their children’s lives, he inexcusably asked whether or not his wife’s former sweetheart was just the latest guy to share her bed. The relationship is so strained at this point, and it’s hard to imagine a future where reconciliation is imminent.

PARENTHOOD airs Thursday nights at 10:00 PM on NBC.

Ryan Schwartz regularly writes about television at RyanTalksTV.com

Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz

Contributing Editor at TheTVPage.com
Ryan Schwartz is a New York-based television critic and founder of RyanTalksTV.com. He is a fourth year journalism student at Hunter College.In 2011, Ryan quickly became one of Posterous’ biggest success stories, becoming a featured writer for the micro-blogging website at the age of 18. The following year, he joined the writing staff of Voice of TV where he contributed features on Louis C.K., Matthew Perry, Jim Rash and Jeff Eastin. He's currently a contributor for The TV Addict.
Ryan Schwartz