PARENTHOOD “Put Yourself Out There” Review

PARENTHOOD Put Yourself Out There

PARENTHOOD “Put Yourself Out There” Season 2 Episode 9 – The line between asserting yourself and being selfish is explored in the “Put Yourself Out There” episode of PARENTHOOD as Kristina tries to get Max invited to a birthday party, Zeek succumbs to jealousy, and Amber confronts her fear of failure.

Camille and Zeke: I think there’s been a whole lot of repression of feelings going on with these two this season, but the poo hits the fan now. Should Camille be taking a class with her ex-lover? Debatable, and I don’t necessarily buy the “It’s about trust” argument, but Zeek is way out of line in going to the “Portuguese Pound Cake.” Their argument is raw and hurtful and sad, just as it should be. I’m not sure where this story is going to go, and I think that’s a good thing because it makes it feel more real.

Amber: 2250 out of 2400 on the SATs. Wow. This is a nice, if slightly unbelievable given the tutor, twist to her storyline and the scene between Amber and Adam is one of my favorite of the series. Beneath her cool exterior, she is so achingly vulnerable and scared with so much self-doubt and Adam talks to her beautifully. “Life will knock you down more times than you can possibly imagine. Don’t knock yourself down.” Quite possibly the most valuable advice you could give anyone and between that and Carly’s self-deprecation, Amber learns the lesson and kicks interview bootie. Plus, we get the Sarah I love (not the one who calls her kids annoying brats): so proud and verklempt, wanting so much more for her kids than she has managed to find for herself. The bench scene chokes me up almost as much as it does Sarah. The Peter Krause-Lauren Graham real life relationship is messing with my head, though, because I found myself looking at Adam/Sarah/Amber like they were a family on the show, and that’s wrong on several levels.

Kristina: I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to admire Kristina being such a strong mama bear and advocate for Max, and a part of me does, but I’m horrified by her stalking of Emily’s mom (not to mention Emily). Of course I understand that Max’s needs are more important to her than Emily’s wishes, but why should they be more important to Andie? If Max had been more upset about not being invited, maybe–maybe–I could better understand, but this just seems so over-the-top intrusive that it makes me cringe. This really feels selfish, not assertive to me, but, hey, Kristina and Andie bond over sushi and wine while Gaby refereed Max and Emily’s game, so it’s all good.

Haddie: I couldn’t be happier with how the Haddie-Alex relationship is progressing. It’s slow and steady with both sweetness and heat. Sarah Ramos and Michael B. Jordan are so capturing that butterflies in the stomach just falling for each other vibe with the teasing, longing glances, and unnecessary calls. Begaze. Hee. The juxtaposition of the glowing newly in like Haddie with Camille, whose marriage is in real jeopardy, could have been too clumsily on the nose, but instead is simply heartbreaking as we see both the joy for her granddaughter and her own sadness flicker across Camille’s face.

Joel and Crosby: Well, here’s a pairing we don’t see very often. This mostly feels like filler and a prologue to Thanksgiving hijinks, but wow, how humiliating for Joel to hear that the principal brought in Crosby to help him suck less. “We’ll put the boring stuff back in, too.” Open mouth, insert foot, Crosby. The play did look boring, but I’m not sure random noise with all those instruments is any better.

While this isn’t my favorite episode of Parenthood, I enjoyed it. . Even though I like both Crosby and Joel, their subplot didn’t do much for me, I would have liked some continuation of Adam’s storyline, and Kristina just plain scared me. That said, I love the Amber and Haddie growth we’re seeing, the Camille-Zeek relationship is painfully raw, and I really like the examination of self-assertion versus selfishness and that the line is not always clear, so the good definitely outweighs the meh for me.

What did you think of the episode? Am I too harsh and or/wrong re: Kristina? Let me have it in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame