I know I usually do an even split of best and worst pairings for Parenthood, but honestly, that's impossible for the best episode of the season (so far), "Election Day." Even the "worst" storyline in this episode could barely be considered bad, let alone a storyline really, and that's because everything here clicked. This was Parenthood at its best: heartbreaking, funny and surprisingly compelling television about human moments. While I still think the worst is yet to come for powder-keg couples Joel and Julia and Ryan Amber, the groundwork that the writers are laying for both of their eventual implosions is some of the best stuff the series has ever done. Not to mention the fact that it's gotten series-best performances out of Sam Jaeger (who has been particularly outstanding and Emmy-worthy this year) and Erika Christensen. The only truly bad thing about this intense installment is that we'll have to wait three weeks to see how everything shakes out.
You know Parenthood has turned a new corner when you are enraptured by a Joel and Julia storyline (and have sympathy for Victor and Sydney, no less) and watch Ryan and Amber with a sense of dread. But that was exactly the case in last night's exciting episode, called "The Ring." Yes, there were some filler stories (Sarah has a new love interest possibly… sigh) and Kristina's mayor plot is still as seemingly dead in the water as her campaign, but the story lines that did work more than made up for it. Check out the best and worst Braverman pairings from "The Ring":
Terrible double-meaning title aside (get it, because there was literal and metaphorical baggage), "Speaking of Baggage" was a much-needed jolt of adrenaline for this season of Parenthood. Because, believe it or not, things actually happened in this episode to lay the ground work for bigger drama ahead. Julia, at long last, became an interesting (read: flawed) person as she loses her sense of self, while Amber's doubts about her impending nuptials bubbled to the surface. There were, as expected, some filler story lines (do we really care about Hank and Sarah's status anymore or whether Drew continues to hook up with that floozy Natalie?) but this was an episode that actually grabbed my attention. Probably because Kristina's running-for-mayor plot line was nowhere in sight, but mostly because of the fascinating unraveling of both Julia and Amber. Here now are the best and worst pairings of the Bravermans from last night's episode "Speaking of Baggage":
Not since the Season 5 premiere has an episode truly felt like the classic Parenthood we all fell in love with as "The M Word" did. It was great to finally laugh, cry and have story lines go somewhere again. While I'm still not on board with Kristina running for mayor, and I wish I could feel more invested in Zeek and Camille, this still felt like an episode that moved, in more ways than one. Hell, I didn't even hate Sarah and that's really saying something. Now we just need the whole Braverman clan in one setting (ahem, Ryan and Amber's wedding) and all will feel right in the Parenthood world again. Until then, here's the best and worst pairings from "The M Word":
Another week, another Parenthood episode that doesn't quite advance many story lines. In fact, Season 5 so far feels like one extended set-up episode. "Let's Be Mad Together" was no exception, and while a few things happened (Max got demoted as yearbook photographer, Crosby and Adam signed Ashes of Rome to their label), basically everything else stayed the same (Joel and Julia didn't see eye to eye, Zeek ignored Camille, Sarah was all-around terrible to Ryan). I'm ready for some real Braverman shakeups soon instead of this season -- which the fans all championed so hard for -- spinning its wheels as slowly as Zeek's fixer-upper car. Still, here's the best and worst pairings from last night's episode.
After last week's surprisingly lackluster episode of Parenthood, it was nice to see the show back in fighting form. And by that, I mean it was equal parts humor and heart, and dammit, isn't that why we fell in love with those Bravermans in the first place? Not only did we get a break from screaming baby Aida, but we revisited some old friends (yo, what's up Mr. Ray?), Adam danced and we were treated (sure, treated) to a cameo from All-American Rejects leading man Tyson Ritter. Of course, it wasn't all smiles on the Braverman front (it never is) as Sarah seemed hell-bent on ruining Amber's happiness and Max made a really sweet gesture for his mom (and when Monica Potter cries, we all cry). Here now are the best and worst Braverman pairings from last night's episode "In Dreams Become Responsibilities."
Well, it's finally happened, Parenthoodies: a virtually weep-free episode of Parenthood. Yes, it was cute and all when Crosby finally bonded with his screaming machine, er, daughter, but it was one of the less sentimental episodes in the show's history. It's probably largely due to the fact that there's ongoing, stagnant story lines (the crying baby, Kristina's stressful campaign, Zeek being a stubborn bastard about moving) and brand new ones that wrapped up with a nice little bow (Drew's terrible dorm mate, Sarah wanting to photograph Kristina). Still, while it was a filler episode, that doesn't mean that I can't still rank the Bravermans. Here are the best pairings from last night's episode, "Nipple Confusion."
"All Aboard Who's Coming Aboard" was a surprisingly weep-free episode that didn't particularly move the story forward, but did, however, introduce two new likable characters (played by Friday Night Lights alum Jurnee Smollett and The Office's David Denman) and gave us some genuinely funny moments. Here are our picks for the best and worst of the Braverman pairings this week:
Can you feel it, Parenthoodlums? Wait, no. Parenthoodaholics? Definitely not it, either. Parenthoodies! Yes, that's the ticket. Anyway, can you feel the excitement? The entire Braverman clan is finally back for Season 5. While the show wrapped things up in a nice little bow in the Season 4 finale (after all, their future was uncertain, so they had to tie up any loose ends, except for stupid Sarah picking stupid Hank instead of awesome Mark, but I digress) so much happened in the premiere. While certain things have remained the same (Sydney is still mind-blowingly awful, even by awful TV children standards), there were plenty of shakeups and surprises. So, here we go, Parenthoodies, a new season of the best family drama on television right now. I'll be here all season, breaking it down Braverman by Braverman and picking the best pairings week by week.
Okay, so are you finally done crying yet, or have your tears at least subsided enough to read text on a screen? By the end of "Because You're My Sister," I was literally sobscreaming, a term I made up just now that means "belligerently weeping while yelling at your TV in a very humiliating and overwhelming mix of happiness and insanity." I'd like to tell you that Parenthood is the only show that does this to me, but I recently watched PBS' Animal Odd Couples and had a very similar reaction to this particularly moving segment about a goat and a horse. (Highly recommended.)
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