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Parenthood – Perhaps Drew wouldn’t have freaked out if Sarah were married

Has Sarah fully thought this having a baby with her twentysomething boyfriend thing out? No, she has not.

- Season 3, Episode 16 - "Tough Love"

I don’t understand what Sarah Braverman is doing.

Wait, let me rephrase … I don’t get what Sarah doesn’t get about her son’s emotional reaction to learning that she’s actively trying to get pregnant by a guy who’s a teacher at his high school and who’s significantly younger than Sarah. Also, in case Sarah hadn’t already observed during her 19 years as a mother, raising kids is hard to do on your own. So why wouldn’t she and Mark, who seems like a nice enough guy, make things official and legal before trying to have a baby, to establish a safety net of some kind for not just the baby but for Drew as well?

Though having one’s parent re-marry can be hard on the children of divorce — who often harbor the secret hope that their parents will one day reunite — having Sarah and Mark at least get hitched would certainly make the intentionally trying to get pregnant thing a little more logical and a bit more solid-feeling for Drew, who has grown up around a whole lot of unstable.

Sarah has done a lousy job handling Drew’s feelings and communicating the general information about her relationship, and the decision to have another baby, on her son. Sarah likely hasn’t even thought through the impact on Drew because her character lives within a self-absorbed bubble. Has she played out the scenario in her mind: What if she does get pregnant? Where will she and the baby live? Will Mark move in with them and they’ll all sponge off of Zeek and Camille? Or will she and the baby move in with Mark and if so, what happens to Drew, who’ll feel shunted aside as they care for the baby? The only conversation we’ve seen Sarah have with Mark about their future was about the biological imperative of trying to get her knocked up now before it’s too late. There hasn’t been a full-fledged, adult discussion about everything else.

Sarah couldn’t be more dissimilar from her younger sister Julia, who, in fact, embraces meticulous planning, well thought out life maps and therefore, is thoroughly thrown when the world doesn’t conform to what she envisioned in the Power Point presentation she has running through her head. But I do appreciate how the Parenthood writers have had her deftly roll with the uncertainty about whether Zoe is actually going to allow Julia and Joel to adopt her baby. In the face of that uncertainty, Julia has opted to direct her energies toward being a de facto mother to Zoe, feeding her, trying to offer her financial security by way of a career and generally taking the lost coffee cart gal under her wing. Though Julia does and says a lot of cringe-worthy things when she’s not sure where she stands, it’s clear that with her planning and doting that Julia is all heart whereas Sarah is all juvenile impulses.

As for Max’s storyline, the writers have been making gradual strides to depict the boy’s progress as he becomes more cognizant of the socially correct things to do and say when he’s interacting with his peers, regardless of how befuddling he finds their behavior. Having Max bond with Micah, the boy in the wheelchair, was a stroke of genius as it seems as though he’s the only kid in school who, after witnessing Max’s social awkwardness, likes him and wants to hang out with him anyway. (The emotional, appreciative looks on Micah’s parents at the prospect of their son finding a real friend were precious.)

But that Amber and Bobby Little thing … nails on a chalkboard my friend, nails on a chalkboard.


Photo Credit: NBC

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