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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Parenthood Season 4, Episode 2: Is There Room in the Bay Area Puppy Van?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Sarah tries to comfort Drew after getting dumped on the first day of school. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NBC.COM
  • Photo courtesy of NBC.com
  • Sarah tries to comfort Drew after getting dumped on the first day of school.

This week's episode "Left Field" begins regrettably with Crosby and Jasmine doing it on the kitchen floor of their house. I say "regrettably" because I still can't believe that Jasmine would ditch handsome, caring pediatrician Joe last season for grating man-child Crosby. Though, I realize that Katims keeps his television universe realistic and it's entirely plausible that a beautiful, smart dancer would settle down with a complete tool. This show is practically a documentary.

See also: Parenthood Season 4, Episode 1: Be My Asperger's Blanket

In typical Crosby fashion, he boasts about his impromptu kitchen sex to Adam while simultaneously mocking him for sharing an iPhone calendar with Kristina which dings every time she adds a new event and includes a scheduled lovemaking session, codename: Funkytown. Funkytown is so unabashedly corny that it makes me appreciate the Braverman family even more. Remember season two's Thanksgiving episode where they all dance together to "O.P.P."? Who in that clan even had a copy of that song on hand? I bet it was from a Time Life compilation of '90s party jams. On CD. And that's why the Bravermans are awesome.

Because he has to do one funny thing per episode to keep me from hating him outright, Crosby begins strumming the riff to "Funkytown" in front of Adam. Amber walks in, immediately recognizes the tune, and starts to sing along unaware of its lacivious double meaning as it pertains to her, uh, aunt and uncle. I'm hoping this was an homage to the inappropriate uncle/niece "Afternoon Delight" karaoke duet on Arrested Development.

At home, he continues mocking Adam and Kristina's shared calendar but Jasmine doesn't think it's a bad idea, noting that they have no scheduling system at all. When they get ready to have dinner, Jabbar whines about eating the salmon that Jasmine has already prepared and Crosby suggests they get pizza. Jasmine relents, but not without provoking the collective bellow of everyone who has to cook for their families: "Girl, the salmon is already ... on ... the ... plate." Later, she also endures Crosby's noncomittal attitude toward making plans with her friends. Just when you think Jasmine has completely succumbed to the ancient troll hex that initially made her fall for Crosby in the first place, she flips when he forgets to pick up Jabbar from school. To make amends, he sets up a calendar for the two, adding events like, "Apologize to Jasmine for being a douche." Note, there was no event simply titled "Stop being a douche." I guess the first step is just admitting you have a problem.

It's the first day of senior year for Drew and Sarah and Zeek pester him before he takes off for class. Zeek seems to be taking on a more eccentric grandpa, I-lost-my-family-at-the-mall kind of persona this season. He tells Drew to thrust himself upon and then suck on the "breast of knowledge." Sarah says what we're all thinking which is that Zeek is gross.

Drew goes to pick up Amy who is still wearing her break-up face. They pull up to school and she reveals that she met someone at summer camp and that Drew is effectively dumped. Her facial expression is certainly concerned and pained to have to deliver this kind of heart-shattering news, but you made this poor guy drive your ass to school. That's cold. Send a break-up text at 7 a.m. and then go catch the school bus like a respectful dump-er.

Drew visits Sarah at Hank's studio after school and informs her of the break up. She responds as we expect Sarah to respond, which is with constant hovering and asking questions in a rapid fire manner. Hank criticizes her for being so involved in Drew's break up and that it's inevitable he'll be in pain as women are "conniving soul crushers." At first, I thought the casting of Ray Romano for this role was odd, but then I realized that he's got the kind of voice and cadence that can say these things without sounding like a total misogynist. I tend to just imagine these generalizations on the "nature" of women as if they were coming out of the mouth of an animated woolly mammoth and it doesn't seem so bad.

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Sylvie Kim

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