Parenthood “It Is What It Is” Review

Parenthood is one of the most underrated, best shows on television. With a cast of characters so large, sometimes episodes go by before a single character has a time to shine. This season Zeek and Camille have stayed mainly in the background, but in this episode they came straight into the foreground with the shattering news that Zeek has some health issues regarding his heart, never a good place to start having issues. This leads Zeek to the realization that, yes indeed, he will die, and sooner rather than later, and he buys a huge Airstream and then tells Camille that they’ll go on a tour to Canada and she can fulfill her long-forgotten dream in what has to be just about the saddest, sweetest moment the show has ever done. It’s like those lines in Fairytale of New York when Kirsty McColl says “you took my dreams from me” and he replies “I kept them with me babe, I put them with my own.” It’s a moment of emotional intensity few shows could hope to match.

Yet Parenthood did it not once, but twice in one episode, with Haddie’s storyline. Haddie, who has done everything the right way: she’s maintained a 4.1 GPA throughout high school, she’s a kind and considerate human being who sacrifices a lot of her own happiness so that her brother can get the help and attention he needs, ticks all the boxes. She even volunteered at a homeless shelter! Her parents are good people two who’ve worked hard and saved up but who can possibly afford $60,000 (not including expenses) a year? So Haddie now has to forgo her dream of going to Cornell. It’s a devastating disappointment ringing with suckiness and the unfairness of it all haunts her parents. In one brilliant scene Kristina asks her not to be unhappy about it and she tells her that she accepts she’s not going to get her dream, despite having worked so hard for it, but just don’t ask her not to be unhappy.

There was a bunch of other good stuff in this episode too: Amber and the political campaign is getting into weird places and I’m beginning to wonder if Parenthood is trying to explore the age old sex scandals between the politician and his intern from a different perspective. Sarah is sad that Drew is not that close to her and is instead more comfortable around his girlfriend’s family than around her. Jamine may be slightly jealous of Crosby’s new girlfriend-this is one plotline I don’t care for at all, simply because we alreay went through one variation of it with Dr Joe Perfect and Crosby, and now it feels almost like the show is just switching the goals.

The other major storyline is the Joel, Julia and Zoe storyline, which culminates in tonights episode with Zoe realizing that she has to give up her baby, realizing the weight of her decision and possibly laying the groundwork for her to escape the contract.

Yet again, another emotionally satisfying episode of Parenthood. What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.