PARENTHOOD “Meet the New Boss” Review

Parenthood "Meet the New Boss"

PARENTHOOD “Meet the New Boss” Season 2 Episode 12 – Each Braverman is trying to find his or her place–Adam in his company, Crosby with the kindergarteners, and Kristina and Sarah with their daughters–in the “Meet the New Boss” episode of PARENTHOOD.

There is a nice juxtaposition of mother-daughter relationships here. As much as Sarah can frustrate me–and, frankly, she’s supposed to–she and Amber have this tremendous connection that melts my heart and their interactions are so alternately awkward and heartfelt, gentle and brutal. More than anything, they feel very real and raw. Sarah tries so–too–hard in some ways and in other ways just misses the boat, but in the end, she owns her mistakes and we get that astonishing heartfelt talk and “I’m so impressed and so in awe of you.” and “Hey, you know what? You can fly, too.” One of these days I’m going to get through an episode without welling up, but it certainly wasn’t going to be this one. Also, Mae Whitman has an achingly lovely singing voice.

On the other hand, we have Kristina and Haddie, who dance around each other with guilt pancakes and guiltier wall painting and it breaks my heart. I want them to talk and listen to each other. Adam and Kristina laid down the law about Alex only to not talk about it again? Haddie tries to bring it up and Kristina chokes up and talks about painting her room? Not helpful. Haddie really doesn’t know–as Amber points out–what she’s getting herself into and she needs her parents. Camille gets to the crux of it when she tells Sarah, “We can be there for our kids, but we can’t protect them.” By forbidding Haddie to see Alex, Kristina and Adam made it so they aren’t even there for her. That is then compounded by Amber lying and sneaking around, leading to a giant mess. This does not bode well, but it should be interesting to watch.

Adam is certainly taken down a few pegs tonight. He starts off feeling superior to Corey and his “You got weird in ’99” shtick and ends up feeling old and very replaceable. He also starts off scared and ends up terrified, and both ways he seems tremendously alone. I’ve been worried about Adam all season and nothing is easing my concern. Kristina is too busy beating a monkey to hear what Adam is saying and there is no back-up job out there for him, which means he’s flying without a net and way out of his depth with Corey and his entourage. This is quite the bumpy ride and it’s being beautifully played by Peter Krause.

I didn’t think we would revisit Crosby’s kindergarten coup, but I was happily wrong. Once again Crosby thinks he can go from zero to sixty parenting-wise in two seconds, but he learns he needs help from Joel the Kindergartener Whisperer. It’s a small but fun subplot that makes me want more Joel and Crosby screen time because their chemistry is great with Joel wanting to hear Crosby’s apology speech again and their quiet almost high-five.

Favorite lines:

“You were just playing a song. I understand it’s for a thing.” Tremendous look o’doom from Amber to Drew here.

“I don’t need any advice, you can’t come, thanks for nothing.” Oh, Amber. Never change.
“You can be mad and we can have fun doing it. I’ll smile and you can be mad.” I’m pretty sure my mom said those exact words to me at least once when I was a teenager.

“I’m in hell. I’m in frickin’ hell.” Anyone else think it’s only going to get worse?

“As it turns out, good intentions and raw talent aren’t enough to pull off kindergarten theater.” I do love Crosby’s healthy ego.

“And although I like you–not enough to sit through Twilight.” Ha! I love the date scene–it is beyond sweet but Alex is sweeping Haddie off her feet, another reason she could use her mom to help keep her a little grounded.

This episode of Parenthood has it all: tender romance with Haddie and Alex, plenty of mother-daughter drama, sweet moments (love the ending montage with the Braverman jam session), more of Adam’s downward spiral, and enough humor to even it out, just the way I like it best.

What did you think of the episode? Could the foreshadowing fairy have been any more obvious re: Seth? Even Zeek gets in on that action.

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