It looks like November 3 will be the night that comedy nerds everywhere explode with excitement.
Considering NBC just hosted a conference call with Lauren Graham and Ray Romano, I figured "I'll Be Right Here," would have a lot more of Sarah and Hank. While I'm slightly disappointed that we have to keep waiting for more on that front, I'll give the writers credit for sticking in an episode where Mark was really likable (maybe he always is, I just have fun ragging on him) in order to make the love triangle all the more juicer. I will ask all of your Mark supporters out there: Did you roll your eyes maybe a little bit when he said he didn't have cable? What's next, he doesn't have a microwave?
Our favorite ballerinas are coming back to primetime.
I was really impressed with last night's "The Talk." The episode wasn't great, but it did cover the N-word, our society's treatment of veterans, autism, bullying, breast cancer, adoption and the big Team Peeta vs. Team Gale Hunger Games divide -- not bad for a 40-odd-minute primetime family drama. I think Parenthood is laying it on a little too thick so far this season (with not nearly enough Camille or Amber, might I add), but given the fact that the episode ended with Adam making Kristina move up her surgery date, I don't have that much to complain about right now, so let's get to the nitty-gritty.
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.)
Fair warning: It's kind of hard to read some of the notes I wrote during "There's Something I Need to Tell You..." because I'm bad at typing while hysterically crying. I probably shouldn't have watched a bunch of Google Chrome commercials before Parenthood came on (especially not this one), so that's partly my fault, but also this episode was basically a solid 40-odd minutes of heartstrings-pulling.
During this winter break, I visited family and found myself not mentioning Parenthood when people asked for TV recommendations -- and not because I don't clearly love this show, but because I realized the individuals asking me have painfully lived through things we've watch the Bravermans endure, and it seems in very poor taste to tell my future mother-in-law whose own mother died of cancer not too long ago to tune in to Kristina fighting the battle. It begs the question: Is Parenthood a show for the privileged voyeur? Aside from the whole TV-as-escapism factor, I think there's an argument there with this show in particular. Then again, one of the reasons people love Parenthood as much as they do is because they've gone through some of the same emotions are the Bravermans, which can make our own lives feel less lonely, our issues less taboo and stigmatized and our problems more manageable (I see this a lot from fans in particular of Max's Asperger's, which, of course, makes sense). I've also had friends tell me that they can't stand Parenthood because they don't want to, say, watch Crosby and Jasmine sync their calendars when that's what they literally spent the week fighting with their spouse about. Can't win 'em all.
Do you think Kristina is going to die? I don't know, y'all. A few episodes ago, I would have given you a definite "no," but there are only six episodes left in this season (unless NBC orders more) and I'm starting to think that if the Parenthood writers believe this is the end, they'll go out with a bang and the saddest final silent montage in the history of this show. Maybe with Bob Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate" playing over Adam coming home from his wife's funeral? I'm getting a tiny bit emotional just thinking about it, though to be clear I really just want her to get better and for her next storyline to be about like, I don't know, deciding to go back to school to become a nurse.
The insanity of Fall TV is in full swing, and while we're busy judging shows as a whole, a lot of the new and returning shows really have us puzzled with some of the unusual choices they are making. We'll likely never get these answers, but we pose the questions that really have us stumped.
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.