Parenthood: Episode 404

"The Talk" Yet another amazing installment of this ingenius show last night. It's so funny what a difference quality TV makes when you compare it to what you used to waste your time watching. Obviously, I am guilty of having a secret love for Jersey Shore which is horrible to admit, but when I compare Parenthood to the likes of other shows that I used to be obsessed with; like Gossip Girl or even Private Practice, I see such a huge difference in the caliber of the program.

Something interesting my dad noted last night was the fact that some shows grip you because of the supernatural events that occur. Take LOST or Breaking Bad for example, two of my family's favorite shows to date. Both these shows engage us because we're constantly in search of the thrill and the excitement for what's about to happen next. What do the LOST numbers mean? Who is Jacob? What is the smoke monster?

But when you look at Parenthood... there is no "crazy" event taking place or unreal cliffhanger at the end of every episode. It's just real life. Not edited, not puffed up, not glamorized. It's what we can all relate to because we're all going through life in this same day to day fashion as the show illustrates. I think it almost takes more talent as a writer to come up with a way to portray these life events in a way that they don't seem too exaggerated; and Parenthood does a superb job of this. The show simply tells it like it is. One day you're helping your kids prepare for campaigning in student government and the next day you're told you have cancer. It's so heart wrenching because that is precisely what life is -- a series of moments that are memories to take with you for a lifetime, or other moments you wish you could forget altogether. Unexpected, unpredictable, and random.

As I watched last night, I was waiting for the big reveal with Kristina would share the news with her entire family about her diagnosis. Guess we have to wait another week for that emotional conversation! But I actually enjoyed the fact that they aren't rushing into that moment and making it over dramatic. It's more realistic this way. I love watching Adam's transition from being the one who was completely in control to surrendering a bit of that control as he releases he needs to loosen his grip. The cancer is what's fully in control now, and they both are slowly coming to realize that.

Amanda Peet seriously needs an Emmy for her performance as Kristina, week after week. She is so unbelievably talented!! Even with her facial expressions she melts your heart. The fact that she is so "THAT" mom that puts herself last and puts the family first kills me. She reminds me a lot of my own mom in that sense. Constantly looking into their needs over her own, to the point that she's even willing to reschedule her surgery so she can be there for Max's election day.

I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes next week and for when they break the news to Haddie. But trust me, I haven't missed Haddie on the show one bit. Along the same lines, Zeke's story line was completely useless last night. That was one disappointment. No one cares about your sprinklers and the fact that you feel like you need a hobby? LOL. I liked the little message about being thankful for our soldiers though, but still, the plot point was altogether just a little random.

I think what gripped me the most was Jabbar's story line. It was so awesome to see how Jazmyne handled him hearing the N-word. It's funny because I feel like viewers watching can literally LEARN how to parent from watching this show. She spoke so eloquently. And tying in there the fact that Crosby feels left out or that he can't relate literally killed me. Dax Shepard is another one of their actors who blows me away. Just watching him sit there and stare at Jabbar with tears in his eyes as Jazmyne spoke. His facial expressions, the pain, the desire to want to be able to do something but not being able too-- he was able to evoke ALL of that just by the look in his eyes. Hands down, my favorite character on the show. That story line was much needed and I applaud the writers for including that in this episode.

Finally, it was great to see more of Joel on Parenthood. Back in the first few seasons he almost seemed like a back-up character (with the likes of Drew and Sydney almost!) It was so good to see the arc centered only around him and Victor.. not even Julia. He is such a sweet guy. Simply put. It killed me when Victor yelled at him and said "you're not my real dad." But then to see the humility it took for him to approach Victor and tell him how proud he was of him -- ah stab me in the heart!! Such unconditional love. And that my friends is a true father.

Altogether, I don't think I can ever come across a "bad" episode of this show. And my favorite part of watching Parenthood is the fact that I watch it with my parents. And each week we're just left with tears in our eyes and my dad is going off about how freaking amazing it is. And I could not agree more. Epic writing/ epic acting. What more could you want?