'Parenthood' - 'Forced Family Fun': Vertigo-go

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I Google whether you can eat lobster...

One of the things I like about "Parenthood" when it's clicking - and "Forced Family Fun" certainly qualifies as that - is the way so many characters can simultaneously be right and wrong. These are people who fight a lot, as all family members do, but it's very rarely one-sided - and the times when it is are when the show is least interesting. 

Take this week's most memorable storyline, in which Crosby gets bent out of shape when Dr. Joe not only spends the night at Jasmine's but plays with Jabbar. The show has laid the groundwork for this fight already with Fiona Gubelmann: Pancake Waitress showing up unannounced and introducing herself to Jabbar; we know what the ground rules are now for Crosby and Jasmine on this. But it still winds up being a gray area. Crosby does, in fact, show up earlier than planned, and Dr. Joe only plays with Jabbar to distract him from wanting to look in his decidedly non-medical overnight bag. The show is overwhelmingly pro-Braverman (note that only biological members of the family get childhood photos in the opening credits), and as Jasmine is the one adult not currently dating or married to a Braverman, we never get her point of view, which is part of why she unfortunately comes across as unlikable. But that argument between Crosby and Jasmine did a better balancing act than we usually get with them. We see that Crosby's hurt at the thought of being replaced as the man in Jabbar's life, and Jasmine sees that as well and backs off, but then she returns later to politely but firmly make it clear that Dr. Joe's going to be around a while and they need to discuss what that means. I'm glad that this is where the story is going, as opposed to the cliched, easy route of having Crosby and Jasmine reconcile just for storytelling economy. I think things are much more interesting and open-ended if they're not a couple but have to remain in each other's lives because of Jabbar, and this was an excellent example of that. Read More...



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