You know how at the end of "One More Weekend With You" when Ryan tells Amber, "I know that this weekend wasn't any fun and it was really intense and heavy, and I just wanna say thank you so much for coming"? I feel like that was from the writers to us. This episode was ridiculously overwhelming; and in one way, that was a good thing, as it showed how dark the show is willing to get, but in a much more realistic way, it made "One More Weekend With You" incredibly difficult to watch. Christ, even the Crosby stuff was serious.
It also doesn't help that I didn't entirely care about the storylines last night. Like, come on, what even was the point of having Crosby and Jasmine fighting? How many times must Adam try to hold it all together when Kristina is falling apart from cancer, while Max ruins everything? How long are we going to have to watch Mark and Sarah pull apart until she finally just bangs Hank already? Oh man, and the Amber/Ryan stuff... You know what, let's start on a happier note:
Y'all, I think Sydney might be one of my favorite little kids on TV. Not only was she hilarious and sassy and dressed freaking ridiculously last night, all while dissing Victor, but Savannah Paige Rae is a legitimately great actress. Her emotions and responses were well earned, and the scene with her luggage where she started crying was so sweet and cute, and if it were in a less insanely intense episode, it probably would have bumped its way into the cry category. Fortunately, the ice skating scene where she accepted Victor as her brother and then decided against getting him hot chocolate was perfect. She truly is gifted.
Also: Pothead Kristina! Seriously, you have an episode of Parenthood where Adam goes through Jasmine's underwear and gets marijuana from Crosby during a sexy party, and then Kristina smokes it, and yet it still wasn't somehow the single greatest installment ever? You lied to us, last week's teaser: I thought I was sitting down to watch a much-needed happy episode and instead at the end, you made it subtly about politics! (Not that I disagree with medical marijuana or the message here, but I dunno, I guess I just wanted the show to have Adam, Kristina, Crosby, Jasmine and Otis sit around passing a joint a la That '70s Show. Is that so much to ask?)
As a general rule, I cry when Amber cries, so I knew Ryan going to his friend's funeral was going to do a number on me. Honestly, I got bored during the rising action because we all knew it was a suicide and that this plotline would play out exactly as it did, but Mae Whitman and Matt Lauria pulled off the drama and earned the beach scene at the end. (Again, maybe I was just ready for something not HORRIBLE to happen, so who knows?) Parenthood and Homeland are the only two series I'm watching right now (and maybe the only ones currently on TV) that acknowledge how difficult it is for a solider to return home, and I appreciate that, but at least Homeland has the courtesy to not match up PTSD with cancer (though don't get me started on the Dana plotline). I also noticed that the cinematography during Ryan and Amber's scenes were stunning, and some of the most beautiful shots we're ever had on this series... and I'll admit I might have been overly tense during some of this because watching Amber drive with her sweater sleeves over her fingers stresses me out so bad. (Side question: were they at the same motel that the Bravermans stayed in during the "Road Trip" episode?)
Oh, know what else made me cry? Kristina lying on the bathroom floor, covered in her own vomit while Adam looked at her from above. My god. Adam and Kristina, as always, completely sold their storyline, and Kristina's "I thought I'd be the one person who didn't get sick from chemo" was so honest and true to character. And yeah, I also had hoped she'd be right so that we wouldn't have to sit through the most over-the-top episode ever.
I literally wrote "goddammit, Max" several times in my notes last night. I just couldn't handle him, and I know that in some cases that was the whole point, but when he started touching all of the food at the party with his bare hands and feeding it to Otis, I almost started yelling at my TV.
Lastly... you know, I'm liking Mark a tiny bit more every week, and I loved watching his awkward interaction with Drew the first time around, but by the third conversation, I just did not give a crap anymore. We all know that Sarah is going to have to choose between Hank and Mark eventually, and that the writers are putting in these scenes to make us like Mark and raise the stakes, but I just really wish they'd put us out of our misery already. On the bright side, next week's promo promises a drunk and disheveled Hank, so there is hope for actual decision-making!
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