Review: 'Parenthood' - 'Together': Thank you, I have cancer
A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I regift a cancer patient's gift basket...
"Together" didn't have as many "My, when did our living room get so dusty?" moments as a lot of recent "Parenthood" (though no one's going to judge you if you felt that way after, say, Kristina got off the phone with her mom), but I appreciate that the show isn't treating Kristina's situation as an excuse to shamelessly aim for the tear ducts throughout every episode. There are sad moments here, as Kristina grapples with how powerless she is, and with how little her own mother seems to care compared to Camille(*). But some of the best scenes in "Together" took this situation as a license for laughter, rather than tears, whether it was Kristina having to emotionally support the Lessings, rather than the other way around, Drew shamelessly exploiting the situation to draw Amy back to him, or Kristina and Max sneaking off to play skeeball and enjoy some forbidden sugary treats. There is a lot of darkness in this kind of situation, but there's also unexpected joy and silliness, and I greatly appreciate that Team "Parenthood" is trying to cover all the bases, rather than use the cancer only as an excuse to wallow and try to finally get Monica Potter and Peter Krause some Emmy love.
(*) Of course her mother doesn't care as much, though: she's not a Braverman! If it wasn't for Jasmine's mom and other relatives, I would assume that anyone who marries into the family is legally required to sever all ties with their inferior blood relations.
A lot of "Together" was calibrated towards smaller moments, and towards setting up situations that will no doubt lead to crocodile tears down the road. I like where we are with Amber and Ryan at this point, for instance. He's clearly troubled, and you understand exactly why Zeek is worried to hear this man he otherwise really likes is dating his granddaughter, but for the moment Ryan's issues are only manifesting themselves briefly, and in harmless ways (insomnia, drifting off into space in an intimate moment). You can see how much Amber wants to do something more for him (and Mae Whitman was, unsurprisingly, terrific in this episode), but this is too far beyond her frame of reference, and at this point, nothing's happened that Ryan can't wave away as minor.
And where I thought for sure that Julia's decision to ignore the social worker's advice and let Victor see his old friend was going to blow up in her face, a fine time was had by all. For now, it's just a reason for Julia to again recognize that however much progress they've made with their son, they still have a long way to go. Learning Spanish may not solve everything, but you could see in Victor's expression that he's learning to appreciate every attempt his new mom and dad are making for him.
We close this week on Kristina's first chemo session, as so many emotions wash over both her face and Adam's. As rough as things have been so far for them this season, I suspect they are about to get much worse, which is yet another reason I was pleased that "Together" was, relatively speaking, a relatively light episode for all things Braverman.
What did everybody else think?
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
Let Streaming Genie help you.