This week’s Parenthood on NBC picked up where it left off last week. We found Haddie furious with her parents, after she was told she could no longer see Alex. Her father, Adam, meets and is unimpressed with the new owner of the shoe company. Crosby has to admit that his brother-in-law that he’s in over his head in directing the kindergarten musical. Sarah continues to come to terms with how much her children have been influenced by their father.
Most of the episode centered around Haddie and the strained relationship she now has with her parents. Even though I’m on the parental side of things now, and even though the show centers around the adults in the show, Haddie’s side of things are very well portrayed. She’s sixteen, she’s in love and she’s not going to be stopped. But she’s a smart kid, so she agrees to redecorate her room at her mom’s suggestion (an olive branch of sorts). She also consults her cousin Amber on how to hide her text messages from Alex, and gets a ride from Amber on the night of their first date. As willing as Amber is to help, Amber has also seen alcoholism first hand in her father. She warns Haddie to be careful, and that while 6 months of sobriety is good, it’s not a very long time to be in recovery. Haddie reassures her cousin that she can handle it — Amber isn’t really convinced.
Ironically, it’s Sarah, Amber’s mom, who’s the one feeling overprotective of her daughter. Amber’s starting to write and play music, just like her father. If only Sarah could see how good Amber when she’s not around…..I think her worry would be lessened. Sarah does have a conversation with her mom, Camille. After lamenting that she knows she’s being over protective but doesn’t want to see her daughter fail, Camille simply says, “We can be there for them, but we can’t protect them.”
Meanwhile, Adam (Haddie’s dad) is dealing with being the “old guy” at work, now that the shoe company has been bought by a twenty-something video game mogul. He’s young, he’s rich and he appears not to have a care in the world. His most concrete vision for the company is along the lines of “You guys got weird in ’99. I want to fix that.” Adam is somewhat disgusted and intimidated by his style, so he meets with a recruiter. As this show does a fairly good job of mirroring reality, the recruiter simply tells him there are no jobs for anyone right now, and to hold on to what he’s got. Adam is 41, one of the oldest of the Gen X generation. It’s a reality check that my generation is now considered the “oldster” generation in the workplace, but it is quickly becoming so. Baby boomers probably bitched about us when we entered the workforce nearly 20 years ago, but it seems like the differences between Gen X and Gen Y are seemingly more apparent. I’m curious to see how their relationship develops, and when in the season Adam stops wearing suits to work.
The episode closes with Amber’s family all gathered for her debut at an open mic night, in her musical debut. Her musical talent comes from her father, which is what has thrown Sarah for a loop. She tells Amber before she goes on stage that her behavior, her criticism, her wondering out loud isn’t so much directed at Amber as it is herself. She tells Amber that watching your child grow up and seeing her like the same things, and have the same interests as herself makes it hard to recognized Amber as her own person, not as clone of herself. It’s something every parent deals with, I think.
So that’s it for this week — the teen girls and their parents got most of the spotlight, which I appreciated. I know I’m eight years away from parenting a teen girl, but I’m going to need all the help I can get I’m sure. Adam’s story line of being the family man with the job in an unsafe place is one that also keeps my interest, and I’m sure it’s a storyline that resonates with many viewers.
Did you watch last night? Tell me your thoughts on the Gen X v.Gen Y in the workplace, if you will…..