Aside from ruining "Funkytown" for me, "Left Field" was another pleasant outing for Parenthood. Though it didn't pack as much punch as the season premiere, the episode moved the plot forward and proved that Ray Romano is not being used in vain. The main reason I enjoyed "Left Field" is because Drew didn't get Amy preggers. I was sure that after the show made such a big deal about the littlest Holt finally getting some during last season's finale, we'd come back to see his girlfriend five months pregnant. I feel bad for the guy and everything about his first heart break, but I have no doubt that if he's still upset even after talking to Hank, Amber will give him a pep talk and all faith will be resorted. That or he'll sleep with Amy's best friend. Either way.
Then we had Kristina, Adam and Max's dog-getting saga, Crosby and Jasmine's journey into adulthood and Julia and Joel still struggling with Victor -- all of which are easily quantifiable in our big three categories.
Once again, Crosby and Jasmine were given a practical storyline about navigating being young newlyweds/parents -- not that I'm complaining (except for when Jabbar and Crosby convinced Jasmine to waste a perfectly good plate of salmon). The subject matter didn't seem too forced, the conflict was resolved nicely when Crosby finally synced their calendars and "15 minutes? We can make twins in 15 minutes!" made me smile... not to mention, it also proved that a Braverman can talk about sex and not make me want to die a little bit inside.
To be fair, though, Adam and Kristina's dog-searching had its moments, too. Adam saying that the dog Kristina was researching online looked "exactly like Haddie" was cute and I laughed when Max told the Labrador ladies that, "We can afford it, we're rich!" about the expensive pup. I also think I just always enjoy it when people openly disdain Adam and Kristina the way that the women did.
There wasn't too much good about Joel and Julia's plotline, but before I get too into that, I will say that watching Joel and Sydney was pretty great. When he handed her lunch and confirmed, "One anchovy peanut butter sandwich -- that's your favorite, right?" I chuckled the way one laughs at such charming dad jokes.
Back to Adam and Kristina: The writers knew that combining adorable puppies (not to mention the cutest child actor ever playing baby Nora) and a wordless mammogram scene was basically going to slay us. If I was a stronger person, my first take of it would have called B.S. on such shameless emotional exploitation -- the music! The word miming! Adam running to her just knowing something was wrong! -- but the water works started as soon as we saw Kristina watching her perfect little family from her car, trying to put on a brave face.
The moment Julia announced it was the first day of school and we saw Victor sitting on the stairs, we all knew how this storyline was going to play out. I'm glad that it seems to be slightly more resolved now -- not that I ever expect/want Parenthood to brush the whole adopting-a-older-kid thing under the table -- but it was so painfully obvious that Victor was going to spend the day watching TV and playing video games on the couch. And raise your hand if you snickered when Julia first took his temperature, looked him in the eyes and said, "I do not like you... being sick." It was easily one of the best uses of a long pause I've seen.
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