Thursday, April 24, 2014

Parenthood - My Thoughts on the Bravermans, Part 4

Okay, this one discusses all characters not yet discussed and from now on, any comments I may have about Parenthood will probably be part of an episode rant review or random thoughts. Thanks for humoring me on my geeking out fest - you've helped enable me in my self-distraction from things I need to do. :)


Gaby

Photo Image from myriamams704.sourceforge.net
Max's behavioral therapist and Crosby's major indiscretion. I am pretty sure I had a girl crush on her. She's gorgeous. Her affect, as is the norm on this show, was rather annoying - she's all breathy and soft spoken and blah, but man, she really is pretty.

Alex

Photo Image from cleareyesfullshelves.com
Haddie's first boyfriend and a really good guy. I like Alex a lot and (contain your shock) was annoyed by Adam and Kristina's attitude toward him. I get that they're concerned and that's fine and valid, but they weren't particularly open-minded nor did they really listen to their daughter for a long time. There were some seriously tender moments with Alex. And Michael B. Jordan, who plays him, is a really great actor. I loved when Adam went to bat for him and I cried when Kristina hugged him and he thanked her. I wanted so much for the family to embrace him wholly and give him a loving family.

Phil and Suze Lessing

Photo Image from lilsugar.com
Adam and Kristina's neighbors who also have a child with (far more severe) Asperger's. They mean well but are socially awkward, intrusive, odd, overbearing, and, well, a bit much. Don't we all know people like this? I have loved the crazy scenes with the Lessings, because they're hilarious (when they aren't sad - their son's Asperger's is so severe you can't help but ache for them - ugh!).

Dr. Pelikan 

Photo Image from tvrage.com
The guy everyone goes to for everything - Max's Asperger's, Sydney's giftedness, Hank's issues . . . it's all Dr. Pelikan. Hilarious name. Cracks me up every time. Seriously, does anyone know anyone with a name like that? I mean, outside of a children's book? Also, he always reminds me of Ferris Bueller's friend Cameron. Always. 

Gordon Flint

Photo Image from aoltv.com
Adam's boss, so of course one of his siblings had to sleep with him. This time, Sarah. He was an infuriating boss - he needed some serious communication skills.


Micah Watson

Photo Image from tvovermind.com

I thought this storyline was super sweet when it started. Max made a friend and it was a big, huge deal. It represented so much social growth. It was a milestone. As time went on, he wore poor Micah down and I really felt for Micah. Can't blame him. Even I was going crazy when Max was obsessing about the vending machines and I'm simply a viewer!

Bob Little 

Photo Image from Examiner.com
What a weasel, this guy. Yuck. I feel like I need to take a shower just looking at him. He represents exactly why I could not ever, ever, ever work in politics, as much as it all interests me. The schmoozing, the tactics, the weaseliness . . . all like a real-life game of Survivor. No thank you. There were times I thought he was okay, but when push came to shove, it was all about himself and winning and being a weasel.

Gwen Chambers

Photo Image from mbird.com
Another sweet side character story line. A good friend to Kristina. We all knew in that sad, tearful episode (spoiler alert - stop reading if you haven't seen the past few episodes) where the charter school would get its name. Mark and I both called it at the same time, though our voices were cracking.

Mr. Knight

Photo Image from happynicetimepeople.com
Nice guy. Good to Max. Helps the Braverman in their new, zealous cause. Aaaaaand (spoiler alert again) sleeps with Adam's sister, because you know, that's what the Braverman siblings all seem to do to thank Adam for all he does for them - they sleep with people who help him (Sarah with his Billy Baldwin boss, Crobsy with Gaby, and Julia with Mr. Knight).

Heather

Photo Image from picturesofbeautifulwomen.blogspot.com
 Kristina's campaign manager who, may I point out, totally saw that Adam wasn't on board and told Kristina and Adam that he needed a serious attitude adjustment or everyone would see that he didn't support his wife. Booyah.

Rachel

Photo Image from screenweek.it
Adam and Crosby's assistant at The Luncheonette. She kissed Adam. You know because she was falsely led on because of his incessant preaching to everyone (this time he thought he'd talk to her about how she dressed and how she doesn't need to dress like that because she's smart and beautiful already yadda yadda), so she mistook it as flirting. Another argument for Adam to keep his holier-than-thou-ness to himself!

Cory

Photo Image from tvguide.com
This guy! I loved this story line. It was maddening and hysterical and stressful. So, Adam gets a new, young, hip, cool, millionaire (from inventing a video game) boss and it is yet another situation that highlights Adam's stick-up-his-butt-ness. I'm not saying to ditch your values or professionalism or work ethic, but at what point was Adam going to clue in and see that he didn't need a shirt, tie, and suit jacket to go to work. The environment had changed - roll with it, Adam. Oh wait, that's not his forte. Ironic since he now co-owns The Luncheonette with Crosby. Also, this is where I learned what an edible is. I had no idea. That's scary really. Brownies, you know about, but lollipops called "edibles?!?" Who knew?!? See kids, THIS is why it's good to be informed. So you don't accidentally, innocently suck on a lollipop and get high.

Gilliam T. Blount

Photo Image from tvguide.com
What . . . I . . . he was . . . I . . . I . . . WTH?!? He was on the show for, like, 4 episodes encouraging some great, hidden, amazing talent that Sarah miraculously possesses, so he works with her, he demands of her, he brings forth the greatness and she writes a play and has it read to a full house and she becomes . . . ! A successful playwright! A super.

Ryan York

Photo Image from youngadulthollywood.com
This was a good storyline, too. Sgt. York, Zeek's protegé, Amber's newest relationship. He's a troubled boy from his time in the service. I don't feel strongly about this storyline. You've got two messed up people, both prone to addiction, trying to navigate life together, and not well. But the series finale - OMG! I have LOTS to say about that one, but it's a big SPOILER, so don't keep reading if you haven't seen it yet. I mean, aside from the obvious shot of her shopping in a store (ahem), the whole scene leading up to that, I was saying (out loud), "Wait. Are they? What? They can't . . . in a hospital?!?" Yep.


 Natalie


Photo Image from previously.tv
I just can't bring myself to care one iota about this storyline. I don't like her. She's all over the place. She is a tease then she wants him then she doesn't then she does, but only as a fling, then he wants her, but she doesn't, then she does, but oh wait, he's with Amy again, then she's jealous, then she's mad, then he's confused, then she wants him, then they both want the same thing . . . I thought they were in college? Seems way more like junior high. No, you're my boyfriend! No, you're my girlfriend! Nuh-uh! Snore.Who cares.

Amy

Photo Image from spoilertv.com
I like her more than Natalie, I think. Though I'm not exactly rooting for her either. She just seems more genuine, even if it's genuinely confused. Natalie seems calculated and nasty. Amy seems like she's sincerely trying and not always sure what to do. I think she's sweeter with Drew than Natalie is, though of course she's had her share of lousy moments (going off to camp and hooking up with a different guy, not talking to him when she got pregnant, just generally yanking him around, etc.). Thing is, I just don't care about Drew. He's so uncomfortably blah and wishy-washy, that I can see why she moved on, but really, either way, Amy, Natalie, the old woman in the shoe . . . I just don't care.

Racquel

Photo Image from serienjunkies.de
THIS GIRL. Hippie, supermom from season 1. Her daughter (Harmony, of course) is best friends with Bratty Sydney. The woman who's all earthy and organic and kumbaya. The one that was constantly hitting on Joel. THAT GIRL. The one who KISSED Joel and then he didn't tell his wife, Julia. THAT girl. Why isn't anyone talking about this?!?!? I sort of loved hating her character. I can't tell you how many of these perfect-organic-hippie types I see in homeschooling circles. They're fine except when they act superior about their home births and natural cloth diapers and what not. Then they're annoying. (Hilarious article, by the way).

Zoe

Photo Image from examiner.com
Heart-wrenching and uncomfortable story line. Such a roller coaster. I felt for Zoe. I really did. They highlighted how Julia was trying to help but also acted superior to Zoe. Thing is, I think she meant well. Great character. A storyline of desperation that really illustrated the frustrations of infertility and adoption.

Ed

Photo Image from Pinterest.com
So this is the guy Julia kissed. I'm not sure that's what started the hullabaloo (could've been work, changing roles, infertility, adoption stresses, work stress, etc. - it wasn't clear), but it didn't help. Thing is, she's done more since then that I'm sure Joel won't approve of, though I predict that will get conveniently dropped like some other back stories. Ed is a down-on-his-luck guy and a listening ear to her. We know the actor from The Office and Traffic Light and now this.

Meredith Peet

Photo Image from diytheme.com
Peet. Not Pete, as I'd suspected, but Peet. And apparently it's her surname. Not sure why she doesn't go by Meredith, but I suspect it's to be one of the guys on the work site. Anyway, she's Joel's boss essentially and she's after him, as are all women. She knocked some sense into him, I think, with her recent little speech, so hopefully that moves things along in that story arc. The previews misled us on her relationship with Joel, but who are we anyway but manipulated viewers.

Katie

Photo Image from thestir.cafemom.com
I wasn't going to write about her but couldn't resist this picture of a very scared Crosby getting pushed into starting a family. Jabbar coming along is the best thing that could've happened to him, because I don't think it was going to ever happen the planned way with any woman.

Oliver Rome

Eh, I don't feel like writing about him more than to say he's a diva.

Lily

Her either - she plays cello and it's what spurs Jasmine to not be stupid and to forgive Crosby and not let a good thing slip away. Poor Lily.

Renee Trussell

Photo Image from greatblackspeakers.com
No kidding! She's a motivational speaker in real life, too. Anyway, wow is she overbearing and annoying and controlling and holier-than-thou and a giant pain in the you know what. What a mother-in-law! She has NO business butting into their spiritual and religious life and telling them what to do with their children. Totally not cool. When she moves in, you just know it's going to be bad. She's a lot to take. They portray Jasmine feeling torn very well, but geez Louise, Renee is a lot to take!

I know I've left some people off this list - most on purpose, but have I forgotten anyone you would've liked to have seen mentioned? How do you feel about some of these characters?

24 comments:

Dr. Mark said...

You hit all of my favorites or favorites to hate. Nicely done.

I absolutely love how you pointed out how the Bravermans thank Adam for all of his help. And Julia completes the trifecta. Somewhere in Vegas someone just won a lot of money.

I'll comment on a few of the more memorable side characters for me.

I loved the Alex story lines. He's a great actor.

Gwen's whole story arc is heartbreaking, but wow, what a fantastic actress. Who knew Gypsy had that in her?

You're spot on with your assessment of Bob Little.

I had such high hopes for Mr. Knight, but remember kids, helping Adam and Kristina Braverman is a new STD.

And Cory! Love that guy. I thought they did a great job of tapping into that whole young millionaire/entrepreneur vibe.

Gilliam ultimately helped Sarah realize that even though one has incredible talent, it's never too late to acquire greater skills with a power drill.

I can't wait to see where Amber's Ryan-related story line ends up. Given the penchant the writers have for letting a lot of time pass between seasons, anything is possible.

My new nickname for anyone related to Drew is Tryptophan. Zzzzzzzzzz.

It's ironic that Peet, the one we were sure would break up Joel's marriage, is the one that may have said exactly what he needed to hear.

Renee is a handful. I felt badly for Crosby as he tried to navigate that minefield. Being Crosby, he handled it well at time and completely poorly at others.

Great review. I'm sad there's no Part 5, but I'll survive. ;)

Boquinha said...

STD! LOLOL!

We need to pack!!

Maybe that's the post I should do next - you know, our new house. :)

nevillegirl said...

Hey... I'm sure you didn't mean this, but "girl crush" is kind of offensive. It's the female equivalent of "no homo," (and I'm sure you don't need an explanation as to why THAT is offensive!) so... yeah. Just a heads up.

Jimmy said...

Just checking in to tell you I'd been out of town on business travel--just got back today and checked your blog--and had to do a double take when I saw "Parenthood Part IV." Part IV! Wow! You have a lot to say about this show. I'll have to find some time to catch up on this.

Boquinha said...

Jimmy, welcome back! Do you watch Parenthood?

Nevillegirl, thank you. I totally appreciate you bringing that to my attention. You have educated me today. After I read your comment, I did a bunch of research trying to understand why it's offensive (and also looking up "no homo" - I wasn't familiar with that phrase! Yikes, it is offensive!).

I read a couple of articles that explained why "girl crush" can be considered offensive. You're right - of course I didn't mean it in any kind of offensive way at all. I'm a huge supporter of equal rights and I hate, hate, hate bigotry.

I admit that I had to chew on this one a bit, because at first I didn't see the big deal, so I was trying to understand what was wrong with it. You sent me on a hunt for information! I get it now.

This has happened to me before - more times than I care to admit, really. Coming from a bit of a sheltered (self-imposed) and conservative background, I don't always catch the nuances of stuff like this and I've needed to be corrected and have always appreciated learning more. I think language is SO important and so powerful, and the more discussions we have like this, the greater the awareness of the big issues at hand (in other words, the phrase may seem like not that big a deal to some, but when you take the time to think about it, discuss it, and understand it, you also educate yourself on the greater issue that it underscores).

More in the next comment . . .

Boquinha said...

A while back, I was doing an American Idol review and I referred to one of the contestants as something like "the black kid with the hat" (or something - I don't remember the exact phrase I used, but I know that I distinguished one of the contestants as being black). A very good friend of mine remarked to me that if her sisters had read my post, they'd likely have been offended by it - (for the sake of this story, I should explain that both of her white sisters are married to black men).

Anyone who knows me knows that I would never consciously offend and that I feel strongly about equality and am vehemently against racism and bigotry and sexism.

I could NOT figure out why what I said was offensive at all. It literally took me hours of conversation with her to begin to get it. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I don't generally go around distinguishing people as "that white girl," so it's wholly offensive to do it if the person is of another race. Makes sense! It is insulting to a minority group when the prevailing majority or more socially accepted group makes distinctions like that.

I really appreciated my friend taking the time to bring that to my consciousness, because I hadn't stopped to consider it that way and it has completely altered not only how I speak of certain issues, but even how I THINK about certain issues. Again, raising awareness and altering consciousness! It's so so so necessary in order for big societal changes to be effected.

I have relatives who throw their hands in the air and say, "Geez, everyone gets so offended nowadays!" And ultimately, I do believe that unless someone is TRYING to offend, whether or not we take offense is a choice. But I don't think it's too much to ask people to THINK and to consider what we all say and ultimately what we all think and do.

Boquinha said...

A while back, I was doing an American Idol review and I referred to one of the contestants as something like "the black kid with the hat" (or something - I don't remember the exact phrase I used, but I know that I distinguished one of the contestants as being black). A very good friend of mine remarked to me that if her sisters had read my post, they'd likely have been offended by it - (for the sake of this story, I should explain that both of her white sisters are married to black men).

Anyone who knows me knows that I would never consciously offend and that I feel strongly about equality and am vehemently against racism and bigotry and sexism.

I could NOT figure out why what I said was offensive at all. It literally took me hours of conversation with her to begin to get it. Ultimately, it came down to the fact that I don't generally go around distinguishing people as "that white girl," so it's wholly offensive to do it if the person is of another race. Makes sense! It is insulting to a minority group when the prevailing majority or more socially accepted group makes distinctions like that.

I really appreciated my friend taking the time to bring that to my consciousness, because I hadn't stopped to consider it that way and it has completely altered not only how I speak of certain issues, but even how I THINK about certain issues. Again, raising awareness and altering consciousness! It's so so so necessary in order for big societal changes to be effected.

I have relatives who throw their hands in the air and say, "Geez, everyone gets so offended nowadays!" And ultimately, I do believe that unless someone is TRYING to offend, whether or not we take offense is a choice. But I don't think it's too much to ask people to THINK and to consider what we all say and ultimately what we all think and do.

Boquinha said...

(And might I add, that the people who generally go around saying "Geez, people are getting so easily offended and are too caught up in being politically correct!" tend to be white or some other majority group!)

I seriously used the phrase recently with someone (who was going on and on about how it should be okay to deny services in one's own business to people of other races if one so chooses and how unfair it is to not be able to), "Oh yeah, it's so hard to be white in America!" (eye roll). I also used the words "despicable" and "reprehensible."

Boquinha said...

By the way, I was reading an article on why the term "girl crush" is considered offensive and there was a good discussion in the comments about the term "girlfriends" when a heterosexual woman refers to her platonic friends.

One commenter got really snarky about it and acted all "Oh, this is all too PC, so I guess we should probably avoid saying "girlfriends," too, right?"

And then another responded:

"Yeah, you actually do because it's annoying as ****. I have a girlfriend, you have FRIENDS. Would you call your male friends your boyfriends? Probably not, because then people would assuming you were in a romantic relationship with them. And it's because of homophobia and heterocentrism that people still assume "girlfriends" means female friends much of the time."

Wow. Color me enlightened. She is absolutely right and I hadn't stopped to consider it. Some chimed in to say that they've been talking that way for years and they're not going to stop now.

I found one of the commenters to be particularly open-minded and receptive to that train of thought. Here's what she said:

"I find this interesting. I've been using "girlfriends" and "girlfriend" in that way too, but after reading a lot of these comments, I'm going to stop. Because it doesn't hurt me to stop using that phrase. I can say "I'm going out with friends" and I can say "I'm going out with Sarah" and I can say "I'm hanging out with some other ladies." Now that this issue has been pointed out to me, I'm really going to try to change my behaviour. I'm not going to promise that I'm never going to use that term again, because it might slip out, but I'm really going to make an effort to stop.

I don't see why, just because you've done something one way for a long time, it means you can't change."

Boquinha said...

Funny side note. After reading articles and discussing this at length with Mark, I looked at him and said, "This is why we don't get anything done." :P We are HORRIBLY inefficient sometimes, because we talk and talk and talk and research and analyze and talk and read and talk and listen to NPR and talk and talk and . . . you get the idea.

Here we are packing boxes for our move and we totally stop to discuss your comment and learn all these things. Thank you for saying something.

Boquinha said...

P.S. The article about "girl crushes" is on xojane, but the site is down right now.

Boquinha said...

I was thinking, when I used the phrase, "so as not to confuse those who know I'm a heterosexual woman married to a heterosexual man . . ," but yeah, I get it. Plus, I believe that sexuality lies on a spectrum (as opposed to being confined to neat, little, uniform boxes that fit everyone perfectly), so the distinctions don't always clarify much anyway!

I've seen many actors and singers - Daniel Radcliffe, George Clooney, Kerry Washington, Kelly Clarkson, etc. - say that gay rumors about themselves don't offend them, because it's simply not offensive. So true.

Boquinha said...

(My multitude of comments are because I didn't know if all my talking would fit in one comment!)

Boquinha said...

The above comment is punctuated poorly. It should read:

When I used the phrase "girl crush" I was clarifying thinking, "so as not to confuse those who know I'm a heterosexual woman married to a heterosexual man . . ," but yeah, I get it. Plus, I believe that sexuality lies on a spectrum (as opposed to being confined to neat, little, uniform boxes that fit everyone perfectly), so the distinctions don't always clarify much anyway!

There. That's better. :P

LMW said...

I did a little research on girl crush after reading Nevel Girl's comment too. My reaction was the same as Stacy's. I didn't understand it at first, but I get it enough now to know that it offends a group of people, so it's no big deal for me to be mindful of that and not use it.

At Easter, one of my younger sisters who is very sweet wondered why we have to have Black History Month or why there are Gay Pride parades (We have both people who are gay and people who are black in our immediate family) when we don't have white history month or straight pride parades, etc.. All I could think (after the fact, as it always goes) is that I wished I'd thought to say, "Everyday in the United States is straight pride day and white history month!" When you're in the accepted majority, there's no reason to have those types of events as it is for minority groups.

Like Stacy, I can be "accidentally" ignorant of things that might offend. I can't say that I'll be perfect about it, but I can do my best to accept that it's not necessary for me to say something after I've discovered that it's offensive. It's easy to get bent out of shape by political correctness, so instead of thinking of it that way, it's better to simply think of it as trying to be as kind as possible to those in our world. What does it hurt not to say something offensive once we know that it's offensive to a group of people?

I feel the same way about using the word "retarded" as a pajoretive descriptor...

I'm sorry if my comment doesn't completely make sense, but it's late...

Boquinha said...

LMW, you make perfect sense. Beautiful comment.

LMW said...

Oh, good. There's so much more to say on this topic and it's ever evolving for me anyway.

Also, I'm sorry for all of my Spelling errors in my previous comment, Nevillegirl.

nevillegirl said...

(Hey, just a note to say that I haven't been ignoring this stuff - I've just been really busy during the last few days and I'll respond more later! :))

Emily Foley said...

Did you watch Friday Night Lights? Gaby and Alex are both from that show and I loved them both a ton on it. FNL is one of my most favorite shows EVER.

I love Dr. P. I hate Drew and anyone associated with him because to associate with Drew means you're a major loser. Amy was better than Natalie but I was devastated over the abortion.

I like Ryan. I was sad when he left. I don't know that they're the best for each other but he needs someone to just love him.

LMW said...

I never had a visceral reaction against poor Drew, but then again, it's been awhile since I've watched the show.:)

I have to second the endorsement for Friday Night Lights a million times over! It's a great show. Stacie, you will love Tammy Taylor, I promise you.:)

Boquinha said...

Nevillegirl, looking forward to it. No worries - I've been fairly absent from here myself due to our move!

Emily and LMW, I haven't ever seen that show. Isn't it about football? If I have no interest in football whatsoever, do you guys think I would like it?

LMW said...

Absolutely! I have no interest in or even knowledge about football, but I love it. I know plenty of both men and women who love the show. I loved it and so did my husband.

I hope all is going well with the new house! I'm looking forward to an update.:)

Boquinha said...

It is officially in our queue on Netflix - excited to marathon watch! Thanks for the suggestion!

The Magic Violinist said...

I actually think Gaby had a bit of an accent, so her breathiness could've been from that.

I REALLY liked Alex. He respected the rules Adam and Kristina set for him and Haddie, whether or not Haddie always obeyed them or clued him in about them. He always treated Haddie well, too.

Gordon has always bugged me. There was something about him that seemed . . . sleazy to me. I didn't think there was any chemistry between him and Sarah.

I liked Micah. :) I cried when his parents came over with him and said that they were really glad he and Max found each other, because Micah hadn't ever had a friend before. Super sweet.

Gwen! :) I loved her. I was so paranoid that something was going to happen to her throughout the whole show once we met her, and, sure enough, the waterworks came.

Oh my gosh, Cory! If only Adam had worked at the Luncheonette before Cory became his boss. Maybe he wouldn't have been so uptight. (Also, even if I didn't know exactly what an edible was, I would never eat something that someone called an edible. Especially if someone like Cory handed it to me.)

I like Ryan all right, but I can't believe that Amber would stay with someone with that sort of a temper. (Actually, I CAN believe it, I just don't understand it.)

Natlie and Amy: no comment.

I liked Zoe, but I agree that that storyline was just super uncomfortable. I felt like I was walking on eggshells just watching it.

Renee is a GREAT addition to the show, but I still can't stand the way Jasmine acts around her. No matter what her own opinions are, she always changes them when her mother is around. Infuriating. But I love the exchanges Crosby has with her.