PARENTHOOD “Nora” Review

PARENTHOOD “Nora” Season 3 Episode 4 – The Jason Katims penned episode of Parenthood had a lot of ridiculous moments which might have bordered on insulting if seen out of the context of the show. I mean, watching Adam walk slo mo down the town dressed in 90s ghetto gear was pretty cringe worthy, and yet it was such a surreal moment for a show which is usually so grounded (and yes, in a show this grounded that counts as surrealism) that it carried its own awkward charm.

This episode was called Nora and it did indeed herald the birth of Adam and Kristina’s child, though not until Kristina and Crosby had a full smack down. I love the argument scenes in Parenthood, where, like Friday Night Lights, the style is loose enough that the actors obviously do not have to adhere strictly to the script, and it allows for a lot of weird inflections and naturalistic stutters which make the show so much more authentic. This isn’t Aaron Sorkin-esque witty banter. These are real people having real conversations in a totally made up show.

The episode was successful on several fronts, dropping some storylines in favour of concentrating on a select few. This allowed Julie and Joel’s storyline to move to the forefront of the episode. Oh sure, the whole plot about latte girl suddenly going to the hospital and no one being there to help her so she comes back to Joel and Julie’s house, sees how much they dote on Sydney and how happy she obviously is was totally contrived and silly, but damn it if it wasn’t charming as hell. Katims at this point could turn Joel into a superspy trying to disarm a nuke and I’d buy it so long as he brought Sydney along with him to paint his nails. I’m such a sucker.

Outside of these two big plots there were several subplot scattered about the place: Amber helping Max try to display authentic emotion was as sweet a storyline as Sarah and Ritter’s was sour. Seth came back into the picture, kicked out of his band and fallen off the wagon and I can only hope his return, whilst signalling a whole lotta trouble for the Holt clan, pushes Ritter’s character towards the door. Ritter is a fine and likable actor, but I just find his character so depressing. It’s like he’s trying to be all warmth and smiles, instead of just being all warmth and smiles.

All in all, another really good episode of a really good show.

What did you think of this episode? Have you any favorite/least favorite characters? Sound off in the comments below.

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