Parenthood Season 6 Review “The Scale of Affection is Fluid”

Parenthood Season 6 Episode 5 The Scale of Affection is Fluid (7)
Relationships of all varieties were at the center of this week’s episode of Parenthood.

Joel/Julia

As I’ve said in previous reviews, the continued tension between Joel and Julia is one of my least favorite aspects of this final season of Parenthood. I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly it is that I don’t care for and I think I’ve got it nailed down. As it relates to the Joel/Julia/New Guy/kids subplots, there are only two characters that I really like – Joel and Victor. Victor has been mostly a background character this season and the writers are putting Joel through lots of man pain. To say he did not handle the sight of Chris bonding with his family well in last night’s episode would be an understatement. Give me back reliable, calm, perfect Joel – I don’t care if it’s not realistic at this point. I just want to enjoy the character for the remainder of the series.

Over the last six seasons of Parenthood, Julia is probably the Braverman with whom I feel the least connected. I never warmed up to the character and frankly, the only thing I really enjoyed about her storylines was Joel’s involvement. To make matter’s worse, Julia storylines also necessitated screen time for the demon spawn Sydney, who is easily my least favorite Parenthood character.

The breakup of Julia’s marriage means more Julia without Joel and more Sydney being awful. None of this is enjoyable television watching for me. To their credit, the writers have done a good job at capturing how complicated breaking up a family is and how the dissolution of a marriage is a not so simplistic that the blame can solely be placed on one person or one problem. Good writing, however, has not been enough for me to feel engaged by this storyline and as this final season progresses, I find myself growing indifferent and resisting the temptation to just fast forward through the Joel/Julia drama.

I don’t know what a satisfying resolution to this storyline would be anymore, but I’m certain that it would not be Joel and Julia reconciling and it’s certainly not watching Julia move on with some random new character. I appreciate the writers introducing Chris as someone Julia previously dated and that he interacted with some of the Bravermans in the past. I get how it works for the characters as they warmly welcome Chris to the family cookout, but it doesn’t work for me as a viewer.

Is it bad that I wanted Sydney to go all demon child on Chris? Why should her wrath be limited to her parents, brother and classmates? Damn it, Sydney! You had ONE job!

Adam/Kristina/Max

You know what can complicate a relationship between a teenager and his parents? Having his parents run the school he attends and having a hover copter mom who watches him like a hawk. The relationship is further complicated when the overprotective mother has to grapple with the prospect of her son having his first crush. Kristina’s fears and worries about Max having to deal with unrequited love were sweet and understandable.

I love that Max’s crush has allowed the writers to come up with creative, hilarious ways for various members of the Braverman family to try to explain romantic relationships to Max. Kristina’s “robust 5” was funny, but nothing beats watching Adam and Crosby trying to explain bases to Max. Hopefully it won’t take Max a decade to get Dylan to match his five on the fluid scale of attraction. It was interesting to see Adam as the one willing to take a leap of faith in encouraging Max to explore his feelings for Dylan. That role is typically reserved for Kristina.

Castrated Crosby/Jasmine/Zeek

Rather than understanding why Jasmine went to such extreme measures to keep him off of his motorcycle, Crosby decided to mope around and complain about being castrated. I have a lot of questions about how Jasmine was able to get a boot for the motorcycle, but I suppose the writers would appreciate if we looked past that. Although the episode was mostly light, my eyes did get a little dusty when Crosby walked in on Zeek as he struggled with the treadmill. The scene was well handled by Craig T. Nelson and Dax Shepard, as was their day drinking scene in which Zeek implored Crosby to enjoy life because it goes so fast. *Tears*

If Zeek is concerned about Crosby, I’m concerned. Really concerned.

Until next week!

What did you think of this week’s episode of Parenthood? Sound off below!