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'Parenthood' - 'Step Right Up': Shift happens

A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I have a second card for dad...

In my review at the start of the season, I noted the tricky balancing act Jason Katims and company have to do in terms of generating drama with interesting stakes while dealing with a group of average people whose jobs rarely have anything to do with the plot. There are times when that can veer into forced melodrama, as we saw with the Alex/Haddie plot at the start of this season, but "Step Right Up" was kind of the flip side of that: a low-key, slice of life episode in which none of the Bravermans got into any extraordinary kind of trouble, but which was ultimately less memorable than the ones where people cry a lot. There's nothing wrong with this kind of outing now and again, as it both helps move along different stories (Jasmine being attracted to President Wayne Palmer, Julia and the coffee girl, Kristina's concerns about the recording studio, etc.) and keeps the show from feeling manipulative 24/7, but it was also a reminder of why the show sometimes feels the need to push for higher stakes. (Or, alternately, to do an episode that's much higher on comedy than "Step Right Up" was, though I'm sure the rat scene with Sarah and Amber was meant to be hilarious.)  Read More...


http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/parenthood-step-right-up-shift-happens

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