Parenthood Season 6 Review “Lean In”

I will always think fondly of Parenthood as a great family drama, but I’m ready for the show to wrap it up.

It’s as though the writers have run out of ideas for members of the Braverman family and decided that they could infuse the show with something new and exciting through the struggles of Hank, Ruby and Sandy. I am done with this trio, officially. I fast forwarded through their scenes last night, so from here on out Hank, et al. will probably not get a lot of focus in these reviews unless something really compelling happens. With only four episodes left in the series, you’d think that we’d be done with Hank, but it would be uncharacteristic of the Parenthood writers not to bring some closure to their story – much to my chagrin.

Although I’ve decided that I’m going to mentally reject Hank, Ruby and Sandy for the remainder of the series, I will continue to check in on Sarah. I had mixed feelings when I learned from the previews last week that Jason Ritter would return. I love Jason Ritter and find him to be a welcome addition to any show. However, as it relates to Parenthood, Ritter is a reminder of the seemingly endless cycle of love triangles we’ve seen Sarah subjected to season after season. Thankfully, the writers had something different in mind for Ritter in last night’s episode. His return allowed Sarah to bring closure to her relationship with Mark. It allowed her a moment of reflection as she continued to settle into her future with Hank. The moment wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure if it was necessary.

You know what else I’d like to fast forward through from now on? All things Chambers Academy. However, skipping over Chambers Academy shenanigans and the Hank/Ruby/Sandy melodrama would leave me very little to discuss. The most frustrating aspect of the Chambers Academy storyline is that I continue to see Adam there, instead of at the Luncheonette. I’m no fan of Dylan not reciprocating Max’s feelings, but nothing she did warranted the harassment she had to endure. If Kristina and Adam could afford it, hiring someone else to run the school would be a really good idea. Hopefully, the very loud, public wake up call she received from Dylan’s parents will serve as an important reminder from now on that she has to be a school master first, mother second.

The episode also featured another storyline I’ve been less than thrilled about for at least the last two seasons – the Joel and Julia saga. I didn’t agree with Julia’s estimation that Joel failed when he chose to walk away, rather than stay and fight. I’ll never see the breakdown of their marriage as the blame of one person or one misdeed. It was nice to finally see a few cracks in the armor of Julia’s new boyfriend. His points were fair, but his timing was just crappy. The workplace is never an appropriate place for that kind of conversation. We left Joel and Julia locked in a passionate embrace after signing their divorce papers. I noticed that several reviewers saw the liplock as a reconciliation. I don’t think we’ll truly know what the kiss meant until the show returns in 2015 for its final four episodes.

The more significant cliffhanger from last night’s mid-season finale was the status of Zeek’s health. I love Zeek, but he and Camille were just awful to Drew, who was simply trying to be a good, supportive grandson. The prospect of Zeek and Camille taking a romantic trip to France was a pretty obvious sign that something unfortunate would happen before the couple could solidify their plans. In a season the writers have previewed would show the cycle of life, it might be time to stock up on the tissues over the winter break and get ready for the tears when Parenthood returns in the new year.

Until next . . . year!

What did you think of last night’s episode of Parenthood? Sound off below!