The Bravermans, aka the "team of billy goats" are back! Parenthood
returned tonight with its Season 5 premiere, "It Has to be Now." Ever true to life, this loving, chaotic family has quite a year ahead of them based on this premiere. They are living in the moment, learning to seize the day with new job opportunities, hairdos and a marriage proposal! Through the past 4 seasons, I have laughed, cried and drank wine with them and tonight was no exception. Laugh Track: constant. Cry Counter: Twice.
We learned at the end of Season 4 that Kristina was, for the time being, cancer free. We last left her and Adam rekindling their love and taking a much-needed respite from the horror of the past year (breast cancer, first child away at college, son going through puberty, toddler needing...everything), on the shores of Hawaii. We find them in this premiere canoodling in a dive bar, both sporting new and improved hairdo's, dancing all the way to Funkytown to the dulcet tones of Marvin Gaye and the new life motto: Carpe Diem. Let's get it on indeed. Their marriage is stronger than ever; cue huge sigh of relief for all.
Kristina is also approached by former mayoral candidate and resident slime ball, Bob Little, to officially run his new campaign this year. While Kristina is intrigued as she has been interested in getting back into the political game, neither she nor Adam fully trust or respect Little based on his actions with Amber (Season 3 controversy). Kristina ultimately decides that she cannot run the campaign of a man whom she does not respect and instead decides she must seize the day because "life is not a dress rehearsal" and runs for mayor of Berkeley herself! (This is where I started clapping in real life. At the television. Like a crazy person.)
"She's so white!"
Instead of focusing an entire episode on the actual labor, Parenthood
launches right in with the birth and into the life of Jasmine and Crosby's first daughter. They are a contentious, loving couple who always find a way to argue in every situation. Their new daughter, zapping all of the sleep and peace in the house, is no exception. Nor is finding a name that will suit her. The Bravermans arrive, true to form, with their loud, affectionate, loving energy and throw out many exceptional names (Eva being my favorite, clearly).
Crosby spends much of the episode concerned about whether he will ever connect with his daughter and not just see her as a newborn robbing him of sleep. He leans on his big brother Adam for support, highlighting one of my favorite relationships in the whole series. Adam reassures Crosby as he always does, and in the end, he and Jasmine have their beautiful fair-skinned daughter named Aida Braverman.
"You got to protect your profit margin."
At the end of Season 4, Parenthood ensured that Joel, Julia, Sydney and Victor had become a family by finalizing Victor's adoption. At the start of this season, we find Joel vying for a new development job that will be very lucrative, and Julia searching for work at a law firm that has idolized her for years. Despite Julia's impressive background, the way she left her last position has reaped its ugly head and she does not get the job due to a poor reference.
Joel invites his new potential boss over, new character Pete, who we soon learn is a British woman with a lot of unsavory opinions about stay at home moms. Julia, though proud of her choice to focus on her family, is suffering from a hurt ego and a sense of confusion about her own career.
"It was a mutual breakup."
Sarah didn't get a lot of air time in this episode, but we do discover that she hasn't chosen Mark or Hank in the interim, but instead has moved into a new place where she is now closer to Amber and superintending a building. She has a charming/smarmy new neighbor who is sure to prove interesting and integral as the season goes on.
We find that Hank has moved back to Berkeley after a falling out with his ex and is still running his photography shop. Max wanders in to his shop, as it is part of his "radius" (the area around his house that he is allowed to wander in order to build autonomy; side note: I love the way they handle Asperger's in this show. They really, really get it, people.) Hank ends up teaching Max more about cameras and photography, which should also prove to be integral to Max's growth and makes so much sense in playing to his strengths.
We find that Sarah is feeling left out of Drew's (aka WHAT IS WITH HIS HAIR or WIWHH) life now that he is a freshman at UC Berkeley. She seeks solace in Amber, who helps her to decode a series of abbreviated texts from WIWHH (though I find it hard to believe that Sarah doesn't know what BRB means). WIWHH makes it up to her by bringing her Gino's and sharing stories about college.
Ryber is real!
Amber is worried about Ryan while he is deployed due to him acting distant and upset with her. Despite these concerns, upon his return he asks Amber to marry him and carpe-ing the whole diem, she readily accepts! While I love Amber and Ryan together, it will be interesting to see how this plays out due to their age and family reactions.
Overall I feel this was a solid season premiere setting up the Bravermans for one hell of a year. Carpe Diem!
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(Image courtesy of NBC)