PARENTHOOD “I Don’t Want To Do This Without You” Review

PARENTHOOD “I Don’t Want To Do This Without You” Season 3 Episode 1 – One of the main difficulties and joys in watching Parenthood is the sheer plethora of storylines. The show works best when it leaves one or two by the wayside for a week to focus more on just a sampling of storylines with more happening in them.

The third season premiere of Parenthood, understandably, left no storyline by the wayside. It jumped ahead several months from where the second season left off: Kristina is very obviously pregnant, Adam is still jobless, Crosby and Jasmine are not back together-in fact they’re trying to start dating. The episode is centered around Sarah’s fortieth birthday party. This provides a perfect opportunity to get the whole family together and for storylines to intersect.

Unfortunately it did not provide much opportunity for these storylines to breathe and move beyond a snail’s pace: take Julia’s want to adopt a baby. She notices that the latte girl at her firm is pregnant, learns that said latte girl is going to give up the baby, and ponders the right approach to take to see if she can adopt the baby. That doesn’t offer much in the way of suspense or pacing. However, it’s evident that the writers are aware of this problem which was the main criticism of the second season and are trying to transcend it: we are not subjected to multiple episodes of will-she won’t-she move into a dingy new apartment, Amber-style, and Sarah’s relationship with Mark is moving somewhere.

Crosby and Adam are treading new territory as Crosby tries to get his big and unemployed brother to go into risky recording business with him and be the right brain to his left. This new plotlines offers up a potentially rich abundance of conflict which feeds directly into the show’s strengths. Plus, it gets Adam out of the house where he’s been sitting since the second season finale after losing his job.

The big action of the episode is when Hattie gets her boyfriend in trouble when he comes to take her home from a high school party filled with booze and drunken teenagers. He loses his temper and punches a kid who thinks he’s trying to take Hattie somewhere she doesn’t want to go. He’s arrested and ends up calling Julia for help (a much better plotline for her to get involved in) and reveals that he was arrested before. I like this romantic pairing and I like that the show never tried to pass judgement on anyone: the guy Hattie’s boyfriend punched wasn’t an ass, he was just trying to protect her from a pushy boyfriend; the boyfriend was nervous in a scene with so much alcohol considering he confessed to being an alcoholic; Hattie wasn’t being a nag, she was just off her face drunk.

It was in many ways as good a premiere for this type of show as you could hope for: there’re plenty of things for fans of the show to latch on to: family dynamics, heart, humor, awkwardness. But if you haven’t watched the show before then the minor time jump means that everyone is basically starting anew and the only thing to learn now are the names of the characters.

What did you think of the premiere of Parenthood? Sound off in the comments below.

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