PARENTHOOD: 4.04 “The Talk”
Parenthood is a show I like quite a bit, though I’m not sure why. A family drama isn’t usually the type of show that appeals to me, but I’ve been watching this one since the beginning. While it’s certainly got its over-dramatic moments, I think it generally covers the family dynamics of the large Braverman clan pretty well, and I like the performances of almost all the actors involved.
This episode was a particularly good one. My favorite storyline involved Crosby and Jasmine figuring out how to explain the context behind a racial slur that their son Jabbar overheard. I think the writers of the show sometimes have the unfortunate tendency to write Jasmine as a bit shrill and unlikeable, but in this instance she was great, dealing with expertly with the situation, and making both her young son, and her white husband, understand the emotional and historical weight behind that awful word. Her simple, straightforward explanation to Jabbar was really well done.
I’m also really enjoying Ray Romano’s work as Sarah’s photographer boss. I never liked his sitcom, but I enjoy his grumpy, gruff, but occasionally funny character here. I’m sure the writers will play up the sexual tension between the two of them and put even more strain (perhaps up to a breaking point) on Sarah’s relationship with her fiance. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that, because it sounds awfully cliche (I’m also pretty wary about Kristina’s breast cancer story), but if any show can do that same two plotlines again and make them at least seem somewhat new, Parenthood can. I’m going to keep watching this show and enjoying the ins and outs of this weird and interesting family, probably for as long as NBC is willing to keep the show on the air. Or at least until Haddie comes back from college…