PARENTHOOD “I’m Cooler Than You Think” Review

Parenthood (NBC)--"I'm Cooler than You Think"

PARENTHOOD “I’m Cooler than You Think” Season 2 Episode 3 – Parent-child and spousal disconnect abounds in the “I’m Cooler than You Think” episode of PARENTHOOD. Amber is spending all her time with new wealthy friend Kelsie, so Sarah tries to impress them with a secret Ben Harper concert. Crosby chafes under Renee’s rules re: Jabbar while Julia is full-steam ahead with her baby making plans even though Joel isn’t. Adam yearns for a conversation with his son while Kristina takes over Haddie’s campaign for junior class president.

The Bravermans are apparently trying to raise self-involvement to an art form. Let’s start with Julia. Joel specifically tells her not to mention her new baby plan to anyone, so she immediately goes to Adam. The resulting fight is as angry as I’ve heard Joel, but all Julia seems to hear is that she might not get her baby. Joel eventually agrees to the baby after Julia seems to listen, but I have to wonder if Julia really will make sure there’s room for Joel, begging the question: should baby-making always be a mutual decision or should the primary caregiver have veto power?

Adam sees a close moment between Joel and Sydney and worries he’ll never have that with Max. “He’s my son. I would like him to be interested in me, and if not, I would like him to be trained to be.” I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it would be to raise a child with Asperger’s, but Adam seems unrealistic and even unfair in his wants here, but maybe that’s unavoidable. I do like that he tells Max his feelings were hurt, and his honesty certainly pays off.

Kristina needs an outlet and here she tries to make it Haddie’s campaign for junior class president. “Blue! And glitter!” That’s a whole lot of excitement over signs, and while Haddie should word her complaints better (here’s a tip: never use the word crazy), I can’t blame her for not wanting Kristina anywhere near her campaign. It’s not that I don’t feel for Kristina, but she does go overboard. Way overboard.

Shades of Gilmore Girls–Amber`s spending too much time in the land of the wealthy and Sarah doesn`t like it. Lorelai took Rory and her friends to a Bangles concert; Sarah takes Amber and Kelsie to Ben Harper. Hmmm. Of course, whatever gives me Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman together is okay by me. “It was worth it, though. That was fun. Thank you.” Simple on the page, but that is a gorgeous scene and, along with the blooming joy and gratitude on Sarah’s face, makes up for any contrivance in getting there.

Crosby is trying with both Jabbar and Renee. “Well, your balls will be here when you get back.” Oh, Zeek. I wish Parenthood had chosen a less clichéd route than Renee’s “my husband left and you will, too” declaration. It’s just so predictable. After a confrontation, Renee of course sees the error of her ways and watches baseball with the boys. Again–predictable. Also, why couldn’t we see the church scene? Potential comic gold there, I tell you.

Speaking of predictable–at the end of the episode, each Braverman (except Kristina) gets what s/he wanted all along and it just feels too pat and tacked on. I feel like something is missing from Parenthood, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It just feels bland to me, I guess–punctuated by some over the top scenes, but bland. I hope it adds layers to its stories soon because I’m getting bored with the rinse, lather, repeat storytelling so far this season. These actors deserve more.

What did you think of “I’m Cooler than You Think?” What hobby could Kristina take up?

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