Thursday, March 6, 2014

REVIEW: 'Parenthood' - Kristina Meets a Cute Teacher and Sarah (Almost) Goes to Africa in 'The Enchanting Mr. Knight'

NBC's Parenthood - Episode 5.16 The Enchanting Mr. Knight

Kristina goes in for a checkup, but that doesn't stop her from starting a new adventure; Amber encourages Drew to move on from his past while Julia struggles to let go of hers; Sarah gets an appealing offer from Carl, but decides her work is more important; and Hank admits that feelings are still lingering for Sarah.

"The Enchanting Mr. Knight" spends a lot of time reflecting on the past. Kristina goes in for her one-year checkup; Crosby accuses Camille of forcing Zeek to sell the family house; Sarah falls into the same pattern of meeting a nice guy; Julia has to interact with Ed again for a school function; Hank starts thinking about his love for Sarah; and Drew & Amber sulk around after their breakups.

The past is very much on display but several characters are also actively trying to push forward. While waiting for that call, Kristina and Adam are moving forward on starting a new charter school. They meet a teacher named Mr. Knight - played by Happy Endings' Zachary Knighton - who is very much the kind of educator that they are enamored with. It still very much seems like a ridiculous idea. Them showing up at his house makes them seem like crazy people. But he's charmed by it because who could say no to them? I do feel more of a passion in this story between the couple than the election story. But having those two stories occur within the same season makes the show feel like it's flailing and trying to get something meaningful to stick with them.

This was also suppose to be the year of Sarah being independent. And yet, it dangled this new man in front of her from the very first episode. He was exactly the same as every other guy she has been with on this series. But he also was the first who wasn't first presented with some inherent problem (Mark was always too young & Hank has his social problems). And she fell into the same exact pattern she always does. Her realizing that - through Hank's help - is a step in the right direction of independence. And yet, the show is still leaving a reunion with Hank up-in-the-air. He talks about his feelings towards her with Dr. Pelikan, which the show wouldn't be spending the time on if it wasn't meant to be something big later on.

Lastly, Ed Brooks returns into Julia's life. I groaned every time he appeared on the screen. She kissed him and got punched by Joel. That was the last I ever needed to see of him. Julia had the right attitude the first time she saw him here - to say that she never wants to talk to him as friends ever again. She doesn't want to listen to him and yet she does anyway. She ends up on his doorstep apologizing to him, bringing him food and staying for dinner! I just don't understand way. With the hour focusing on everyone dealing with the past, it was bound to have someone "relapse" into the way they were back then. Having that person be Julia really confuses me as to what this story arc has planned for the upcoming episodes.

Some more thoughts:
  • "The Enchanting Mr. Knight" was written by Julia Brownell and directed by Allison Liddi-Brown.
  • This camera trick really stood out for me for some reason. One character would be in the frame from the chest up. Then they would do some minor reaction with their hands and the camera would move down and then back up. It happened to Hank, Kristina and Julia.
  • The Drew and Amber story was just odd. Not sure what they were quite going for with that. Other than to establish Amber as "Little Drew" for some reason.
  • And the Crosby and his parents stuff felt like such a retread of what this season was doing between Camille and Zeek earlier this season just with Crosby being against it instead of Zeek (but for the same exact reasons). Camille's response was pretty great though.
  • This separation sure has made Sydney sassy and complacent, hasn't it?
  • Kurt Fuller is one of my favorite character actors and it was nice to see him pop up again as Kristina's doctor. I really wanna see what he could do with a more regular role on some show.