Review of “The Talk”- Aired 10/2/12

Last night’s episode, “The Talk,” was very dad-centric, and I think it was fun to see parenthood from a father’s perspective, something reserved more for the lady characters on the series.

To sum it up, Camille told Zeek he needed to find a hobby, which led him to seek out opportunities at the local V.A. Joel and Julia worried that Victor wasn’t active enough, so Joel pushed him to explore little league baseball, which didn’t go so well for unathletic Victor. Sarah learned that Hank had a daughter and got to spend some time getting to know the soul-searching tween. Kirstina and Adam continued their roller coaster ride, with disagreements on when Kristina should have the surgery to remove the tumor and on whether Max, as a kid looked down upon by his peers at school, should be encouraged to run for student council president.  And Jasmine and Crosby had the difficult talk with Jabar about the true meaning of “the n word” after he overheard a rapper use it while recording at The Luncheonette and thereafter question the meaning of the word.

Two weeks ago, I made a wish that Joy Bryant (Jasmine) would get more dramatic material to show the depths of her talent. Well, I kind of got my wish. The writers gave her awesome material to work with, and she shined in her delivery of it. The episode felt very real and very current, too. I think one thing that’s become apparent in 2012 (with the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the lead-up to the Election, in particular) is that racial tension is still alive and well in this country. Jabar’s lecture about the power of “the n word” was a sobering wake-up call to everyone out there that inequality is not okay. Props to NBC , too, for actually using the word. It gave the episode a much more hard-hitting impact.

Related to this plotline, the highlight of last night’s episode for me was Crosby’s reaction to the situation with Jabar. Never before have we seen Crosby bear so much of his soul. Dax Shepard infused such sensitivity and selflessness into the character. It was amazing to watch, and I’d love to see more of this Crosby than the que-sera-sera Crosby that we so often get.

Sam Jaeger also showed his acting chops as Joel tries to figure out how to be a dad to Victor. You felt his pride when he called Victor “my boy” on the field and you felt his yearning to be accepted by Victor.

Continuing the dad theme, Peter Krause made Adam look as if he were carrying the world on his shoulders right now…and he is! You see so vividly his struggle to want to take care of Kristina but also to understand that it’s not his diagnosis or his body that will have to endure the effects of the disease. You also know that he is increasingly worrying if Max will ever stand on his own two feet as he continues to  grow up.

On another note, I think Hank is starting to fall for Sarah. Uh oh, Jason Ritter. I think your cue to leave is coming pretty soon. (I hope they use this as a vehicle to finally have Sarah end up with Seth. Am I the only one that’s rooting for them to work out in the end??) A story that seemed so meh at the beginning of the season is really starting to catch my attention.

What did you all think of episode 3 of this season of Parenthood? So far, I think it’s a big improvement on season 3 (which was still great anyway). I cannot reiterate just how much I love this show. A+ in my book.

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