PARENTHOOD: Team Braverman - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

PARENTHOOD: Team Braverman

May 21, 2010 by  

I am the youngest of three kids. Though I would not describe the bond amongst my siblings as “Braverman-like,” the time we spend together is always eventful. That’s the part about family that serves both as a blessing and a curse. When the habit of filtering yourself disappears, the brutal truth slips out. Without the coating of sugar that we apply to conversations outside our family tree, brothers and sisters can be each other’s worst enemy.

This week’s Parenthood was chock full of squabbles, proving that slow and steady does not always win the race. For Team Braverman, the formula is to be loud and frantic.

The fallout from Amber’s liaison with Steve fueled a host of over the top arguments. From Haddie and Amber’s skirmish on the soccer field to Sarah and Kristina’s kitchen tirade, there was a lot of yelling in the first half of this episode. In fact, it is possible that a lower volume of screaming would have better suited the story. That misgiving aside, I thought each confrontation rang true.

Siblings or not, parents protect their children above all. Sarah understood how disastrous Amber’s actions were, but that did not mean she would stand by as her daughter was ridiculed at school. Kristina took on the world, including her own husband, in order to save Haddie from pain and embarrassment. Though I have mentioned this issue before, I am interested in the way Jason Katims has crafted relationships between the in-laws on the show. Sarah and Kristina are family, but you could not blame either of them for protecting their own.

No matter our age, we never stop being sons or daughters. This episode spoke to the lengths children go for their parents’ approval. Haddie Braverman had no reason to escape from her post breakup cocoon, but she loves her Dad enough to put on those ridiculous pink sneakers and walk. Julia Braverman-Graham has a child of her own, but Erika Christensen played the part of dutiful daughter. She and Bonnie Bedelia had wonderful moments over that crockpot of chicken soup. Julia wants her parents to be together. She felt the same way at thirteen, and it will still be true when she is fifty-three.

A few quick thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you:

*Crosby Braverman should not be hard to figure out. I remember guys like him in college. They lived down the hall, and their dreams revolved around legalizing marijuana and finding the right recipe for home brewing. Dax Shepard has taken full advantage of this character, and lends Crosby enough innocent swagger to charm Jasmine, Jabbar, and the audience.

*Kristina may be Parenthood’s most demanding character to play, and Monica Potter is performing at All-Star levels. In this episode alone, Potter showed tenacity in defending Haddie, confronted self-doubts while speaking with Max’s doctor, and radiated love as she watched Adam find the right spot for the trophy. With the season finale a week away, Ms. Potter is the actor I will miss most during the summer.

*Peter Krause and Craig T. Nelson are brilliant together. Their scenes are difficult to describe, because the father/son dynamic is the one I understand best. Though I am not a fixer, my father can be a tough man to know. He has a big voice and a blue collar background. Feelings are not his favorite topic, and it is difficult to meld our differences. Krause and Nelson play those moments with great care.

How are you feeling about the show? Has it become a favorite in your household? Should Camille let her husband come home? Will Amber start spiraling downward? What would you like to see in the Season Finale?

Filed under Parenthood, Posts by Erik


16 Responses to “PARENTHOOD: Team Braverman”

  1. Randi on May 21st, 2010 7:21 pm

    I LOVE this show like I love Friday Night Lights and I loved Roswell. Jason Katims is a GENIUS!

  2. Erik on May 21st, 2010 7:33 pm

    Randi: There doesn’t seem to be a genre that Katims can’t hit out of the park. There must be something to this idea that writers are the unsung heroes of TV.

  3. Jason on May 21st, 2010 7:48 pm

    Woah, woah, woah. Kristina is not the most demanding character to play at all. That title goes to Sarah and Amber hands down.

  4. Erik on May 23rd, 2010 1:03 am

    Jason: Parenthood is full of interesting characters…

    Sarah & Amber have faced a number of uphill battles. To your argument, I would concede that Lauren Graham & Mae Whitman had the toughest scenes in this episode, as well as their conversations about Mr. Cyr.

    My argument on Monica Potter’s behalf is that Kristina has to play the roles of concerned mother, supportive wife, understanding sister-in-law, and independent woman simultaneously. There is constant worry on her plate, but no time to show those scars in front of her family. I think Potter has pulled her scenes off with great skill, and that’s why I have grown so fond of her.

  5. Amy on May 23rd, 2010 4:01 pm

    I, too, am loving this show. I initially started watching because I miss Lauren Graham so much after years of Gilmore Girls. She was way under appreciated by the Emmy’s because she was on a CW show. I had hoped that this new show would give her the recognition she so deserves. She is unbelievably talented. I must confess, though, that I am loving many of the characters on the show. I think the situations and conflicts in this show are real and very compelling. I love when a show shows families actually WORKING through conflicts and problems instead of bailing and jumping around in an adulturous way.

    I am especially loving the big brother Adam. Can I please have a brother that wonderful? I love how his dad is getting a first hand look at what he has to deal with every day. I love that this character loves his family and is always willing to do whatever it takes. I think Monica Potter is doing a fabulous job. I am especially like the lawyer sister too.

    I hope the audience for this show grows!

    As far as Sarah’s messed up daughter: She needs some serious counseling. The fact is you cannot accidentally sleep with someone. You can connect with someone without sleeping with them. The torment at school is very real and I hope what the girls are doing to her in retaliation is not ignored or brush away. Teenagers make mistakes; torture should not be allowed. I hope Adam see’s that his daughter isn’t completely innocent in all this!

  6. Todd on May 24th, 2010 10:25 am

    I loved the school hallway scene, they played the tension it’s limits and it made for a great scene. I fall in love more and more with Monica Potter as the show progresses, she plays her role perfectly (they all do, but to me she really stands out). Especially as an in-law to the family, she can fit right in when they are all together, but you can see that she is still just a teeny bit on the outside.

  7. Parent4life on May 25th, 2010 11:47 am

    Yes, at the beginning of the season that was the Crosby we saw, but Jabbar (especially) and Jasmine coming into his life has made him rethink his priorities. I looked at his story from the beginning and whereas Crosby started off as very apprenhensive about being a family guy, he is a lot more comfortable with this idea, and totally in love with his family. My guess is that he’s going to have a hard time letting them go…and tonight will really test how far he is willing to go for his new family.

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