Parenthood Review: Sarah Smiles

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I thought "Hey, If You're Not Using That Baby..." was a really inappropriate title for the episode.

There was less about the Julia/Zoe storyline than any other, though perhaps I missed the gravity of the situation. In just 10 minutes, Julia's dreams were dashed and, putting my own childless self in her position, it didn't mean much to me.

Julie at the Coffee Shop

But the rest of the Bravermans are moving on and their lives seem to be on the upswing.

Who would have that our resident Aspergers child, Max, would make the most logical sense out of the entire classroom experience? Why aren't classrooms conducted in conversational fashion? It seems it would be a lot more inclusive and take some of the pressure off of students. Especially those moments when some poor kid isn't paying attention and gets called out in front of the class.

Of course, you would need some sort of rules to keep things from going over the top, but Max expressed something I've never even realized I wanted to know. It was a great moment, but surely frustrating for the teacher. If every kid was ADD these days, Max would be the straw that broke the camel's back. It was heartbreaking to see Kristina's face as he sat alone on the playground, but I didn't think Max was doing as badly as she felt, and Max's teacher agreed.

While Max was conquering the world of public school, his poor father Adam was dealing with the childlike behavior of Crosby, as he used underhanded tactics to bring Adam into an extremely volatile business deal. If Adam didn't have a family of five to provide for, it would be an easier decision to make. But concern about his family was his highest priority. Top that off with Kristina's emotional unraveling about Max and you have go give Adam some points for bravery.

Adam was standing tall as he decided against taking the job selling beverages (the easy way out) and to go into business with Crosby. I will give Crosby kudos for knowing his clientele, and if Adam was really as good at running the shoe business as we thought, he should be able to knock this out of the park. This could give an opportunity for popular bands to make a pit-stop on the show, and that will bring in younger viewers. Excellent idea!

The one Braverman who spent years as the lost girl, Sarah, finally seemed to have the world at her fingertips. It certainly didn't hurt that Amber moved out to give them each some space and release the tension. Sarah mentioned her writing class, so she's still pursuing her dream, and Mark opened the passenger side of his car to her (what a cute reference that was!). He's ready to commit.

But is Sarah? I could tell part of her hesitation was that he is 12 years younger, but they seemed so great together. They enjoyed each other's company and the sex scene in which Zeek inserted himself was really well done. If Mark can stay through that embarrassment, he's a keeper in that family!

I had genuine concern when I saw the look on her face as Camille asked what the real problem was. What was the real problem? Fear of happiness? Nope. It was her concern for Amber. However, Amber not only took it well, but championed Sarah in her relationship with Mark. Things really are looking up for them.

Finally, there was a lot going on with Haddie and Alex, but I have to let it go to get some perspective. Listening to Haddie talk was similar to listening to nails on a chalkboard. For a girl who started out as one of the most responsible on the show, she has slid so far backward as to make her unwatchable. The pace of her speech, that annoying Little Annie hairstyle and her inability identify with others outside her personal space was too much.

Outside of that rant, I'll let Haddie be the teenager in high school that she is and be happy that the rest of the family took such tremendous strides toward new adventures, whether they turned out well or not so well.

I enjoyed this episode much more than the premiere. How about you?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (45 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


One of the best shows on TV. Characters are realistic - no overacting - good plots. Cast is great.


@Missy THANK YOU!! It's the big ole booze soaked elephant in the mother-humpin room! Alex is only in trouble because of her drinking. No one addresses her getting wasted and no one mentions the blatant racial undertones of why this family (who again are legally respnsible for all the behaviour resulting from this party and under aged drinking) are pressing charges against tis black male. Its infuriating.


Also, I'm curious as to why Peter Krause nor Monica Potter have been nominated for acting Emmy's. I think their acting is AWESOME! I'm afraid Parenthood is going to continue on it way toward becoming another one of "the best shows that you're not watching." Maybe if they were nominated, more people would find out about this wonderful show!


Haddie's hair has always been curly. It's just gotten away from her now. Looks like she's trying to grow it out and it's just a mess now during the in-between stages. If she'd just cut the bangs and pull the rest back in a clip it would look much better "in the meantime."


I'm at a loss with Haddie right now. Why hasnt anyone addressed that it was her fault Alex is in trouble? Why has no one discussed the underage drinking going on at the party? Maybe if a parent threatened to sue the boys parents for underage drinking at his house, maybe they would drop the assault lawsuit? They were in the wrong too. But they are a nice, upstanding white family and Alex is a black man with a troubled past. Ugh. Stereotypical storyline. I actually liked the "yes, he's a black man with nothing but he's doing well with what he's got" storyline. Now, they are going to focus on his past and throw him in jail for something ridiculous. I hate where the story is heading.


Character development. Cringe-worthiness turned up to 11 with Julia/Latte Girl. The Luncheonette should be a good story. We really need to see more of Amber's brother or write him off. I know he's getting a girl later. Touching scene of Alex telling Haddie she's all he's got.


I completely agree with your Haddie comments. Other than all of the Haddie moments, I thought it was a solid episode. Also, I know it would have been too easy, but I wanted the coffee girl to just say: yes! Poor Julia.


Ahhh Parenthood. I liked the Adam and Crosby moments. I think Crosby is always underestimated by everyone and sure, he can be a pereptual screwup but not all the time. He knows his business and he knows it well and I'm glad Adam finally recognized that and worked with him rather than against him for a change. I love Max and I just KNEW he would have something socially inappropriate but 100% valid about the classroom experience. I loved it! It was one of those questions I often asked myself as a kid and was sort of brushed off because no one ever really knows the answer outside of "because.". I agree, in the age of children have ADD/ADHD/Asperger's and the alphabet soup it is more plausible now to have classrooms set in a conversational forum. The whole raise your hand thing does not prepare a kid for the real world where you get run over if you can't say your stuff first. Thank you Max for pointing out the obvious!: ) Haddie is painful to watch. There used to be a time where I liked this girl and thought for a change she would be a breath of fresh air from the stereotypical portrayal of teens but nope...she's that girl. Now she's that girl with the hideous hairstyle. Alex should drop her like a bad habit but the fact that he jumped into a relationship too soon into his recovery means that now for good or for bad...Haddie is his lifeline. Being the pessimist I'm going to say it's mostly for bad. I love Jason Ritter and Sara shouldn't have to had to think twice about this guy. Was so sick of her back and forth jerking him around.


I also enjoyed this episode more than the premiere. I look forward to the Adma/Crosby starting a business story line. Why does the black guy always have a record??


I just enjoy every show. The complete vulnerability on Alex's face when he told Hattie that he couldn't lose her... she's all he had... was priceless and so gut wrenching. Did she appreciate the full gravity of his words? I hope so. She knew he had an addiction to alcohol and should have realized that asking him to a party with booze was not a good choice. She's not as mature as she would appear. I just love Sarah and Mark together. They have tremendous chemistry. Looking for this relationship to further develop. Well, I could go on and on.... :)

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

Oh, there's somethin' you don't see every day. I'm definitely not comin' in.


As my close, personal friend said, "it will never come again and that's what makes life so sweet."