Another Tuesday, another fantastic episode of Parenthood. Occasionally I wish I didn’t review Parenthood, because I feel like the only thing I have to say week after week is how much I love this show. But since I love talking about these characters as though I personally know them, here we are. (Speaking of loving the characters, how cute is the brief Parenthood cast appearance in this NBC musical commercial?)
Let’s begin with Adam and Crosby. I really enjoyed this storyline because at first I was totally on board with Adam, but then I really saw where Crosby was coming from as well…it was one of those moral grey areas, and I liked that it was an interesting storyline that was entirely work related.
After running into an old colleague, Crosby found out that a band called Dawes was in town to record a new album. Crosby mentioned that he kind of new the guys, and after researching the band a little Adam decided they should be pursuing them for the Luncheonette.
Adam’s argument was a practical one. The Luncheonette is a new business, and it’s up to them to make it survive. The buzz they got from local press won’t last forever, so they need to promote it and get out there and really sell it. That means making awkward phone calls and pitching yourself, and maybe taking business away from your old place of business. For Adam, a business guy, this is a no-brainer. But Crosby is the creative, and this situation makes him uncomfortable. He didn’t think he had a close enough relationship with the guys in the band to just call them up.
I can relate, because I’m shy and hate using the phone. I get really nervous about putting myself out there, whether it’s for a new job, a romantic prospect, to make a new friend, whatever. But that’s also why I’d make a terrible entrepreneur. So even though I felt for Crosby, I did think Adam was making sense.
Instead, Adam got Crosby to agree to stage a run-in at the hotel bar where he knew the band was staying. (I loved that Adam knew how to find that information via Twitter!) And once Crosby was engaged in the conversation with the band, I understood why he didn’t want to do it in the first place. He was really awkward and uncomfortable, and couldn’t figure out how to pitch his own recording studio without throwing his old pal under the bus. He called his old place of work “corporate” and said they’re all about the bottom line – OK, that seems fair. And he wouldn’t trash his old colleague, who was a pal – also fair. But he could have mentioned the Luncheonette without doing that. “Oh yeah, I left there to open up my own place with my brother. It’s called the Luncheonette. It’s really cool, Janis Joplin used to record there. I bet you’d love it, you should drop by tomorrow.” Wouldn’t that have worked?
But still, at the root of it, what Crosby had to do was a little icky and I got why he felt weird. He was still poaching a client from his pal, whether he did it in a respectful way (which he did) or not. But a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, and they landed the band.
I’m Movin’ On In
Crosby was also a little distracted, since he was mulling over Jasmine’s news that Joe asked her to move in. I’ve never been a Jasmine fan, but I was glad she gave Crosby an opportunity to take part in the decision. He was concerned that they’d moved Jabbar around a lot in the past year and that he’d been put through a lot of changes, and that was a valid concern. But I think he also wants Jasmine to be happy, so in the end he decided to trust her judgment.
The thing is, should he? The look on Jasmine’s face when Crosby gave her the door handles made out of a ballet barre suggested that she’s still not over what they had. Ugh! Jasmine! Get it together!
Not only am I worried about Jasmine and Joe, but I’m worried about Crosby and his hot cellist. She comforted him when he was drunk and feeling skeezy about poaching the band, but then when he mentioned that Jasmine would dump Joe just like she’d dumped him you could tell that Lily realized there were still residual feelings there that she might not be able to compete with. Uh-oh.
Oh, Parenthood. You make it so impossible for me to hate a storyline! All along, I’ve been saying that I DO NOT want Amber to hook up with Bob Little. He’s her boss! And since she’s been promoted from being Kristina’s assistant to being his assistant, now he’s really her boss. And he’s older! And Kristina gave her that job – she can’t screw up again, she’ll run out of generous aunts!
Yet, the chemistry between them is palpable. I love them together, even though I don’t want to. And man oh man, did Mae Whitman ever do wonderful things with this material. I’ve loved seeing Amber thrown into a professional world with so little experience, and watching her succeed by using her natural intelligence and honesty. And there’s a real connection between her and Bob – that’s why she’s so good as his assistant, too. She wouldn’t be this successful on just any political campaign, but she’s good at working for him because they are good together.
So I got why Amber kissed him. (Did they do more? It was unclear.) And then I loved watching her struggle with all of that the next morning. The awkward hello in front of Kristina. The flowers that landed on her desk that were actually from her mom. (Awww!) The lingering, sickening question of whether she’d only been promoted because he wanted to get into her adorable little hipster shorts.
Amber is smart, and she knows that this would be scandalous if it were public. She has no post-secondary education, yet she has been given a position that Yale grads can’t get. Even if she knows that Bob promoted her based on merit, no one else would believe that. And yet…they have a spark.
From Spring/Summer to Summer/Fall?
Meanwhile, Sarah was dealing with an opposite problem from her daughter’s – the issues that arise when you have a much younger boyfriend.
Sarah was meeting Mark’s friends for the first time, a situation that comes with a lot of pressure when you have a serious relationship and are having serious talks about babies and stuff. And, of course, there’s the fact that Sarah has a good decade on all of them. She mentions having two teenaged kids and they say things like “Oh, my older sister just had a baby!” Older. Sister. Just. Had. A. Baby. Those are tough words to swallow, even though they weren’t meant in a rude way.
The friends get-together went well, but it was still stressful for Sarah. She met Mark’s ex, his only other serious girlfriend, who he’d dated all through high school and college. She spent a year training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. First of all, what? Does that really take a year? And who has money like that? And who says “You should totally do it,” like it’s as simple as trying that new Thai food place across town? I loved Sarah’s “Oh, I’ve been meaning to.” As Mark talked about him and Sarah visiting Macchu Picchu and Morroco, all Sarah could think about was the fact that her clock is ticking on this baby thing.
It looked like this would be Jason Ritter’s exit, because I thought there would be one even though I’d love for him to be a regular cast member. But instead of having a “I suppose the age gap can’t be bridged after all” conversation, Mark said he doesn’t need all that world travel and, yeah, is ready to have a baby RIGHT NOW. Or soon, or whatever. Whether this will happen, who knows – but I like seeing Sarah with someone who obviously loves her so much.
You’re Having My Baby
The Zoey storyline continues to develop in a really nice way as well, especially considering it began from a place that was, you know, not everyone’s favorite. But I think it’s important to look past that and commend the writers on doing a really great job of depicting the anxiety that comes along with adopting a baby. Will it all work out? Will the baby be healthy? Is the birth mother going to change her mind? I can’t even imagine how many questions prospective adoptive parents must ask themselves.
Zoey quit her job and moved out of Joel and Julia’s house, which naturally made Julia think she’d changed her mind and was keeping the baby. But it was more complicated than that. Zoey knows she’s making the right choice for the baby, but she still needs to come to terms with that decision. Baby or not, she’s a rather troubled, lost young girl. She has very little, if any, emotional support. She doesn’t have an education, or money, or anything. She doesn’t know what she’ll do when this is all over. She can’t just keep living with Joel and Julia. And then we have the fact that she’d wanted a closed adoption, but changed her mind because
Julia convinced her she liked Julia and Joel so much.
I loved that Joel was the one who tracked her down, who tried to make sure she was taking care of herself – she was supposed to be on bed rest but was instead lugging groceries home. It was a nice moment, and like I said I’m really happy with the way Parenthood has shown us the constant anxiety that can occur when you’re going through the adoption process.
This was an episode that left out a lot of characters – no Max, Haddie or Drew – but I think that was for the best. There are only three episodes left (tragic – this show deserves a full season) and this episode did a great job of focusing on what the major storylines this season have been. Crosby and Adam’s business, Amber becoming an adult, Sarah and Mark’s relationship, Crosby and Jasmine’s non-relationship, the adoption. I can’t wait to see where these arcs go over the last three episodes.