Thursday, October 17, 2013

REVIEW: 'Parenthood's Adam Wants to Start a Label as Sarah Voices Her Concerns to Amber in 'In Dreams Begins Responsibilities'

NBC's Parenthood - Episode 5.04 In Dreams Begins Responsibilities

Adam is challenged by Kristina's campaign yet again; Sarah and Amber struggle to talk to one another about the wedding; Drew tries to get closer to Natalie; Zeek gets a chance to provide big teaching moments to Sydney and Victor; and Crosby handles high-maintenance rockstar Oliver Rome (Tyson Ritter).

Parenthood, more or less, is much better at maintaining plots than it is at starting or ending them. That's not to say it can't do those things well. It's just been proven to be much better when we're watching stuff happen. With that knowledge understood, I'm going to reserve judgment on the Adam wanting to start a Luncheonette record label until we see were it's going. It will either be a pleasant surprise that consumes Adam's story after Kristina's mayoral campaign story is over. Or it will be just as terrible as that one currently is. The show kinda is struggling to know what to do with Adam and Kristina in a post-cancer world. They wanna give them some levity but the stakes of these stories just doesn't feel natural. So while it's fun to see Adam go back to Mister Ray, it's just an awkward and weird plot in an overall awkward and weird story.

Similarly, the Victor struggling with reading and might be held back a year plot was clumsily introduced last week. It felt like a need to an end with the David Denman & Sonya Walger coming between Julia and Joel's marriage story. And yet, it was entirely more satisfying to watch Julia discuss the issue with Zeek this week than with Denman because of the bond those two have established over the years. Having Zeek and Victor bond over the fixing of that car is more interesting use of those characters. But I love Zeek and Camille's argument about selling their house story as well and this does create a nice little wrinkle for that.

Additionally, Sarah finally voiced her concerns to Amber about her quick wedding to Ryan. I was surprised by how well she was able to rationalize her opinion. Sarah is stealthily becoming a more consistent person. Amber is in love and maybe cannot see things as clearly as she once did. She did not want to be Ryan's caretaker for the rest of her life. And even when Amber brings stuff up, Ryan doesn't want to talk about his past. We did learn that his father is dead and he doesn't like his step-father. But that's it. This could all go wrong so fast and so easily. I hope that does not happen.

Some more thoughts:
  • Amber: "Not everyone is close to their family." Based on this show, I never would have known that.
  • Odd family member shout outs: Seth and Grandma Blanche. It's been forever since they've been mentioned.
  • But for all the bad stuff there is with the mayoral campaign, I did really enjoy the moment where Max gives Kristina some money.
  • The counterargument for what I said about the show's plotting issues was Crosby's issues with fatherhood earlier this season. That story only needed three episodes to be told organically and I enjoyed how unabashedly it was in saying that parenthood can just suck sometimes. 
  • Drew's "friendship" with Natalie is pleasant and low-stakes. I typically like a good Drew story but it was just there in this episode. I did enjoy him going to Adam and Crosby for advice though.