Season 4 Episode 1

Family Portrait

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Sep 11, 2012 on PBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • They're back. Finally.

    So I have been highly anticipating the return of Parenthood this week. I've subscribed to their Facebook page, so I've been getting notifications/updates throughout the summer. This episode dives right into things. "Dives" is probably an understatement. It picks up on about 15 different character storylines since last season's finale and pushes the time frame forward a couple of months - as if our two summers have been spent apart, missing our weekly time together for quite some time. Awww...

    There weren't too many big issues in this episode, although Haddie's leaving for college and Mark's reaffirmation of his relationship status were heavily weighed. Haddie's overwhelming feeling came right through the screen. I felt embarrassment, suffocation, and empathy for this character throughout the episode. What hit home further was the continued invalidation from Max regarding his feelings (for anyone) and the diner scene in which the family can't seem to have a normal dinner without something erratic happening. However, I was more than happy for Haddie to leave the rest of the Braverman's... mostly to save her sanity, but also character-wise, this one needed a break. Not sure how much of an appearance she will make this season but maybe Drew's storyline will pick up a bit more.

    Sarah and Mark's storyline fit well with the episode, but the introduction of Hank was a bit odd in that Sarah asks for job - hasn't she had like 5 of those during the progression of this series? What will she be next, a lawyer? The editor of the city's newspaper? It seems as if she is the jack of all trades in this family - one that allows for the latest recurring guest star to just start out of nowhere. So yeah, that's how I feel about that one. However, I liked the scene with Mark appearing at Camille and Zeek's house to argue for his placement in the family portrait!

    Other than this, the storylines were minor, yet continuations of the previous episode. What really left us wanting to know more was the addition of Victor into Julia and Joel's household. We learned one tidbit: it seems to have been difficult for Julia and Victor to connect. Her line near the end summed it up the entire situation: I feel like I waiting to love him. (This is one of the fantastic qualities of the show - it can be so convoluted in dialogue but the underpinning storylines are simple).

    Crosby and Jasmine's storyline with Jabbar also felt out of place for an opening episode. I felt "meh" about the whole thing and would have much preferred the focus to be on the fact that this family just reunited some weeks earlier!

    Amber vs. Adam was only appropriate because Adam was dealing with the loss of Haddie. He will always be that embarrassing father figure - so please keep that in mind if you (a) work for him and (b) sleep with people he knows. One thing that I felt was completely missing was how Amber ended up working at the studio...

    Finally, Amy appears to becoming distant with Drew. The whole situation was very vague (then again there was three scenes for this tidbit storyline), but it appears this relationship may also be in danger of ending - she looked very apprehensive about meeting near the end.