Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Everything Is Not Okay

Parenthood Season 4, Episode 3 – “Everything Is Not Okay” [Original air date: Sept. 25, 2012

Nothing is forever and life is not fair. These two ideas seem to be an overarching theme in this particular episode of Parenthood. In the midst of unfair lives and coming to terms with the fact the things change over time and unexpectedly come and go, we can all do ourselves a favor if we practice open communication with those around us. “I’m going to be alright – then again, you never know what’s going to happen,” Zeek says to Adam in regards to his newly diagnosed heart condition. Adam’s reply: “I guess not.” We have no control over most things in life, yet it seems we spend the majority of our lives fussing over the aspects of life we cannot change. Sure, we can make certain decisions now which should theoretically set us up for a better, less stressful, more lucrative, happier, and fulfilling life down the road, but it is impossible to know what the future holds since nothing is guaranteed and anything can change at any given moment. As seen with the Braverman family, realizing all of this can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. This realization is not supposed to cause us to give up and leave life completely in the hands of fate, but to make life a little more manageable.

Cancer doesn’t discriminate, your boss at work may take his/her anger out on you even though you have nothing to do with the problem, and vending machines at school can be removed and not replaced no matter how upset you become. Kristina is scared, and rightfully so. She has no idea what the future of her cancer diagnosis may bring, and it takes a lot of effort to tell Adam that she does not want him being so positive all the time. Positive thoughts can only go so far, as sometimes we are forced to face reality. The average breast cancer survival rate is five to ten years; Adam and Kristina help viewers realize that there is no need to sugarcoat our lives. We often fail to see how good we have it until “it” is threatened to be taken away, and then suddenly we’re hit with the rude awakening that we haven’t been living life to the fullest.

Adam is hard on Amber at the recording studio, similar to the way Mark is condescending towards Sarah at the photography shop. Adam and Mark appear to misplace their anger, directing their emotions from their personal lives onto the wrong people: work colleagues. These misplaced emotions come off as rather real and not at all fabricated. Amber and Sarah provide us with different, yet fairly genuine ways of overcoming being caught in such situations. Max seems to have a new obsession each episode (last episode it was about getting a dog, this episode it’s regarding the lack of a vending machine at school), perhaps the way the writers of Parenthood looked to portray Asperger’s Syndrome to viewers. It becomes obvious that those who haven’t been exposed to Asperger's do not know how to respond to someone who has such a condition who often has outbursts others do not understand; Kudos to the Parenthood creative team for shedding light on such a difficult topic.

From family Intervention where the Braverman siblings sit and talk to Zeek about his expired drivers license and “reckless” driving which got him arrested (what looked like an age versus authority issue), to the brief idea that compromise and taking turns can lead to a more fulfilling friendship (as seen with Max and Micah), this episode of Parenthood is flooded with real-life scenarios we often overlook in our everyday lives. This brings us back to the notion of open communication mentioned above, as open communication is importance in every relationship. Kristina’s doctor could learn to be more personable, Zeek and Camille could learn to not hide health issues from their children, and both Adam and Mark could learn to be a little more honest with their coworkers. However, open communication is often based on timing. When is it the right time to share with family members that you have cancer? Perhaps being up front and sharing such devastating news right away is the proper approach, or maybe it’s alright to keep this information to ourselves because it really isn’t anyone else’s business. Once our secret starts getting in the way of other aspects of our life, it might be time to open up and communicate – especially to those who love us the most.

1 comment:

  1. If only the television show I'm reviewing was as "realistic" as yours. It sounds like NBC's Parenthood focuses on many of the difficult issues every America family deals with. Maybe families should be more open about these issues so they can begin living life to the fullest!