Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parenthood Season Season Premiere

The second season of Parenthood premiered last night and I have to say I am continually surprised by this show. I started watching it because nothing else was on. I kept watching it because I liked what I saw. It’s a family drama that doesn’t take itself as seriously as the Walker clan on Brothers and Sisters. I swear that show is just too much … just one over-wrought emotional mess after another over-wrought emotional mess after another over-wrought emotional mess … and that’s just one episode!

Parenthood has managed to strike a pleasing balance of drama and comedy, topped off with some solid writing and great acting. Peter Krause, Lauren Graham and Craig T. Nelson immediately come to mind. Hell, even Dax Sheppard is pretty good (and that’s saying something).

On the comedic side last night, patriarchal couple Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) are in marriage counseling after Zeek’s infidelity was revealed last season. The counselor is encouraging Zeek to acknowledge his wife, so throughout the episode he says, “I hear you and I see you,” to show how much he acknowledges her and just about everybody else.

Meanwhile, Crosby (Dax Sheppard) is trying to make a long-distance relationship work with Jasmine (Joy Bryant). Their attempt at “Skpye sex,” fell apart as he frantically ran around the apartment searching for a stronger Wi-fi connection to continue the festivities.

Other light-hearted moments involved Julia’s (Erika Christensen) 6-year old asking if she came from a vagina, and high-strung Kristina (Monica Potter) teaching her teenage daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos) to drive.

Alas, Parenthood isn’t a comedy, so these moments were balanced by Adam’s impending workplace woes at the shoe company. His boss, Gordon (played by new addition Billy Baldwin) thinks Adam’s never-ending family issues keep him from focusing on work. To save his skin, Adam says that he’s always thinking about work and co-opts a silly idea his sister Sarah (Lauren Graham) had come up earlier that morning when she commented that there should be a Lo-Jack for shoes.

To his surprise, the boss thinks it’s a great idea! Sarah however didn’t appreciate having her idea stolen. Adam ends up making amends by offering his unemployed sister a paid internship at his company. Of course, it was clear to see that this is also a set-up to hook-up Sarah and Gordon.

There was also a set-up for a break-up. Crosby was exhausted from traveling back and forth to New York to visit Jasmine and Jabbar (Tyree Brown) and excited about the two of them finally coming to see him, until Jasmine had to cancel at the last minute. Crosby wasn’t the only one who was heartbroken though. Adam’s son, Max (Max Burkholder) who suffers from Asperger’s (a mild version of autism) was looking forward to a sleepover with Jabbar and lost it when he realized his guest wouldn’t be coming. Luckily, his caregiver (Minka Kelly) was there to calm him down and turn Crosby’s head as well. It doesn’t take a psychic friend to figure out we’ll probably be seeing more of these two together.

I know I’ll be seeing more of Parenthood.

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