Parenthood - Season 4 thread

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    Really? How so? Other than the fact that he's in a much later phase of his life, I don't see how he's a match for Sarah in anyway. Maybe as a father figure or something. I don't know what their exact ages are on the show, but based on the ages of the actors involved, I would say Mark is about the same amount younger than Sarah as Sarah is to the Romano character, so there would still be a decent age gap. Sarah getting together with that grumpy old man would be extremely bizarro to me. Not that they couldn't spark up some sort of unique friendship.
     
  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I really enjoyed the Mark storyline, I just think it's overstayed its welcome. Once it was clear that Sarah and Mark were looking for different things, they should have moved on and the show should have too.
    I get it. Amber obviously doesn't look like Lauren Graham -- few woman on screen or off do -- but she's got a lot of the same qualities that Sarah does, and to some extent she's repeating Sarah's mistakes. She's fun and intelligent, and at the end of the day she's willing. She's warm and extroverted in a way that many of her peers, like Haddie, are not. And she's got some pretty huge self-esteem issues, so she lets the opinions of others validate her self-worth in a way that someone like Haddie wouldn't.
    I mean in the sense that they're two people who have already lived their lives, whereas as Mark's just beginning his life. Like Indiana Jones once said, "It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." The 16 year gap between Mark and Sarah wouldn't be so much of a factor if she'd never settled down. The real divide is that she's divorced with two pretty grown children and he's yet to commit his life to another person.
    Sarah and the Romano character are looking to start the next phase of their lives, whereas Mark's really still beginning the first phase of his life. One big commonality will be revealed an episode or two down the road:
    Romano's character is also a parent
    That being said, I'd be more than fine if the show decided to keep it strictly a friendly work relationship.
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The final beat of the episode proved this show is still capable of real poetry. Kristina gets out the car, taking in this idyllic scene of father and son with new puppy, and puts on a brave face. She smiles and waves at her family, just the slightest quiver in the expression she's composed. Adam waves back, smiles, and instantly knows something's wrong. He walks over to her and, with nearly two decades of marriage under their belt, she tells him.
    If the rest of the episode had lived up to that moment, the show would have nothing to worry about. The biggest problem is that a lot of the storylines aren't relatable any more. The brothers' recording studio is a TV fantasy.
    Getting a dog to fill the void Haddie left is a perfectly legitimate storyline, but then they get sidetracked with the $1200 showbred dog that Max found. I don't know a family out there who would spend $1200 on a new household pet. I've known families that have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at the vet to save beloved pets that have been part of the family for years, but never for an animal with no existing emotional attachment. On planet earth, no responsible parent would seriously consider that when you can go to the pound or go on Craigslist and find a puppy in desperate need of a home for cheap or free (except for shots and neutering).
    Likewise, Julia spending the whole day in the parking lot to reassure Victor is sort of heartwarming, but it's also something only a very comfortably well off family could do. Ninety percent or more of parents simply couldn't afford to take an entire day off work to be on standby, no matter the circumstances and no matter the severity of the first day jitters at a new school.
    On the other hand, I'm really enjoying the Sarah/Hank storyline. He's like Drew in a lot of ways, so it makes sense that he was the one to say the thing that made it a little better.
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Ok, this is a nitpick that I have a hard time with but.. I have two veterinarians in my family. Right now, shelters and pounds are full of animals that need adopting, badly.. and your cost is cheap.. some cities do it near nothing. The concept of throwing out $1,200 on an animal that has been bred for show is abhorrent to me. Money like that continues to fund people or lead people to think that things like puppy mills/etc. are profit centers.. I was just appalled by that entire storyline... especially for a show that has normally been good about these kind of issues.

    I thought the last beat was good, but again, we're now seemingly inflicting wild drama on that couple just because they've been one we like, so all of the main action occurs to them, good and bad, and it's becoming a bit too much.

    The storyline about planning and Jasmine's reaction to it drove me nuts. Crosby is back into complete infantile mode, and it turns that story back to completely unrelatable
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Too funny. As Adam (in the last post) expresses concerns about non-relatable storylines...I show up to say that tonight's episode was one of the best in a very long time.

    Just the opening of the show with Sarah sending Drew off to school: "Wash your hands!" and putting her iPhone on video by mistake was golden. Crosby ribbing Adam about his cell phone calendars with Christine and "Funkytown" struck all the right notes. The "small stories" about dropping scared kids off at school, forgetting to pick up a kid at school, syncing calendars, a quiet teenage boy getting dumped by his dream girl, Getting a puppy, filling a whole created by a kid off at college...these are the things which drive this show for me.

    And, I am even willing to give Christina's cancer storyline a chance. It is real. it happens. And when it does, it shows up when you least expect it and turns your life on its ear. And, I agree with Adam Lenhardt's comments on the scene in which Christina shows up at the adoption clinic. Oh...and I know families that would drop $1200 on a dog without thinking twice. And these are not rich families. I am personally glad they ended up at an adoption clinic.

    And, my wife and I were okay with Julia sitting in her car all day. The scene in which Victor thanked her was pretty powerful given the awkward way they had set things up in episode #1.

    I even loved Jasmine's manic driving to the school to get Jabar. Most parents have had that particular walk of shame at one time in their life.

    All I kept saying during tonight's episode was, I cannot believe how much I like this episode. The writers struck all the right notes. Oh that they can keep it up!
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I'm surprised you fellas are reacting negatively to the dog storyline since I thought they made the breeders look uncomfortably creepy and unlikeable. I didn't think that was necessary.

    And, the Braverman's (Adam, anyway) had the reaction that the price was too high and they ended up at an adoption clinic anyway.
     
  7. David Weicker

    David Weicker Cinematographer

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    I like the episode, and I especially like the Julia at the school part. I've been extremely critical of the stories they've given her over the years, but this one got to me. Even if it is only something a rich person could do, to me it was something a Mom would do, and frankly, I haven't seen that many Mom moments with her and Sydney. I came out of the episode thinking they finally got a Julia story to work.
    While I thought the way they handled the last scene was terrific (I echo Adam's thoughts (Lenhardt, not Braverman) on this), I felt the introduction of this story a bit much in an already full episode. It felt like piling-on, and tacked on. It was like the writers felt - ooh, we generated some good feelings here, can't let an episode go by without a big downer.
    I realize that this may be a shortened and final season, and this is probably a story they want to tell, but did it have to start tonight with all the other stories this week?
    Anyway, I did enjoy the episode.
    David
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Glad you enjoyed an episode again, Mike!
    I think there's a couple factors at play here: Adam's family is the most traditional family of all of them: monoracial nuclear family with the father as primary breadwinner and the 2.5 children. There are facets of all of the other family units with this larger family that generate storylines naturally. Other than Max's autism, things are pretty clear sailing for them when there isn't some external force acting upon them.
    The other, perhaps bigger, reason is that Kristina getting diagnosed provides a way to keep Haddie in the mix in a way that she otherwise wouldn't be on the other side of the country. She's a guest start this season, so she's obviously not going to be in every (or probably even most) episodes, but Kristina going through this provides opportunities to bring Haddie back into the fold that wouldn't have otherwise existed.
    I was mixed on this. On one hand, I have to believe that this would be exactly what Crosby and Jasmine would be like as a married couple. They're both children who never completely grew up. I know plenty of couples with young children just like them. On the other hand, it didn't make for particularly enjoyable television, watching the inevitable play out. I spent their scenes wondering for the umpteenth time, "Why did these people get married again?"
    You've made a very good point. While I personally didn't find it relatable (because nobody in my family would have even dreamed of giving up a day's pay for something like that while I was growing up), it's definitely a huge parent moment. Julia committed in a way she hadn't with this kid up until now. And as you mentioned, she's delegated most of the childrearing with Sydney to Joel.
    I can definitely see how you'd read it this way. I liked it because it rang true to how a cancer diagnosis usually really is, if you don't have a family history. There's a lot of TV episodes out there where the character spends all episode dreading the call from the doctor, only to discover everything's fine. This sort of inverted that formula. Kristina's doctor's appointment was in the background through the whole episode, but it was never really anything anybody thought about except as a scheduling obstacle. But then suddenly this routine appointment has life-changing consequences. It was a slap in the face to the audience, but I thought that was a good thing, because in reality a cancer diagnosis is often a slap in the face. And, I like it best when this show is about what makes these family bonds strong instead what the fracture points are.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    C'mon, she's a hipster cutie. What's not to like?

    Watched the two episodes back-to-back tonight and generally have no complaints. I didn't care for the ending last season, and Jasmine and Crosby together is probably my least favorite story line. Second to that is Sarah and Mark and their inevitable break up. Just get it over quick, because the writing is obviously on the wall.

    Still, the show manages to make me tear up. Reading about the cancer diagnosis here, I probably rolled my eyes a little, but ultimately the execution was great. At this point I'm not sure if I have any one arc I'm most interested in, just feeling a bit cautious after how things ended last season. I need a bit of wooing back, but so far there's been nothing to make me turn away.
     
  10. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    The scene with Crosby giving Adam a hard time about the calendar aside, this was probably one of my least favorite episodes of the series.

    The whole thing with Crosby missing an appointment was way too predictable and cheesy.

    No interest at all in the adopted kid story line and it doesn't ring true to me at all (then again nothing about Julia ever does).

    Never bought the Drew/Amy relationship, so I suppose it makes sense that she'd drop him.

    I did enjoy the scenes with Hank - never cared for 'Everybody Loves Raymond' but I'm enjoying his character here.

    Plenty of people spend $1,000+ for a household pet, and they didn't even do it so I'm not sure what the complaint is.

    Cancer? Really? And talk about fast test results! You know what they always say...the first sign a writing team is running out of things to write about is when they introduce a pregnancy/new child, or add in some kind of major drama like a death or disease. And they've done all of the above in the last 2 seasons (and then some). This show works best when it's about the normal everyday stuff.
     
  11. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I actually found the "giving him a hard time" bit a little creepy. Once he came across Kristina's doctor's appointment, he should have said, "Whoa, time to give the phone back if I'm reading stuff that private." Didn't really have big issues with the rest of the episode, though the dog thing was a little lame.
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The dog "bit" was not lame for those people living with Autism/Asperger's.
    Everything "change" is huge...except for what they want to change...which when that happens is even bigger.
    That is one of the long story lines of Parenthood that they never get wrong. If Parenthood itself lasts long enough for his character to graduate, a spinoff, even short lived, on one of a "cablers" would be looked upon with pride for numerous people.
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I caught up with the 2 episodes so far, I was glad they got most of Ray Romano's character's camera lingo correct.
    Still don't like Jasmine. Not feeling the kid that Julia stayed in her car for the whole school day.
    Is Haddie gone for this season (i.e. the actress gone off to do other things)?
    The dog subplot was "meh". Just an inflated way to amp up Max drama (pun, I know).
    Kristina's upcoming battle did depress me, but nice bit of acting between Monica and Peter.
    Not feeling Mark and Sarah this season.
     
  14. KevinGress

    KevinGress Supporting Actor

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    I liked the episode - most of it rang true to me - giving Adam crap about 'Funkytown' (which was hilarious), scheduling confusion which causes a child to be left at school and the overreaction that comes with it, and the dog search. Now, while I, and most people in my circle, would never plunk down $1200 for a dog, I know several who would pay a lot for a pet.
    I like Hank and how he fits in the show. He's already made a connection with Drew that Mark hasn't, or not to that extent.
    What didn't really resonate with me was the Julia storyline. Not so much with the staying in the parking lot, but that she didn't do ANY work. A lawyer would be 1) on the phone and 2) checking and writing emails. And there's plenty of white collar workers out there with enough flexibility and vacation/sick/time off available to them that that scenario isn't out of the question. It's just not very likely. :)
    The only surprising thing about Kristina's new storyline is how quick they went to cancer. Like was mentioned before, the usual script is 'There's a mass but we need to do tests', and the waiting, then cancer or not. But the final scene was priceless.
     
  15. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Actually, before she nodded off and the boy came out for recess, she sent off an email through her iPhone. That suggested she was keeping tabs on work during her time in the car, though perhaps some talking on the phone would have made that more explicit.


     
  16. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Well, it's lame to me. Agreeing to give in to the $1200--even though that turned out to be off the table--seems to go against the previous idea that you work with Max and try to do right by him, but you don't give in to unreasonable demands just to avoid a hassle. We're one season finale past Adam and Kristina having no idea how they would even survive financially, and now they have a new baby and a daughter at an expensive school and they can just cavalierly plunk down $1200 (plus many more expenses) just so they can avoid a fight.
     
  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The dog thing, coulda/shoulda, been a trip to the pound...
    But Max was the one who found said "type" of dog. Then comes the $1200. It isn't like they knew the dog was $1200 before showing up at the breeder. Most breeders around here won't say a price for a dog "over the phone". So the story is plausible...
    And one families "broke" isn't the same as their neighbors "broke".
    The recording studio is doing well. He kicked out a paying client...and wants to spend money on a dog.
    Pure breed dog, anywhere, is easily $800. Where they are...$800 for me, is probably $1200.
    Heck, my cousin, a couple years ago bought an all white Eskimo-Pomeranian/Maltese mix for $600. (Any white Spitz, Pomeranian etc...can all be called Eskimo...until they reach 60 pounds, then they are Samoyed)
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Did anyone think Adam was negotiating with Kristina for some backdoor action? :D
     
  19. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I don't know about Adam, but Kristina was definitely defining parameters.
     
  20. ScottH

    ScottH Producer

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    It was either that or the "Ralphie Treatment".
     

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