Happy New Year and welcome back to our Parenthood TV Club. Every week, Allison Benedikt IMs with a different fan/regular watcher of the show. Today, please welcome Us Weekly editorial director and Allison’s long-time pal Lara Cohen.
Allison Benedikt: Hellllllooooo Lara! I hate to always start by mentioning next week’s show, but as usual, the “scenes from the next,” is, like, holy shit.
Lara Cohen: Drew gets his girlfriend pregnant? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. I'm not watching. I'm just going with the Betty White Off Their Rockers lead in and I’m out.
Benedikt: You’ll watch. But I agree that it will probably not live up to billing. Tonight proved yet again that this show is much better with the in-betweener episodes than with the Very Special Christmas/Chemo/Teen Pregnancy ones.
Cohen: Yes. Tonight was much better than the past few weeks—certainly the Adam and Kristina stuff this week, with her struggling over losing her hair/shaving her head and him desperate to figure out how to be the supportive husband in that struggle, felt less aggressively manipulative than in the last few eps.
Benedikt: OK, so Monica Potter, the actress who plays Kristina, didn't really shave her head, did she? This somewhat spoiled that part of the plot for me, because she had a hair-under-prosthetic conehead thing going on that was very distracting. She should have committed and shaved. (Note: I still cried when she “shaved.” Very moving.)
Cohen: Yeah, I think Monica Potter was straight up robbed of a Golden Globe nod, but maybe if she had actually shaved that globe ... badump bump. Thank you. Also, did Kristina really say she’s 34? That would mean she had Hattie on 16 and Pregnant, no?
Cohen: But the real question is: Is there any husband in the land as kind and patient as Adam? I know Kristina was pissed when she woke him up in the middle of the night to show off her newly shaved head and he hesitated before saying she looked great, but I actually thought he responded pretty well given the 2 a.m. surprise circumstances.
Benedikt: Yes, I agree. I mean, that was shocking. He couldn't have been expected to just go, "Oh, hello spontaneously bald wife. I am awake now and I love your new look." Still, she also can’t be expected to react to his reaction rationally. This is like that endless drama we all have with our spouses/significant others where we all have expectations and none of us live up to them or little moments don’t play out how we dreamed they would, plus cancer. So: Rough.
Benedikt: Now, I have three questions for you:
1. Do you really want Sarah with Ray Romano/Hank? (Regular readers: I know I ask this every time, but the show won’t let the question mark over their sort-of relationship die! It’s not my fault!)
2. Do you despise Joel and Julia’s little brat daughter Sydney, who continued to be a real asshole to their adopted son Victor this week, as much as I do?
3. WHAT IS IT ABOUT DAX SHEPARD AND WHY DO I LOVE HIM SO MUCH? PLEASE EXPLAIN ME TO ME.
1. Yes, I really do want Sarah with Hank. I actually think they make a cute couple. Though Sarah Braverman and her bad decision-making self shouldn't be allowed to choose between Hank and ex-fiancé Mark because they're both a little too good for her. (Also side note: I'm kinda becoming attracted to Ray Romano. Am I a woman of a certain age entering The Romano Stage? Is there counseling for this?)
Benedikt: It’s just you. But also: You seem to not like Sarah Braverman. Why is this?
Leftover Gilmore Girls baggage? (And do tell, Us Weekly editor: Is Lauren Graham, who plays Sarah, still romantically involved in real life with Peter Krause, who plays Sarah’s brother Adam Braverman?)
Cohen: We broke that story! As far as I know they are indeed still dating but I like to forget that because it creeps me out when I watch. And I loved Lorelai Gilmore! But on Parenthood Graham plays the character who acts the most selfishly and is always getting rewarded for it, whereas poor Julia and Adam are always giving and suffering.
Benedikt: Yeah, she does get a pass for being the always-searching, dry-humored, wandering type, and that shtick gets old. Please answer my other two questions.
2. Sydney shut up and eat the damn broccoli you whiny little troll. (So that’s a yes.)
3. I’m only hot for Dax as Crosby Braverman. It's like Jon Hamm as Don Draper.
Benedikt: One last question: If, like Crosby’s mother-in-law in this episode, your mother-in-law was having a rough time financially and you could (a) loan her money, or (b) have her move in with you, would you choose (c)?
Cohen: How could you ask me this on the Internet? You know my mother-in-law!
Benedikt: THIS IS FOR JOURNALISM.
Cohen: First of all: How do apparently not-very-active dancer Jasmine and struggling small business owner Crosby have $5,000 to pretty easily spare and an extra bedroom? I'm failing at life. But yes, of course I'd invite my MIL to move in. Free babysitting, right?
Benedikt: Bingo. Correct answer
Benedikt: So, prediction: Drew's girlfriend has the baby, or we get an NBC abortion controversy?
Cohen: I predict a very special abortion episode, and the whole Braverman clan comes to the clinic, Girls-style, only much more maudlin and there's a slow-mo scene where you can't hear them talking, just the music.
Benedikt: Stay tuned! And thank you for this chat, my dear friend Lara who would do anything for her mother-in-law.
Cohen: Yes, it’s good that I’m such a selfless person. Otherwise I’d have to dismantle the Internet at my in-laws’ house right now.