Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One More Weekend With You

Parenthood Season 4, Episode 8 – “One More Weekend With You” [Original air date: Nov. 20, 2012]

No one said life was going to be easy. Actually, if no one has told you before, let me be the first to tell you: life is a challenge, it is frustrating, and it is going to require a great deal of give and take. Just as Parenthood shows us, we often look to blame others for our downfalls. It frequently takes learning to accept people for who they are, and situations for how they are presented to us. The two golden words to keep in your back pocket and never be ashamed use: “I’m sorry.”

Too often people keep emotions bottled up inside. Eventually those emotions are going to surface and want to come out, but we cannot always control when this happens. We are only human, after all; we are far from perfect. Though we may think we can control everything, we cannot. Like mother, like daughter – Julia had a breakdown a few episodes ago, and it was time for Sydney to do the same. While Julia and Joel have been trying to support and encourage Victor ever since adopting him into the family, Sydney has felt rather neglected. Some reasons why prove to be out of Julia’s and Joel’s hands, but other time Sydney may have had a point, just going to show the hardships a family can face when expanding the family and adding new family members: “You are not my brother!” Sydney yelled at Victor as she threw a cup of water in his face at the diner. “In case you forgot, I was here first,” she said to her parents as she went to run away from home. We can almost all remember a time when we were younger and made a plan to run away from home for one reason or another.

There really is no good time for death to grace us with its presence. But when death does knock on our front door and we are forced to deal with it, how we deal with it can teach us a lot about our own character. When Ryan has to go to take a road trip to Bakersfield for his friend’s funeral it is obvious he is shaken up about the whole situation. Still, Amber continues to say all the right things at exactly the right time, as she asks if Ryan would like company: “I’d be nice to be together; if you wanted that I’m here.” We soon learn that Ryan’s friend Evan Williams, Private First Class soldier, someone Ryan considered a brother, did not die at war, but committed suicide after making it back to the states alive. Another one of Ryan’s service buddies called Evan’s actions the “coward’s way out,” causing Ryan and him to get into a physical fight. Viewer’s got a look at the side effects of PTSD and how real it actually is. It may be hard, but we need to remember that physical violence is never the answer. The beach scene at sunset between Ryan and Amber was a little cliché, but it gave a good message: life is worth living, so surround yourself with those you love and create your own happiness.

People have sex; it is simply a fact of life. It is usually during our teenage years when we first experiment with sex. This is usually a personal choice and everyone has different views when it comes it such topics. Abstinence can make us naive, so it is probably best to get educated before making any major life decisions. Though Mark was fairly awkward when he caught Drew and Amy in the act, he dealt with the situation like a professional: are you being smart? Are you wearing condoms? Is she on the pill? Do you know about STD’s? Let’s talk about responsibility. Though teenagers experimenting with sex can be scary, it is important to keep open communication about such life choices both with your partner, as well as with those who always have your back (i.e. parents). Sarah feels shut out of her son’s life, and that is a natural feeling, especially given the circumstances. Yet the conversation Mark and Sarah have about opportunity to get closer to Drew, trying to figure out their place in this family, and having a lack of experience, are healthy conversations for anyone to have, ones which should be seem more as a work in progress rather than a find the answers and move on kind of situation.

It has been said, if there were no rainy days we would fail to appreciate the sunny days. In similar thinking, we are able to enjoy happiness because we have been able to get through frustration and hardship. Fighting in a relationship is practically inevitable, and believe it or not it is rather healthy to work through problems and disagreements together. For example, Jasmine calls Crosby a freeloader while Crosby calls Jasmine a dictator as they fight over the cocktail and hor d'oeuvres party they were throwing. In the end though, through a little give and take, the two were able to make it through and understand each other’s differences. Being a support system for one another is important, and Adam and Kristina are the epitome of such a team. Adam is willing to try everything he can to help his wife through the hard times chemotherapy is giving their family. While their house becomes somewhat of a zoo, much like Grand Central Station during rush hour, Adam does his best to keep things under control. Kristina learns that you cannot always expect yourself to be the exception to the rule: “Thought I’d be the one person who wouldn’t get sick from chemo.” This mentality can be quite dangerous, especially when it comes to activates such as trying hard drugs, having unprotected sex, or being a reckless driver. Life is too precious to take such chances.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT post, Justin. Loved how you brought this episode into perspective and allowed us to look at our own lives. Thanks for reminding us that TV shows can teach us a lot besides being entertainment!