Parenthood 3.12 "Road Trip" Review

Shows with a large supporting cast and no central figure (like Parenthood) tend to break their players into smaller, isolated groups more often than not. It may be practical, both from a financial and structural sense, but it can also lead to not much time being spent with the ensemble as a whole. Not many extended, blended families in the year 2012 are tethered together during all non-working hours, but it seems that bringing all types of subplots and heightening dynamics together to crash in on one another tends to result in some primo episodes of television.

In Parenthood's return from hiatus, titled "Road Trip", the Bravermans are doing just that, as it's Grandma Blanche's 86th birthday and that means it's time to go on a, you guessed it, road trip to see her. It's the first time in the show's 40+ episodes that the entire Braverman clan has been crammed together for an entire episode and that worked really well in its favor; of course, there were still subplots going on, from Drew walking in on some sexytime betweeen Sarah and Mr. Cyr to Adam's quest to get Haddie to engage with him, but having this many people focusing on the same goal made the episode feel more cohesive than typical. There's never a truly disjointed episode of Parenthood (there have been awful plots in it, though), but shifting the subplots toward the back and allowing "Road Trip" to laser in on Grandma Blanche made it feel simpler. More streamlined, even, at least from a storytelling perspective.  In a good way, of course, as it avoided the sometimes overpowering dialogue that Parenthood can possess in favor of quieter moments and interesting character choices. Read More...


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