Parenthood Review: Stepping Up

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"Step Right Up" was another typical, lovely episode about love and family. For the Bravermans, as the title suggests, stepping up is the norm.

Let's dissect what happened with the characters this week, shall we?

A Parenthood Party

Haddie and Alex
Did anyone else get angry when Alex told Haddie his problems were out of her world and he had to deal with them on his own? The only reason he had a problem was because Haddie was incapable of understanding the gravity real life situations. Dating an alcoholic, inviting him to a party and then drinking to greet him was the reason he got into trouble. Why should she skate on her responsibility?

I couldn't help feeling that Alex deserved Adam and Kristina as parents more than Haddie. Every scene with her in it felt like torture, but I loved the ones featuring Alex. When Adam went to the parents' house to fight for Alex, I wanted him to take the low road, and threaten to sue them for the alcohol doused party at their house.

But Adam was too good for that, and spoke eloquently on Alex's behalf instead. The charges against Alex were dropped.

Adam and Kristina
What a struggle it must have been for them, not wanting to know the sex of their baby because the odds of having another child with Asperger's would be higher with a boy. But, really, who could blame them? We watched what they have gone through with Max, and to add another child with the same issue would rightfully create fear.

Adam's decision to take the plunge into the world of entertainment with Crosby added stress to the end of Kristina's pregnancy. Between that and Kristina's fear of another child with Asperger's, I'm concerned about her delivery. 

Zeek, Drew and Amy
Drew finally got a story! Zeek, the foxy grandpa, gave Drew just what he needed to get started: encouragement. When Drew inadvertently let Amy's dog out of the front door and Amy shot off after him, I was screaming "RUN" at the screen. Why did he just stand there? He will need few more of Zeek's lessons before he finds himself on equal footing with the man, but it was a great start overall.
Julia and Zoe
Julia dreaded going to work after offering to "buy" Zoe's baby. I couldn't think of anything that would keep Zoe from wanting Julia and Joel to adopt her baby, but she had a great reason. Her pain at giving up her baby was so overwhelming that she wanted a closed adoption. 
The odds of Julia not getting Zoe's baby, and talking her into an open adoption? About 2 to 1. Zoe would fit so well into the Braverman family that any other outcome would be out of character for Parenthood.
Sarah and Amber
In typical Sarah fashion, she tried unsuccessfully to push her way into Amber's new life. She showed up at her job, kept her clothes from being sold at a yard sale and tried to talk her into switching shifts so she could attend Kristina's baby shower. Amber was annoyed and unaffected. Until she heard a bump in the night in her new, if questionable, "loft."
It was a giant rat (looking suspiciously like my own - is he acting on the side?!) that finally brought mother and daughter back to their special place. Sarah just needed to let Amber go for her to come back. 
The family dynamics on Parenthood were written honestly, intelligently and with humor and humility. While it didn't ooze sex or rumble with unsolved and gritty crime cases, it did exactly what it was supposed to do: portray family life and parenthood in a way we can all identify, no matter what our own situation in life.

Step Right Up Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (44 Votes)

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

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Parenthood Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

Not to sound skeptical, but a wheat allergy, it seems like it's the snuggie of diseases...everyone has one this year.


I gotta ask you a very serious medical problem, Jabar. Have you been farting a lot lately?