Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parenthood-"New Plan"

Richard Dreyfuss and Lauren Graham discuss a play on "Parenthood"
Credit: NBC

My thoughts on last night's episode of Parenthood is after the jump.

Last night's episode was another very good episode of the show. As the title suggests, the episode was largely about people approaching something differently. Whether it's Crosby trying to win Jasmine back or Amber trying to figure her life out, the episode largely showed these characters trying new approaches to their problems. This led to some very strong work from the cast in an episode that worked. It didn't work on as many levels as the show has in the past, but it still ended up working for me when all was set and done. It continued what have been very strong arcs for these characters in an interesting way.

The Crosby plotline was easily the craziest, and least likable, of all of the plotlines. It basically was made up of Crosby making a ridiculous decision that he thinks will make Jasmine want to take him back. He's basically trying to make up for a major mistake with something big, buying a house. While this was very silly, it seemed like the type of thing the character would do. Crosby really loves Jasmine, and he feels like he has to do something extravagant in order to get her back. The question I have, is this enough to win Jasmine back, if he can win her back at all. I know that the show will put them together, I just don't know if it's the most realistic thing the show can do. What Crosby did was completely unforgivable (from Jasmine's perspective) and the most realistic thing would be that they never get back together in the end, but Crosby won't stop trying for awhile. Their probably going to play this out over the end of the season so I'll say more on this over the next couple of weeks.

Another major storyline in the episode was Haddie and Alex going to prom together. This was one of the more interesting parts of the episode, with the show finally remembering that they had Michael B. Jordan in their recurring cast. It was great to see Haddie and Alex go to prom together and moving their relationship along by having sex. This is something that will have great implications in the next couple of episodes, as people slowly find out. Sarah Ramos and Jordan have such good chemistry together that I find myself loving almost every scene that they are in together. The scenes on the dance floor and outside of Alex's apartment were well performed by both of them. The other side of the storyline, with Adam and Kristina, was sillier but it worked at the same time. The worries were realistic, I know that when teenage guys go to prom they want sex, but I did find this silly. It was silly and a little over the top, but it worked for the characters.

Probably the messiest of the plotlines was Amber's plotline. I felt the floodgates opening last week and the continued to creek open this week. With Amber having to talk to her mother about this and leaving prom after talking to Kelsey she starts on a path towards returning towards her old self. Mae Whitman has done a really good job portraying exactly how Amber is feeling and is giving a great performance. The scene at the end of the episode with her yelling at her mother for pushing her too far was really good. It looks like she's going to be at the forefront of the next two episodes, and I'm really looking forward to that.

I really am liking this Joel/Julia arc. It provided some great moments like the brief moment between Camille and Julia. Erika Christensen been doing a lot of crying in the past two episodes and it's been fantastic to watch. The episode did a great job of not needing literal explanations to describe how Julia is feeling at this time in her life. Also, the material with Sydney was a little on the sillier side but it worked because I was able to understand exactly where Julia was coming from in her actions.

Some other thoughts
  • Richard Dreyfuss continues to push Sarah towards writing a play. This is something where the payoff will make the somewhat dull setup worth it. Not very much happened in this camp this week.
  • While the Adam and Crosby resolution seemed rushed, it worked at the same time. I don't think that Adam has completely forgiven him, but he's at least willing to help him. 
  • The pre-prom scene with Amber and Haddie and their dates was great. It was a cute scene that was a lot of fun to watch. It was a moment of genuine happiness that worked very well.
Overall, a lot of decisions were made in an episode of Parenthood that doesn't land among my favorites, but was still very good.

What did everyone else think?

1 comment:

  1. A good episode about coming first I thought some of the scenes between Amber and Sarah were overdone, as they really induced uncomfortable cringes....but then after I re-watched the episode, I realized that that's how things really feel when you're at that age, and I expressed my frustration the same way. It was heartfelt and real, even if it was overdramatic.

    A great example is at the end, when Amber finally tells Sarah that she isn't going to go to college and the whole good student thing was just living her life to do what she thought Sarah wanted. (scene is at ).

    Also, so glad to hear that they used another Junip song ("Loops") during that scene..they've played them a lot this season, and something about the band's soothing sound is perfect for really emotional scenes like that.


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