Joel on NBC’s Parenthood is one of the good guys. He has been since the show first premiered and continues to be, despite recent story-lines.
Before Parenthood went on its Olympic hiatus, Joel was starting to get a bad rap. A bad rap he does not deserve. Yes he literally walked out on his family but he is still one of the good guys.
He put his dreams on hold to raise Sydney, then Victor, while Julia followed her dream career. Joel took flak from all the Braverman’s at times, especially Zeek. Up until the two men worked on the roof together, Zeek did not have the most respect for Joel’s choice to stay at home. That lack of respect from his father-in-law certainly took its toll on Joel. He of course took the high road. It is one of his character traits that makes him such a great guy.
If dealing with a disapproving father-in-law wasn’t bad enough, his wife too at times makes it clear she’s the decision maker. Julia wanted a second child but Joel longed to get back to work. Guess who won that battle, Julia. Sure she listened to his feelings and concerns but in the end she got what she wanted.
Even when Joel’s opinion is overruled; he still puts his family first. When Julia jumped head first into adopting Zoe’s baby, he had serious reservations. However he expressed his concerns then supported his wife. Even when they didn’t end up with the baby, Joel never said “I told you so,” he just comforted his wife.
During their struggles with Victor, Joel and Julia were at odds. At one point she wanted to not proceed with the adoption but Joel felt otherwise. This was one time that Julia actually listened to her husband. However this year when the school suggested Victor be moved back to 4th grade, the parents were once again at odds. Joel wanted to work with Victor in order to prevent him from being held back a grade; Julia thought it would be best to do what the school suggested. In the end even though Joel gave it his all Victor went back to 4th grade. That seemed to be a turning point for the couple.
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These examples shed Julia in a not so great light but they are accurate. Until this season when Joel got his dream job and Julia stayed at home, Joel was always putting his family’s needs ahead of his own. One could even argue that he is still doing that now. Take his job for example, it gives him the luxury of supporting his family financially, even though it keeps him away from home a lot. In terms of moving out and ending his marriage, he feels it is the right thing to do for his family. A home full of fighting is no place to raise children. Joel gets that, again putting the best interest of his children first.
Just because you may not like the way Joel is acting recently, that doesn’t mean he is not a good guy. As a fan, I am hoping for a Julia and Joel reconciliation and hopefully she will do some serious soul searching to be the women this great guy deserves.
Parenthood airs Thursdays at 10pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)