“For the next 12 months, I want you to behold the breast of knowledge, thrust yourself upon it, and suck.”
Taken out of context, Zeek’s embarrassing advice, would simply cause one to assume the dirtiest intentions behind the odd rhetoric…
In the second installment of Parenthood Season 4, The Braverman family tackle more surprising family issues as they all come to deal with the good, the bad, the ugly and the dirty. “Left Field” does an amenable job of setting up some growing relationships and possible story arcs, while also sexing things up in the show a bit. Which is a bit out of left field. Although, one has that advantage when in a 10 p.m. time slot.
In this case, “Funkytown” is a clever little metaphor for sex, coined by Adam and Kristina, in their attempt to schedule coitus while going about their busy little lives. Of course, Crosby, having just come up fresh from having his own little funky session with Jasmine on the kitchen floor deems scheduling anything to simply be for old, decrepit parents clinging to a lives that never existed. Going with the flow however leads to personal and parental slip ups, and of course more yelling from Jasmine, who as we all know overacts to nearly everything. It’s not like Crosby left their son on the side of the road. But it is easy to see Jasmine’s concern. Organizing one’s life is important, especially for parents that have a child or children. I do very much appreciate Crosby and Jasmine’s willfulness to realize their own mistakes and learn from them, as implemented when Crosby adjusts something about himself in order to keep his family on steady waters.
Is it me, or is it an interesting choice that the writers are giving more screen time shared between Sarah and her new boss, Hank (Ray Romano), than they are towards Sarah and her fiancé, Mark? I wonder how long it will take Sarah and Mark to realize that their relationship most likely will not work out. Sarah is not the best at making wise choices, and there’s a doubtful aura around her. That said, I am thoroughly enjoying her interactions with Hank, the dry, grumpy and heartbroken photographer. Ray Romano is great in this role, and he certainly meshes in well with the characters we’ve already come to love. Plus, Hank is genuinely funny and down-to-earth. He can even catch Sarah off guard which is always a humorous plus. When Drew gets dumped by Amy, the young brokenhearted man is sucked out of his depressing gray bubble with some simple advice. The dude doesn’t need to be coddled by his mother. Drew needs a bit of real talk, and Hank gave him just that. The only thing Mark is able to do is see if Amy was giving Drew the courtesy of sitting with him at lunch. That’s so useful, right? The tension between Sarah and Hank is quite palpable at the moment, and we’re only in on the second episode. I should probably feel more badly for Mark, but I’m too excited to see how Sarah and Hank’s relationship will grow in the oncoming episodes…
In the season premiere, Julia and her family expressed their loss in how to properly include Victor in the family. How to make him comfortable in his own home. Julia even announced that she is having a struggle falling in love with her adopted son. Not unfamiliar territory for anyone who has adopted children of any age. And the next step includes Julia lightly pushing Victor in his first day of school. One has to feel for the little guy, as he’s still adapting to his own home and family. And now school is added on top of that. Julia’s decision to miss work for the sake of her son’s trust is probably one of the best things and best breakthroughs the two needed. Victor’s fear of school has seemed to leave him, and Julia can finally feel the wall between them being broken down, and in its place, trust is being built, which will allow more love to flow through. There are still many more issues the family will have to surpass to make Victor more comfortable in their family, but this is a fantastic first step. And as someone who plans on adopting children one day, I find this storyline to be my favorite and most engaging so far this season.
In the absence of their daughter, Haddie, who is now off to college, Kristina turns her affections toward an almost needing want for a dog. Adam, in his mostly conservative ways is rather apprehensive; however Kristina causes another whirlwind of complications when she mentions the possibility of getting a dog to Max, who now thinks it’s a done deal. I’m almost certain Kristina made her little “oopsie” on purpose to really strong arm Adam into adding a fury little loyal companion to the Braverman family. With all the change going on, a possible good for Max would be a dog, which is supposedly a nice companion for children with Asperger’s. It would be a happy change amongst all of the dim alterations the clan has been facing lately. Again, the family dynamics are exquisite here and we really see things come to a head as a happy moment comes with a dark one. Kristina gets a mammogram, followed by some bad news, when she receives information concerning a suspicious lump in her breast. More dramatic changes are in store for the Braverman family, and it’s not going to be all happiness and sunshine.
Parenthood is starting to heat up! As more issues come flying out of left field for the Braverman family, things get more interestingly and dramatically intertwined. What will become of Kristina’s latest bad news, how long will it take for Mark and Sarah to realize their relationship will most likely not work out in their favor, and what other foreseeable issues will arise out of nowhere? This is still the beginning of the season, and big story arcs are being put into place, and from this angle, they could be very emotionally charged and quite devastating. And I’m guessing “Funkytown” might not be able to solve these big issues. “Left Field” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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