Parenthood: “Left Field” (Episode 4.02)

TV Reviews Parenthood
Parenthood: “Left Field” (Episode 4.02)

Parenthood is at the point in its lifespan where it won’t pick up any new fans or start winning any major awards, but it still provides warmth for its dedicated fans. This episode was much smoother than the season premiere. That’s one the privileges of being a veteran show; all of the catch-up takes less than an episode before we’re able to move on. The reason this show continues to provide sufficient ratings is because it offers plots relatable to, well, people who are parents.

While Sarah has had less screen time than usual, the time she does get is as pleasant as ever. Her motherly advice, as unwelcome as it is to Drew, is always honest and quirky. Watching Lauren Graham and Ray Romano interact continues to be a bright spot for this season. And surprisingly, so is Julia as a character. Her soft side is on display in this episode. Every now and then she comes down off of her high horse and actually becomes a genuinely likeable character. As much as I dislike the Victor storyline, I think this episode has broken down my resistance and I think I can finally get on board with not only the adoption plot, but with all Julia plots as well.

Crosby, who has never hit a nerve with me through three seasons, continues to please. He is still young at heart even though he’s married with a child. It’s been working well so far, and the character is easily one of the most likable of the bunch, but maybe it’s time for him to grow up. The past three seasons dealt with the character’s maturing process, but it’s being touched on in a different manner. Jasmine, who always was the ying to Crosby’s yang, is growing weary of her husband’s lack of a schedule. Their argument was so spot-on and deserves applause for how effortlessly realistic it was.

The toughest pair to watch is always Adam and Kristina. For three years I thought it was because of their difficult situation with discovering Max has Asperger’s syndrome, but I realized it’s Kristina herself. She’ difficult to like, needless to say. I love Adam; he’s long been the anchor to the show. I love that he is able to see past his wife’s neurotic tendencies and love her regardless. As much as Kristina irritates me, I know the writers will reward me with an intimate moment that makes me realize Kristina needs to be the way she is to make her family’s life run smoothly. I felt immediately guilty for hating on her so much while watching this episode during the closing moments. It broke my heart to know what she’s been going through during the show’s off-season.

While other shows get praised for portrayals of arrogant advertisers and cancer-ridden meth dealers, Parenthood is the type of show that offers unsung performances that capture what it’s like to be in a modern relationship.

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