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Parenthood – No, you can’t have the latte gal’s baby

Julia mustered up the nerve to ask the office's pregnant coffee cart purveyor if she could adopt her kid, Adam agreed to work with Crosby, Kristina stressed out over Max, and Sarah was still annoying.

- Season 3, Episode 2 - "Hey, If You're Not Using That Baby ..."

Wanting a child and not being able to have one is a very special kind of hell that only people who’ve been there can truly understand. The waiting around for things that are beyond your control to fall into place so you can have the opportunity to lavish a desperately desired child with affection is horrendously unsettling when you’re accustomed to leading a well planned life.

That anger and frustration can prompt you to do crazy things … like ask the woman who pushes the coffee cart around your law office if you can adopt her baby.

Joel was right when he told Julia that asking Zoe if they can adopt her baby was a bad idea, but not for the reasons he offered. (Loved his quip: “You just can’t go rogue on me and hammer out a deal at the coffee cart. That’s crazy Julia!”) Giving up a child for adoption is hard enough (I can’t even imagine how hard), but having to come face-to-face with that child’s adopted family every day, to walk by the adopted mom’s office and see photos of the child … I can’t begin to understand how emotionally difficult that would be.

While I was surprised by Zoe’s curt, one-word response to Julia’s ill-advised request, I think I can understand it. Whether Julia can wrap her mind around it is another story, however. By having Zoe reject Julia’s request, the Parenthood writers didn’t go for the immediate, obvious solution to Julia and Joel’s problems, which is a good thing.

They did go obvious with Crosby, Adam, and the recording studio, as Crosby was still playing the little, needy brother card — aided and abetted by a father who apparently gives out his kids’ Social Security numbers willy-nilly — and begging Adam to let him capitalize on his trustworthy cred in order to launch a new business. As I said last week, while I am by no means a Crosby fan, pairing him with Adam, who really needs this venture to work as he’s soon going to have three children — including one going to college in a year — will amp up the drama in interesting ways.

Also intriguing in this episode was the calloused non-response of Max’s teacher to Kristina’s concerns about how her child with Asperger’s is adjusting to his new school. If I were Kristina, and I’d sent my kid’s teacher nine e-mails in the span of a week and she’d completely blown me off, I’d be livid too, and would indeed be showing up at the school. The teacher was depicted as rude and detached, seeing that she knew the precise number of e-mails Kristina had sent, yet she didn’t have the courtesy to deign to reply, even with a short, “I’ll get back to you with a longer answer next week.” Red flags, my friend, red flags.

Two things really annoyed me about this episode: Why is it that Alex was arrested and faces serious assault charges when the affluent kid who held an illegal booze party for minors in his parents’ home isn’t also facing charges? Why haven’t his parents been charged because their house was the setting for a party where under-aged children were illegally drinking alcohol? Why is this one kid, who was first assaulted by the teen hosting the party, busted, but not the people in whose home a bunch of teenagers got drunk? Why is no one asking these questions?

The other thing that continued to bug me: Sarah Braverman. I can’t even begin to tell you how it pains me that I intensely dislike Lauren Graham‘s character, given how much affection I have for her performance on the Gilmore Girls. Sarah, like her brother Crosby, acts like such an immature child that I’ve grown to loathe the scenes she’s in. Now she’s dating a child and is acting like a teenager — while living in her parents’ house — and making her boy-toy hide when her father PEEKS INTO THE WINDOWS (?!) at her bed, where she’d entertained an overnight romantic guest. (Can you say “daddy issues?”) She was so awkward when she showed up at her eccentric daughter’s hole-in-the-wall hemming and hawing, and kind of like, ya know, asked her 18-year-old if she could date her kid’s former teacher, that I wondered which woman would be considered the most mature in that room — Amber, in her sink-less apartment, or Sarah. (Lorelai, who dated her daughter Rory’s English teacher — heck, got engaged to him and then took off days before the wedding — kicked this same storyline into outer space in Stars Hollow. The difference: Lorelai was a likable character.)

The stories I’m most looking forward to seeing develop: Julia and Joel’s adoption saga, Kristina trying to keep a handle on all the swirling insanity of her home, and divine justice prevailing by having the snotty parents of the kid who held the illegal party be held accountable for their kid’s role in the whole mess.

Photo Credit: NBC

One Response to “Parenthood – No, you can’t have the latte gal’s baby”

September 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

I didn’t get rude or indifference from Max’s teacher. I got that she is busy, it’s only the fourth day and the teacher wants to see how/if Max adjusts to his new setting. I got the impression the teacher felt Kristina’s concerns and empathized (with her facial expressions, as a teacher, Max wouldn’t be the first student with special needs). But as the teacher, she has to put some distance between the student and parents to allow Max to adjust on his own. Then move in the appropriate direction from there. Kristina is a control freak and if anything the teacher is instructing her on how little control she will have concerning her son and a mainstream school.
I totally agree with you on Sarah Braverman, she seems to be getting more scattered brained with each episode. She is annoying in the way she talks, I don’t find it endearing. I just want her to pit it out. Though being caught by dad was pretty funny. Maybe it will make her want to move out?
The thing with Maddie and Alex…it has to be about race. That many drunk teenagers and none were hauled off, written tickets, parents called? Only Alex was arrested. The owners of the house not being cited for contributing to the delinquency of minors? Something about race has to come of it. The kid who had the party doesn’t care, but I think younger generations are more liberal in their thoughts on race than older ones. That’s just my opinion…

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