Rewinding 'Parenthood': "Namaste No More"

There is no big happy ending for this episode.

As advertised last week, Crosby spent the night with Jasmine, but snuck out through her bedroom window in the morning in order to avoid Jabbar. As hard as it is to believe, they were concerned about what their kid would think by seeing his parents in bed together. On another night, Jabbar saw Crosby in the hallway, but he just tried to convince the boy that he was dreaming. After seeing that, Jasmine vowed, “No more fooling around. Period”, but that offended Crosby, who thought they were something more serious. Despite the fact that it’s obvious that he cares more for her than she does for him, he eventually told her how he felt. Jasmine just replied, “Let’s just give it some time” before inviting him to “sleep over”.

Adam and Kristina continued to find some friends for Max, but in reality, they were looking for some friends for themselves as well. They first visited the Lessings, whose son, Noel, seems to be mentally behind Max. When Max wanted to leave, Adam and Kristina, put off by the bicycle-obsessed dad and the nervous mom, didn’t object. Max didn’t seem to be into the whole thing, questioning the reason why he needed to have friends. When Adam made plans to meet up with a family he knew from work, Max said, “You owe me a sticker for this.” This time, Adam and Kristina liked the parents, but their son showed no interest in Max. After they faked an illness to leave, Adam wondered if they were “relegated” to hanging out with the “short bus families”. I found that phrase surprisingly insensitive, but in the end, all of the Bravermans and the Lessings had a good time together.

Haddie and Steve visited the country club restaurant that Amber works at. Trying to befriend them, she gave them free beer at Steve’s suggestion, but warned her cousin about his motives. This led to Haddie and Steve breaking up. Haddie understandably moped around because of it, but Steve moved on quickly, telling Amber sad sack stories about his life. Amber quickly befriended him and the two wound up dancing together at an 80’s themed dance at the country club.

When Sarah needed to use a computer equipped with Photoshop for a class that she is taking, Drew came along with her to a pawnshop. He tried to help her find what she needed, but she became distracted by a pair of cufflinks with the letter Z on them. Noting that they looked exactly like a pair her father had, she took a picture of them and questioned Zeke. Zeke, saying that he lost them at the gym, told her not to tell her mother about it. Sarah went back to the pawnshop and found out that her dad pawned them and other personal possessions. Adam, mildly enraged by the loss of the 1977 baseball autographed by Reggie Jackson, told his sister about Zeke’s financial state. Eventually, all of the Braverman siblings agreed to push Zeke to tell Camille the bad news during a family dinner. Adam even prepared lines for Crosby on a note card, which was criticized as something Dr. Phil would write. During the dinner, Zeke was finally pushed into telling a teary-eyed Camille about his failed investments and how he has been struggling to pay the family home’s mortgage. Strangely, everyone took this news as more unsettling than all the things we have previously seen them deal with. Camille stormed away from the table, while Zeke drove away in his truck.

Earlier on, Camille let Sarah use her computer. At first, she had trouble with the software and somewhat jokingly told her mother that, unlike her, she has no idea what failure is like. Camille found this very offensive, and Sarah had no idea why until after the dinner, when she told her daughter some unsettling news. Stating that “There’s been a lot of lying going on for a lot of years”, Camille admitted that Zeke had an affair with “a woman up north”, but she has been “covering it up for years” for their sake. It was then that Camille seen Sarah’s completed project, a very elaborate collage made out of their family pictures. As I wondered if Zeke’s affair means that we’ll see another Braverman on the show, as Brothers And Sisters did, Zeke arrived at Adam’s front door with a duffel bag full of his belongings.

The only person who got anything close to a happy ending this week was Julia, who became the new coach of her daughter’s soccer team. Though Joel thought her competitive nature would take its toil on the “athletically challenged” team, Julia tried to provide “a great coaching experience that isn’t about winning”. Even learning that the loopy Racquel was, fittingly, the coach of the tie-dyed- wearing rival team didn’t make her change her plan. The team lost 11 to 0, and Racquel offered to switch some players out of pity, but Julia quickly noticed how good Jabbar was at the sport. Julia said, “Namaste”, which is how the episode got its name. Despite Joel’s grimacing, Julia’s personality came back as Jabbar scored the winning goal of the next game.

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Gallagher's work often suffers unfairly beside famous husband's Raymond Carver. The Man from Kinvara should permanently remedy this.

Many years ago—it had to be 1989—my sister and I attended a poetry reading given by Tess Gallagher at California State University, Northridge's Little Playhouse. We were students, new to California and poetry. My sister had a paperback copy of Raymond Carver's Cathedral, which we'd both read with youthful admiration. We knew vaguely that he'd died, but didn't really understand the full force of his fame or talent until we unwittingly went to see his widow read.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.