Parenthood Review: Life's Not Fair

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It's rather incredible, isn't it?

Week after week  this show can find ways to make you smile and tear at your heartstrings, all in the same hour. Parenthood continues to give viewers that sincere and honest approach to the Braverman clan so that every time you tune in, you feel like you're a part of the family.

Adam and Kristina shared the brunt of the Kleenex worthy moments on "Everything Is Not Okay," given her recent revelation of breast cancer. Truly, I can only begin to imagine the cascade of emotions that she or anyone diagnosed with the disease must feel. And it only made sense that Adam would go in to protective "lion mode," trying to do everything he could despite the fact that he really couldn't do anything at all but be there for her.

Kristina & Adam Deal With News

Normally, Adam is a pretty straight laced character, so it was great to see him break that exterior. Having him flip out on Amber for the burnt coffee smell and disorganized magazines really illustrated his frustration with the whole situation. I felt bad that Amber had to take the flak for it, but was pleased that she had the courage to not only to speak to her boss but her uncle, and try and figure out what was going on.

I'm also glad Adam was able to tell someone and apologize for his demeanor, even if it was because of Kristina's hard times. And you can tell how great this family is by the fact that Amber immediately switched gears from doing more for her career to jumping right on board to help her uncle.

As for Kristina, I felt for her. I felt scared for her.

I know sometimes she can be a bit annoying, but can you imagine how difficult it is to process what's happened, to pick a doctor to help save you, to stay positive?

There was a great contrasting of the so-called attentive doctor and "distracted" doctor, before playing out the scene with the cancer patient. I'm glad that she talked to Kristina and told her to go with the first doctor, sort of prepared her for what's to come, and told her to make that appointment. I just hope she does go through with all of that.

But like last week's final moments, Kristina broke down in front of Adam, telling him to just let her be scared. Don't fix it. Don't tell her to be positive. Just be there. It was a great touching moment and it's plain to see the love they have for each other.

I kinda wish Max hadn't burst onto the scene to tell them he was running for student government at that moment, but I get that even in the midst of the horrible circumstances, life goes on around them.

However, I don't foresee Max's political route going well. Especially if his entire campaign is run on bringing back the candy machines.

Sarah still seems caught up in Hank's grumpy old man routine, so much so that I fear for her and Mark's relationship. I mean, he's all she can truly talk about.

I've always liked Mark and I've been enjoying Ray Romano's Hank as well, but it's hard for me to picture how both guys can stick around on this show at the same time. I know there's nothing going on between Sarah and Hank, but at some point that boundary line is going to be crossed. Right?

Sarah's certainly been warming him up and he opened up about his dislike for weddings. He happened to be married once. These commonalities keep popping up and we're bound to get a kiss or close enough to kiss moment. I guess I'm just curious to see where the season decides to take Mark and Hank.

Can't we just keep them both?

Yet it was Zeek's police arrest that proved to be the humorous aspect of the hour. Can you believe he got out of the car to confront the officer? Well, maybe, yes.

It was great, however, that there was no real hidden secret behind the driver's license expiration and he passed the test with a 98 percent. Certainly not every family meeting needs to discover or fix a deeper issue.

Did you know Sam Jaeger, who plays Joel, directed the episode? He did a great job capturing the hour's genuine scenes, whether it was Zeek and Camille riding in the truck or Adam and Kristina working things through. It's always kind of fun when one of the cast members gets to add their spin to the show behind the camera.

Overall, the episode was just another example of getting at those relatable issues and diving deep into the drama territory without making it feel over dramatic. Life might not be fair, but that doesn't mean we can't work through it.

I do wonder, though, how the cancer storyline will play itself out, as the series has always managed to take darker aspects and turn them into relatively happy endings. Will that be the case for Kristina?

Ultimately, I have faith in Jason Katims and the writers and look forward to seeing where everything goes. Even if it's not about dealing crystal meth or police catching bad guys, Parenthood knows how to bring the realistic and heartwarming moments to which everyone can relate.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (47 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Sp mckenna

@Richard - I don't see Max winning either and I know that if he did it would be that cliched happy ending for him. I kind of hope he loses, not for the sake of losing, but for getting the chance to learn that not everything is going to go his way.


I really really hope they don't go with the route the seem determined to follow with Sarah/Mark/Hank. It's played out and cliche and obvious, and it's laid out in such a way that you can't help but see it happening before it even started in the first ep. It seems so lazy for this writing staff, who have managed to make this series feel fresh and exciting.


also, i suspect parenthood might make max win just to have a happy ending, but i really dont see max winning. it would be a stretch. im not saying its fair or unfair, im just saying


best show on tv right now besides breaking bad and justified. nbcs best show, probably their only good show since awake was cancelled. boomtown was also a great show. and malcolm in the middle.


I don't think the doctor in the nice office was an "alternative" for Kristina, I think she was the psychologist or psychiatrist that patients meet with in addition to the surgeon. I read somewhere that Jason Katims' wife has dealt with breast cancer and also that they have an Aspergers child so I think the writing really comes from the heart. I was also very happy that Zeek's driving license renewal was easily solved, you are so right that not everything has to be a drama. Zeek just overreacted to the young cop that's for sure. Thanks for reviewing the episode.

Sarah silva

That being said I will get on to what I thought of the episode. I think Monica Potter and Peter Krause are doing so great with this storyline! This show makes it seem so real like we are looking into the lives of a real family! I like the scenes with Sarah, Adam, Crosby and Julia, we have not had any for awhile.
I do think the cop that pulled Zeke over was a little over zealous and yes Zeke was a little in wrong when he got out of the car, I do not think the officer should have arrested him with 4 kids in the car. I honestly thought he would fail the test but I am glad he did.
I love Amber she has always been one of my favorite Bravermans! The scenes with her and Crosby, her and Adam, I was so glad that he told her about Christina that moment made me cry and Amber is so good with Max!

Sarah silva

Well I truly enjoyed this episode! Parenthood continues (In my opinion) to be one of the best dramas on tv! The only issue I have is the lack of Jason Ritter, he has said many times how much he loves being on the show, however they seem to be phasing him out. I thought Ray Ramano's Hank would be as major of a character on the show that he has been. I knew he was supposed to cause friction with Sarah and Mark but Hank is getting way more screen time. I do think Hank is funny but I do not want he and Sarah together.

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Parenthood Season 4 Episode 3 Quotes

You're going to have to learn life isn't fair.


It's a "me" day.