I’m watching season 2 of “Parenthood” on Hulu Plus because I don’t have cable until the Gemini moves in (a necessity). An Aries strongly recommended this show to me, to the point I finally decided to watch it. I have mixed feelings: I’m enjoying watching the show, but I don’t like most of the characters.
My main beef is with Adam and Christina Braverman. They absolutely have no control over their tempers; Christina cries instead of dealing with problems (ew); Adam yells too much (and snaps at any family member who happens to cross him when he’s under stress); they do things that they feel they have to do in order to stay a family, and it’s usually a very typical, pre-fabricated parental response.
Meaning, I think that they are blocking out critical thinking skills in favor of hysterical fear of parenting failure. Big surprise. Welcome to America.
For instance, when their daughter Haddie disobeyed them mid-way through season 2, they took her door off her room until they could trust her. Because that works with 16 year old girls. And what was the problem? They didn’t want her to date a 19 year old guy who was in AA and who had his own apartment. Because he was too “adult.” As if he were maybe a porn star instead of a guy who worked at a food bank and tried to turn his life around.
I have a theory:
If these people had a lower median income, they’d be seen as “trashy” and unhinged. Now, part of that has to do with our unfair cultural perceptions of people who are lower income. But another part of it has to do with our misconceptions about people who are upper-middle income– like most of the Bravermans on “Parenthood.” As in, “Look at these people with their nice homes and suburban lifestyles. They’re just looking out for their kids. They may not always make the right choice, but they mean well and do what they can.”
And I realize that the appeal of this show is the reality of how tough parenting is, so a lot of people can watch this show and feel justified or maybe even feel superior as parents. But what if there was a t.v. show that showed how parenthood could be? (To be honest, I think the sitcom “Modern Family” provides that kind of hope, however fictional and problematic it is.)
What if there was a show that didn’t justify miserable parenting choices people make? Like, what if there was a radical show that never once used the argument, “You’re X age, and as long as you’re under our roof, you do what we say”? What if there was a show that never feared a daughter’s sexuality, that never yelled at a kid for telling a lie? A show where parents didn’t yell? Can I please see that?
Just a thought. Which I’m sure many will dismiss because I’m not a parent.