I didn't post on last week's season finale of Parenthood, partly because I didn't know where to start. I'm sad that the show is leaving us for five long months, with no final word yet on renewal (sooo glad they didn't leave it on a cliffhanger...just in case), but I thought the finale was all kinds of fantastic, with the singular exception of the Jasmine/Crosby storyline. (Are we supposed to think they're getting back together? That needs to not happen.) After all the network teasers leading up to the finale, I'm really glad that the pregnancy test was Christina's and not Haddie's because we don't need another teen pregnancy storyline on network TV. (I actually called that little twist at the beginning of the season, but since I didn't write it down, I don't expect you to believe me.) My favorite central relationship on the show, though, is Sarah and Amber's fraught mother-daughter dynamic, and this episode gave it to us in droves. I love that they can go so quickly from "I'm sorry! I love you! You're great!" to "I hate you! You don't understand me! Why won't you listen to me?!", and so frequently. It seems authentic that these two personalities, which are alike in so many ways, would oscillate between harmony and discord. All things considered, I loved this show this season, and I really really hope it gets renewed, because with Friday Night Lights exiting this year, there aren't any more quality family dramas on TV. (Seriously, name one.)
Check out Margaret Lyons' New York Magazine article on the show for a much better analysis of the show's biggest strengths than I could give you. In case you've never read her articles before, enjoy this sentence as a sampler: "[Mae] Whitman in particular gets that adolescent frustration-cry exactly right, joining Claire Danes in the Teenage Weeping Hall of Fame." Yessss.