Parenthood

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Tracks of My Mother-Freakin' Tears

As the evening sun goes down, Sarah arrives at the family compound with her grouchy children in their beat-up hatchback. I was about to give them a slow clap because I thought for a moment this car was a 1979 Datsun 210, which would so perfectly tie-in the Nissan sponsorship, but it appears to be a Chevy Citation from a few years later. I know you really wanted to know that. What's silly about it, either way, is that having a car this old in 2010 would cost you more than having a new car. Zeek and Camille, the family matriarch (an unrecognizable Bonnie Bedelia) rush out the door to greet them. Amber, of course, rolls her eyes like a champ. Drew, much to Zeek's disappointment, gives a wussy handshake. "Geez, Drew!" his grandfather says, amazed that a teenaged boy would not know how to "shake hands like a man." Why are you shaking your grandson's hand, anyway?

Later, the whole clan gathers for an al fresco dinner and... this is a good time to bring up my main complaint about the show. There are too many damn people in it. I mean, are you even still reading this after the 2,800 words I just wrote to introduce everyone? The cameras can't even keep up with all the people at the table. The siblings give Adam some good-natured ribbing about the umpire confrontation, but Zeek says he's actually proud of his son for standing up "for justice" against a terrible call. "Dad, you're not helping," Adam half-laughs. Camille smoothes it over by asking if Adam's neck veins popped during the fight, and everyone laughs. At the end of the table, Julia's daughter Sydney asks her daddy to cut her meat. Julia, right next to her, says she'll do it. But, no, Sydney wants Daddy to do it, because he does it better. Everyone at the table cringes as Sydney doles out the maternal rejection. Julia, embarrassed, has Joel cut the meat and turns her focus to Sarah, asking her what her plan is now that she's moved. Sarah takes huge umbrage to this seemingly innocent remark. "Well, I've been home an hour," she says, "so I don't have a job yet." Julia insists she was just asking a question, and Crosby raises his fork to declare himself Switzerland on the matter. "I don't want anything to do with this," he says, though no one asked him to have anything to do with anything, really. "Old war, here," he comments in an aside to all the kids at the table, bringing them up to speed on the competitive bitchiness of the sisters in question. Camille does her smoothing routine and asks Zeek to give a toast. He does, welcoming Amber, Drew and "my shining angel, Sarah." Is it weird that I just had sort of an emotional reaction about Lauren Graham getting to play the favorite daughter after so many years getting the shaft on Gilmore Girls? What? Right. Yes, I know they're not real people. It's hard for me to think of her as someone else now, though. They should have given L.G. a different haircut or something.

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Parenthood

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