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'Parenthood': It Has To Be Now (5x01)

Dani Langlie
September 27th, 2013 11:39pm EDT

Parenthood

We're back! I love Parenthood. It's one of the most real dramas out there. Even when things get a bit melodramatic at moments, it still manages to make me feel connected to these characters. So. Let's take a look at this one! We're starting several months after the events at the end of Season Four.

Kristina is cancer free! She wants to seize the day, and the opportunity comes when a visit from a former employer makes her realize she wants to get back in to politics. At first, she was thinking about running a campaign, but then she decides she's going to run for mayor. This is one of the sillier ideas this show has come up with, but I'm willing to see how it plays out. Realistically, I'd love it if she did terribly. There's no way she would be able to garner much of a following.

Max visits Hank in his shop and expresses great interest in photography. Hank and Sarah have broken up, and Hank is back living in California because moving to be with his daughter didn't work out. Hank seems to really like Max, and the two get along pretty well. Adam comes in to the shop to talk to Hank, worried that he might be using Max to get back together with Sarah. That doesn't seem to be the case, though.

Jasmine and Crosby are parents once again! Their baby girl, Aida, is keeping them up all night. I enjoyed this very realistic portrayal of the horrors of new parenthood, but I get a little fed up of seeing Jasmine and Crosby bicker all the live long day. That's not exactly new and refreshing.

Julia is after a new job, but because her old boss is bitter about the way she left the company, he doesn't give her a good reference and she doesn't get it. Meanwhile, Joel scores a giant two-year job working for a woman named Peet. When Peet comes over for dinner, things get awkward when she learns that Julia is "just a stay-at-home mom." I loved this plot thread, because I enjoy seeing how Julia reacts to the stresses of her life as a mother. I also always love to see Joel succeed.

Sarah is now living as a superintendent in an apartment building. She is upset with her annoying tenants, and also because Drew hasn't been communicating with her much since he went away to college. After Sarah complains to Amber, Amber and Drew have lunch and she tells him to start talking to their mother more. Drew shows up at Sarah's house with a pizza.

Ryan has been called back to war, and Amber misses him and worries about him constantly. She's afraid that he has been pulling back, but when he comes home, he proposes to her. Amber says yes!

No Zeek or Camille this week other than a brief moment when the whole family came over to see baby Aida. I guess it's a good thing they didn't have their own story because it might feel too crowded otherwise.

I thought this was a really strong opening episode, because it crammed a lot in without it feeling too overwhelming. It set all of these characters on their paths for the season and doesn't throw in too many large twists and turns. Like I said before, there were some misfires. Kristina running for mayor is ridiculous. I thought Sarah's plot was a little weak here, and I would have liked to know what happened between her and Hank. However, I loved all the stuff with Hank and Max, and I really liked Julia and Joel's story line.

In the future, I hope we get to see Amber telling her whole family about the engagement!

8/10

Photo Credits: "© NBC Universal, Inc"


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