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S06.E02: Happy Birthday, Zeek 2014.10.02

 but Amber doesn't exactly inspire confidence when she's two or so months along and hasn't even told the father yet.  

 

 

I mentioned this last week, but I was in a situation similar to Amber.  No hospital traction sex :p But with a relationship with an unstable partner that ended right before I found out about the pregnancy.  I waited until after the first trimester to tell him (and considered not telling him at all) because I didn't want to have to deal with an emotional draining, emotionally abusive asshole's reaction if I had a miscarriage.  I am not saying this is exactly Amber's reasoning, but it is hard enough dealing with the reality yourself, without adding the reaction of an unstable man to the mix.   As I said before, pregnancy is a long haul thing, there is no need to resolve every issue immediately.  Amber is not stupid (though she does make some stupid choices, but who hasn't).  I think she just needs time to adjust, and she will get it right in the end. 

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And I am not sure if Sarah was trying to tell Amber she should get an abortion, but pressuring someone into it be basically telling them they would suck at motherhood is going to cause long term emotional damage.  I am fully pro-choice, but the decision needs to come from the pregnant woman because she has weighed her options, and decided it is the best choice for her, not because she feels other people will not support the pregnancy.

 

In fairness, how is the pregnant woman supposed to accurately weigh her options if no one is allowed to do anything that might clue her in as to what it means to be a  single parent, particularly one with very limited resources?  If I'm Sarah, my nightmare scenario is that I have step in and raise a baby again because my daughter is not in a place where she can provide for her child on her own without a significant commitment of time and resources from me.  How would I make it clear to my kid that I would support her, be available to her in emergencies, etc., but my role is not going to be that of "substitute parent" to the baby, without it coming off like I am suggesting a certain course of action?               

 

I wouldn't want someone to have an abortion, if that was not what they really wanted, but I also would not want someone having unrealistic expectations of what parenthood actually means either. 

 

 

What "reasonable accommodations" means is up for debate, but no parent can demand special foods and expect it to be met that same day.

 

I have no doubt that Kristina probably promised all these parents that she'd cater to whatever demands they have, regardless of whether they are realistic.  Though I'd love to meet the mom who "gave up all hope" for her kid until he was excited over cooking a piece of chicken. 

Edited by txhorns79.
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Excuse me, wasn't Julia/Joel family in therapy. And here they are sitting with these dumb looks on their faces as if they have no idea what to do. Hello, ask your therapist.

That Nora is the most self-sufficient baby ever. Good thing too because Max gets all the attention in that family.

Please, please let baby Aida turn out to be a hellion, to make up for her impossibly perfect older brother!

Dack Shepherd is kind of hard for me to watch, he is not particularly attractive to me. So now, watching him is even worse knowing he is married to beautiful Princess Anna.

Sorry for all the ranting because I really do like the show. Amber is my favorite character, so real and smart, and I love how good she used to be with Max. It will be interesting to watch her pregnancy, I have high hopes for her.

Watching Braverman clan get-togethers where the mothers hold their own babies always reminds me of how Italian I am--when we are all together babies get passed around and made a fuss over.

Edited by JasminePhyllisia.
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The food thing is INSANE. I've done event planning at work and I used to have to plan events for 30 people with a lot of food issues. Even then, I'd pick one entree and create a vegan option and a gluten free option. The restaurant usually avoided major allergens. 30 individual meals would have been insane.

Even at my son's daycare, meals are included but alternatives have to be self-provided. So when my oldest was there I brought a quart of soy milk for him every other week. Everyone else ate the same thing.

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The reason I keep watching this show, as ridiculous as most of it is, is that when they get stuff right, it hits home. I think the whole thing with Amber and Sarah and Zeke is pretty realistically done. And I just want to slap Sarah. As much as I hated her reaction, it was pretty realistic, and consistent with her character. I thought she was going to get it right the second time, but it took her third try to get to where she needed to be. Pregnancy is not something that immediately needs to be immediately resolved, as scared as Sarah is, and as much as she wants what best for her daughter, and her feelings about it aren't wrong, she has six months left to work with Amber and make sure she is in the best place she can be in when the baby arrives. The immediate need of any expectant mother, but especially one who is young and single, is unconditional love, and the knowledge that the people closest to her are going to love her and support her, and not shame her, because she is feeling enough doubt and shame and fear all on her own. Just a tip if anyone is ever faced with the need to immediately react to pregnancy news. There is lots of time to make sure that everything else is in place. Lectures will not be well received. And I am not sure if Sarah was trying to tell Amber she should get an abortion, but pressuring someone into it be basically telling them they would suck at motherhood is going to cause long term emotional damage. I am fully pro-choice, but the decision needs to come from the pregnant woman because she has weighed her options, and decided it is the best choice for her, not because she feels other people will not support the pregnancy.

Here is an idea. I have no experience as a school administrator (which apparently makes me as qualified as Kristina) but here is an idea. If you call your vendor, and are about to explode the relationship, take a step back, take a deep breath, and tell vendor that you understand that they can't make last minute changes, and not to worry about it. Then allow the vendor to continue honoring the contract and get the other children fed, and figure out how to get the one kid lunch. It is probably a lot easier and cheaper than having to figure out how to feed 40 kids, no?

 

Very well stated in both cases.

Sarah is such a screw up as a mom but she usually gets it right in the end. If anything it annoys me that Sarah was in Amber's place and can't step back and realize what Amber needed was her mom. Certainly nothing she said was wrong it was just the wrong time to say it. It also perturbed me that she was kind of forcing Ryan on Amber before she was ready, b/c if nothing else I thought Sarah did learn that chasing after druggie Seth was one of the worst parenting mistakes she made with her kids growing up.  She should never have tried to pressure Amber in to talking to Ryan before she was ready.

 

I love the idea of Kristina working with the vendor for the "easy" to please kid meals and just have to sort out the uber picky ones. That for sure would have been a much more realistic and workable solution than the "Braverman" way. RME

 

 

Amber is my favorite character, so real and smart, and I love how good she used to be with Max. It will be interesting to watch her pregnancy, I have high hopes for her.

 

 

I totally agree. Amber certainly doesn't make the best choices but she always manages to roll with whatever choices she makes and in the end make them work for her. I've always admired how she follows her heart even into less than ideal situations. She always strives to let life lead her and deal with the fallout, with support of course.

 

 

And when has Amber EVER expected her mom to take over anything for her. Certainly she has leaned on her mom for emotional support as any child should feel like she can, but I fail to see anything Amber has done to indicate she'd dump a baby on her mom? Heck to me Sarah is barely self sufficent at 40 something. Amber and she are practically at the same life stage though age wise WAYYYY different.LOL

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In fairness, how is the pregnant woman supposed to accurately weigh her options if no one is allowed to do anything that might clue her in as to what it means to be a  single parent, particularly one with very limited resources?  If I'm Sarah, my nightmare scenario is that I have step in and raise a baby again because my daughter is not in a place where she can provide for her child on her own without a significant commitment of time and resources from me.  How would I make it clear to my kid that I would support her, be available to her in emergencies, etc., but my role is not going to be that of "substitute parent" to the baby, without it coming off like I am suggesting a certain course of action?               

 

I wouldn't want someone to have an abortion, if that was not what they really wanted, but I also would not want someone having unrealistic expectations of what parenthood actually means either. 

 

 

I really relate to Amber's character, she reminds me a lot of myself at her age.  So, maybe I give her too much credit, but I don't think she has unrealistic expectations of what parenthood actually means.  She is smart, and obviously scared, so I am pretty sure she has considered the reality of becoming a parent.  There are women who think having a baby is going to be similar to having a really cute living dolly to dress and have fun with, but she doesn't strike me as that type.  She has seen her mom struggle as a single parent.  She has witnessed Sydney and Max's asshole behavior, and the baby with colic as living examples of how difficult children can be.  And if she hasn't, trying to force her to recognize it right that moment, isn't going to all of a sudden open her eyes.  First, Amber needs to be able to trust that she truly has her mother's love and support, and then she will be more open to listening.  By going straight with the negative, Sarah was telling Amber that she didn't trust her or think she was competent, and Amber wasn't going to be open to listening to Sarah or taking advice from her.   I wouldn't be either.   Like I said, I think Amber and I have really similar personalities, so I feel like I just take her pain really personally.  I just want to hug her and let her know she is smart and strong, and it will be hard, but she will be ok.  But like I said, I get Sarah's reaction, and her feelings and concerns are not wrong, but sometimes as parents we have to let that go and address the heart of the matter, which was Amber's fear, not only of becoming a mother, but fear of rejection from her family.  After that, we can work on the other details.   Of course, if my daughter comes to me, young, single and uneducated, announcing her pregnancy, I reserve the right to screw it up too.  Parenthood is hard!

Edited by Kara.
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In fairness, how is the pregnant woman supposed to accurately weigh her options if no one is allowed to do anything

that might clue her in as to what it means to be a  single parent, particularly one with very limited resources?

Amber is well into adulthood.  She was raised by a single mother and we know that money was always an issue during her childhood, to the point that her mother had to take her kids and move in with her parents during Amber's teens.  Amber herself has been out in the work world (albeit with a job handed to her by family) and has had her own place for a while.  She lives in a very expensive city, she knows that having a child is going to be difficult financially.  I would also disagree that she has limited resources.  For one thing, she does come from a large and supportive family, all of whom live nearby and will undoubtedly make sure her she and her child have all the necessities as well as plenty of emotional support and love.  For that matter, considering their previous generosity to family, Amber could probably move in with her grandparents if need be.  She's got far more going for her than many, if not most, single mothers these days (I'm an OB/GYN practicing in a big city, you'd be amazed how many young women spend more time picking out their new smart phone than they do considering the impact a child would have on their lives).  We've already seen that Amber is at least pondering the situation.

 

The whole open heart surgery discussion was so ridiculous.  Zeek and Camille speak to the doctor who tells them that the only thing that will happen if Zeek doesn't have surgery is he will continue to have random fainting spells. No discussion of the progression of the disease and what that would be like including the very important information that his quality of life will be drastically reduced.  My aunt had a diseased heart valve that started with random spells of lightheadedness and eventually progressed to the point where she couldn't climb stairs because she was too short of breath.  She loved to bake, but eventually had to stop doing that because carrying a 5 lb bag of flour from the pantry to the kitchen was too much. She gladly underwent surgery in hopes of restoring some quality to her life again. Had the doctor actually discussed the situation realistically and told Zeek that he was soon going to be unable to work on his cars or in the garden and instead would be housebound and on continuous oxygen up until his premature death; the 5% risk of surgery wouldn't seem so daunting.  A friend's father refused a valve replacement, and, as his doctor warned, he went into intractable heart failure which eventually killed him.  Spending the last months of your life struggling for air, feeling like you're suffocating is not the way most people want to go. 

 

I realize the show needed to downplay the risks of no surgery in order to make it look like Zeek's reasoning wasn't totally ridiculous, but it was just so illogical to pretend that the only consequence was continued random fainting spells. 

 

And, yeah, it was entirely stupid for a couple, one of whom has a serious heart condition, would purchase a house on a hill in San Francisco with multiple staircases.  Even if they were in perfect health, Zeek and Camille are both in their 70's, why would they want such a big place with so many obstacles to accessibility?  We haven't gotten an explanation from the show and it makes no sense at all.  Surely if they wanted to move to the city, there were options far more suitable to their stage in life than that rambling home.  Of course, it does give them plenty of space for Amber and the baby when the time comes.

Edited by doodlebug.
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Agree that the whole Snowflake Academy plot is just way too far fetched. When Adam was working with the kids in the kitchen for his "Culinary Arts Class," one of the kids asked him if he could light the stove. Adam told him no, not yet and then the kid said that was too bad because he really likes fire. I had to rewind and put on the closed captioning to make sure that's exactly what the kid said and sure enough it was. What kinds of kids are they really letting into this school? Maybe Snowflake Academy will be burnt down and they can try to come up with something more realistic for Kristina to do.

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Agree that the whole Snowflake Academy plot is just way too far fetched. When Adam was working with the kids in the kitchen for his "Culinary Arts Class," one of the kids asked him if he could light the stove. Adam told him no, not yet and then the kid said that was too bad because he really likes fire. I had to rewind and put on the closed captioning to make sure that's exactly what the kid said and sure enough it was. What kinds of kids are they really letting into this school? Maybe Snowflake Academy will be burnt down and they can try to come up with something more realistic for Kristina to do.

Right - they were lighting matches, using knives, handling raw chicken -  all on day 1 of "culinary arts class".   That is NOT the way to teach kids to cook!. 

I can't get past the fact that they were able to go from a vendor who was going to provide everything, to making their own food in the time frame of what?  24  hours? 

When they re-habbed that old building to turn it into a school, they magically anticpated this would happen, and had a kitchen (which they would not have needed if lunches came from a vendor), fully equipped to cook and serve (and teach!) 

I guess they had unlimited funds.

 

Oh, and don't worry, if running a school doesn't work, I'm sure Kristina could decide to do something else.  Let's see, she tried politics, maybe she could be a doctor?  Lawyer?  Head of a large corporation?  she is a Braverman, after all.  

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I don't think Sarah was wrong in reaction. I know plenty of people were like, "Sarah should shut her mouth and give Amber a hug".. yeah, no. I don't think so. I think yes, her reaction wasn't ideal but, what the hell is Amber doing? It seems like she was just going to sit around..and let things happen? She wasn't even going to tell Ryan?  I mean.. whatever. 

 

Exactly! Sarah might need to work on her tone and timing, but what she was trying to say was really important. Being a good parent/grandparent/friend isn't just about offering unquestionable support. It's important to have people in your lives who will ask those difficult questions, even if they're hard to hear.

 

Personally, I think Amber wanted to get pregnant, or at least fell in love with the idea of having a baby after having gurney sex with Ryan. Pregnancy tests are pricy (especially for someone with a limited income like Amber), and in my experience, most women don't purchase tests until there period is late - unless they want to be pregnant! 

 

Agreed! Surely after the deed she should have been reaching for the Morning After Pill if she didn't want a pregnancy.

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Gaaah. Of course Christina's big crisis turned into triumph when the unhappy parent proclaimed Adam a *GENIUS!* for coming up with the cue-linary class idea! I'm sure the Snowflake Academy will soon be world-renowned!

Next week, Snowflake Academy will be collaborating with Chez Panisse and Max will become a cue-linary celebrity when Guy Fieri comes to interview him! Actually, that would be pretty awesome because you know Max would ask an endless stream of questions and drive Guy Fieri crazy: "Why do you wear your sunglasses on the back of your head? Do you think know how stupid your hair color is? Why do you wear so many bracelets? Is it true that the food at your restaurants totally sucks?"

 

Speaking of snowflakes, Julia's whole "not MY perfect kid!" routine in the school office was so obnoxious. As others have mentioned, that kid's been a total brat since day one, Julia's just noticing it now? Joel looked mortified, as he should have been. Sydney totally rules that roost and she knows it.

Sadly, her reaction is pretty typical. One of my friends teaches elementary school and she said many of the parents who are called in for meetings because their kids are misbehaving are totally in denial. They say things like, "You must be mistaken because my little snowflake is always well behaved. Maybe it's something you're doing." I think Julia knew that the teacher was telling the truth but she was so embarrassed by the combination of Sydney's behavior and Joel telling the teacher that they are separated that she just wanted to get the hell out of there.

 

So, basically Kristina can pull away Adam from his job, the one guaranteed to make a steady paycheck, all because Kristina needs to make people's lunches? Why didn't she leave and go get the lunches?

What really makes no sense is that Adam works in San Francisco. Snowflake Academy is supposed to be somewhere in downtown Berkeley. Whole Foods is on Telegraph (about two miles from downtown Berkeley). So Kristina thought the best use of their collective resources was to have Adam spend 30-45 minutes driving across the bridge to Whole Foods, another 20 minutes shopping, another 10 minutes driving to Snowflake Academy to drop off the food, and another 30-45 minutes driving back to SF to go back to work? Obviously Adam should spend up to two hours driving around instead of Kristina just driving two miles herself. They hired Happy Endings Dave to be the principal so what exactly does Kristina need to do at school while the kids are all in class that she can't go run this urgent errand herself?

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My only question is why didn't Julia give the teacher a card for the Snowflake Academy?  "If the poor little fat girl can't cope with regular school, my brother and his wife run a school for these types of overly sensitive kids."

That is very blame the victim thinking. The fact that the teacher is aware and reported the select examples she knew about, tells me that more heinous harassment had probably happened earlier. Teachers are always the last to know. Sydney's victim should not have to leave the school. Sydney should.

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Exactly! Sarah might need to work on her tone and timing, but what she was trying to say was really important. Being a good parent/grandparent/friend isn't just about offering unquestionable support. It's important to have people in your lives who will ask those difficult questions, even if they're hard to hear.

 

This is what I am getting at.  You can be supportive, while instilling upon the other person the incredible responsibility they are taking upon themselves.  For someone in Amber's situation, I would absolutely want to know what their plan was, and how they intended to make this work.  That isn't being judgmental, it's about using your experience as a parent to assure they have a workable plan rooted in reality.       

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Once again, Zeke and Amber slay me.  Actually, Zeke and just about everyone else worked for me this week - whether we agree with Zeke's choice about the surgery, I don't think it's crazy to believe that reasonable people (i.e., non-Bravermans) can have different opinions.  I have to say that, of all the discussions between the kids and Zeke, the one that was the most mature and adult was (bizarrely) between Zeke and Crosby.  Adam and Julia can rant and rave and dictate to the their father what's "going to be done because they say so", but Crosby and Camille actually are better at handling Zeke.

 

If we never see Snowflake Academy again, that'd be cool with me.

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That is very blame the victim thinking. The fact that the teacher is aware and reported the select examples she knew about, tells me that more heinous harassment had probably happened earlier. Teachers are always the last to know. Sydney's victim should not have to leave the school. Sydney should.

Is Snowflake Academy just for high school aged students or could Sydney go there as well? If she could, I could definitely see that happening on this show. Hell, I guess I could see it happening even if it was just for high school kids - they would make an exception for Syd or they'll bring back the discussion that Joel and Julia had with a teacher a couple of seasons back (or maybe it was even last season) as to how gifted she was and she was bored in class because of it and have Sydney skip a few grades right into high school. She is, after all, another Special Snowflake Braverman.

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So, basically Kristina can pull away Adam from his job, the one guaranteed to make a steady paycheck, all because Kristina needs to make people's lunches? Why didn't she leave and go get the lunches?

and that was after Adam tells Crosby that he needs to take care of the 11 o'clock thing in the studio by himself, since Adam MUST go talk hot his father RIGHT NOW, they argue and end up leaving the studio abandoned, because it looks like Amber is taking time off to cry about her life.

Very good way to make a name for themselves, by canceling the client (if they even thought about canceling) 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment

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Grammeryn- I was being totally facetious with that "fat girl"comment. I was speaking as Julia might because of her Braverman sense of entitlement and over the top conviction that what is done the Braverman way is the right way. Sydney couldn't ever be the problem, so the other kids that can't get along with her are the problem in Parenthood world.

I would never suggest isolating or blaming the victim in any real or imagined scenario. I was the poor little fat girl,

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Why can't anyone ever get an abortion? They happen and they are difficult but they happen for a reason and it needs to be depicted and now, again, It's barely on the table. Amber had already decided when she did the ultrasound. Frankly it pisses me off.

To be fair, Drew's then-girlfriend Amy had an abortion back in season 3 or something.  I seem to remember it being depicted with a reasonable amount of reality and sensitivity...

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I'm thinking of making myself a t-shirt or a mug or something with Snowflake Academy on it, but it needs a motto or a tagline of some kind so that it's not just a snowflake and "Snowflake Academy." Got any ideas?

(Yes yes I'm watching this again, God help me.)

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The Luncheonette is in the Haight. Zeek and Camille's new place is in San Francisco. But for some reason, Adam and Crosby were driving on the freeway for a really long time (and it was really obvious that they were on an LA freeway).

 

 

Now boogaloo.....you know darn well you are not supposed to even notice details like this!!  This IS the Braverman's show you know!  :)

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I realized during Joel/Julia's fight that this show is ending and in six years the only Braverman in-laws we've ever met are Jasmine's family. All through Kristina's cancer we never met her family. Joel adopts a child and his marriage falls apart and we never see his parents or siblings. Has he even mentioned his family? Does Camille have any siblings? It's like marrying into the Braverman family is the equivalent of the witness protection program. Once you marry into it, your identity as anything other than an honorary Braverman is erased. 

 

That's a lot of wasted story potential.

 

 

Is Snowflake Academy just for high school aged students or could Sydney go there as well? If she could, I could definitely see that happening on this show. Hell, I guess I could see it happening even if it was just for high school kids - they would make an exception for Syd or they'll bring back the discussion that Joel and Julia had with a teacher a couple of seasons back (or maybe it was even last season) as to how gifted she was and she was bored in class because of it and have Sydney skip a few grades right into high school. She is, after all, another Special Snowflake Braverman.

 

Sydney is gifted and a bully. IMO, the last place she should be allowed to go is the Snowflake Academy. I shudder to think what she would do to 40 special needs kids in a school run by her obnoxious, entitled, boundary-ignoring family. She'd move on to full-blown psychopathy.

Edited by marceline.
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That isn't being judgmental, it's about using your experience as a parent to assure they have a workable plan rooted in reality.

I don’t know…sometimes being judgmental is appropriate, such as at a time that I’m exercising judgment. However, I know that when people are saying someone is being  judgmental it’s because it’s usually accompanied with a healthy dose of morality and the attitude of “well, that’s not how or what I would do”. Even if Sarah is being super judgmental, she’s concerned because being a parent is hard. Under the most ideal situations (financial, relationship, environmental, familial), it’s hard. Nothing in life is ideal, but there are certainly situations that are less than ideal. That’s where Amber finds herself. It could all work out brilliantly, and all the concerns will be moot, but history has shown that her specific situation will be a tough road. Sarah doesn't know how to get a point across well. Nothing new there either.

Edited by msani19.
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but it's not a private school, exactly.  It's a charter school, getting some funds from taxes.

But public schools get funds from taxes and they aren't required to provide individual lunches.  I think most schools have cafeterias, so maybe they are required to offer some food as an option, but if the kids don't like it they bring there own.

 

I rolled my eyes at the scene where Sarah and Hank were wondering how it was possible for Amber and Ryan to have had sex in the hospital.  I hate when shows have their characters comment on the ridiculousness that viewers have been questioning.

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Kristina has only mentioned that her dad was "not like Adam" to Haddie because Adam was not as tough and Kristina's was and she didn't have a good relationship with him.

Kristina also spoke to her mother while she was being treated (before her first chemo appointment maybe?) and I think her mom said that she couldn't come because [stepfather? I think?]'s gout was acting up? It was some kind of recurring ailment that, in comparison to cancer and chemo, was relatively benign.  That's when Camille stepped in with the sweater and said something to the effect of "I love you as much as I love my bio-kids" because she realized how hurt Kristina was when her mom couldn't be bothered to come and see her and help her out when she had a life-threatening illness.

 

Of course, in true Braverman fashion, I believe Camille also took it upon herself to like, rearrange Kristina's kitchen cabinets, and was otherwise driving her batshit insane at the time, but still: it was a nice moment.

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Getting a little tried of the bully trope.  I was the little nerd fat girl in the 60' s and pretty much was told to suck it up and deal.  It made me tougher.  No one gets in my face anymore.  It's hysterical that the "near do well" trailer trash bullies try to "friend" me now..

 

Kristina needs to go work at WalMart.  I am sick of her grandiiose career nonsense. 

 

Don"t even get me started on the 5 stories San Fran house where old peolple retiire.  That's just stupid.  How is that less maintenece than the  first house?

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The closest Walmart is in Oakland and based on the first five seasons, Kristina and most of the Bravermans never venture into Oaktown.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo.
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Crosby probably took pity of Nora.  I think she is being raised by the never-seen dog.

The dog - maybe they can start a vet tech program - they started a culinary arts program overnight - surely they can do the same for children interested in animals

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The whole open heart surgery discussion was so ridiculous.  Zeek and Camille speak to the doctor who tells them that the only thing that will happen if Zeek doesn't have surgery is he will continue to have random fainting spells.

 

My memory is fairly fuzzy on details, but I believe the doctor said something more dire could happen, he said something like, "that would be it, my friend."  I liked that doctor and wished I could have had him for my mom and grandma.  He actually cared, and didn't have his face in an electronic medical record screen.

 

 

Getting a little tried of the bully trope.  I was the little nerd fat girl in the 60' s and pretty much was told to suck it up and deal.  It made me tougher.  No one gets in my face anymore.  It's hysterical that the "near do well" trailer trash bullies try to "friend" me now..

It's a little different now, with social media.  It has to be taken a little more seriously, and it will be interesting to see if they sugar coat it here, or get some serious intervention for the little hell-on-wheels Sydney.

 

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It's a little different now, with social media.  It has to be taken a little more seriously, and it will be interesting to see if they sugar coat it here, or get some serious intervention for the little hell-on-wheels Sydney.

 

It's not really different.  It's just a variation of the same thing, coupled with media hype to make it seem scary and different.  Telling kids to toughen up works for some kids, but not others, and you would always want to try to stop a bully before things start to escalate.  Though, judging by her reaction to relatively benign questions from her parents, Sydney has serious issues well beyond bullying.   

 

Don"t even get me started on the 5 stories San Fran house where old people retire.  That's just stupid.  How is that less maintenance than the first house?

 

The other house was on a much bigger property, had issues associated with the upkeep of that specific house, along with there being other buildings on the property that needed maintaining.  It could be the newer house, while very large, still requires a lot less upkeep because the physical property is much smaller and if the house was in good shape when they bought it. 

Edited by txhorns79.
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My memory is fairly fuzzy on details, but I believe the doctor said something more dire could happen, he said something like, "that would be it, my friend."  I liked that doctor and wished I could have had him for my mom and grandma.  He actually cared, and didn't have his face in an electronic medical record screen.

The doctor said something about Zeek falling and hitting his head, which is a real concern, but not something the many people don't deal with on a daily basis - people who have epilepsy. 

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I was recently reading that cyber bullying is more strongly related to suicidal ideation than traditional bullying, for both victims and perpetrators.  It's a serious issue that the show could do a lot with, but I have a feeling it's going to be just a device for Joel and Julia to work together.  Or maybe Camille or Zeek will administer some grandparental wisdom the way they have with Amber, Haddie, Drew, Victor.  Any which way they handle it, I hope they just don't drop it in a facile way.  I can dream.

 

Edit:  Not to belabor the point, but the doctor does warn Zeek the mitral valve problem could be fatal, he says fainting will happen again and if it happens while driving or he hits his head in a fall, "my friend, it's been nice knowing you."  Zeek gets it, he's in denial at first, but he gets that he doesn't want to check out that way.  It is too bad that he drives home from the appointment, though. 

Edited by ShadowFacts.
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Re:bullying, social media doesn't fundamentally change what bullying is and how it affects someone, but what it does is expand its reach significantly.  When someone is being picked on at school then at least when they leave school they are out of reach of the bully.  With social media being such a significant part of people's lives, though, it means the bullies can continue to torment the victim all day every day and anywhere they go.  

 

But anyway, even with good old traditional bullying happening at school the notion that kids should just be told to suck it up seems bizarre to me.  Sydney was making fun of this girl's weight, actively excluding her, and getting other people to gang up on her and the teacher saw it happen.  Does it really seem like something the teacher should just ignore?  I can't even imagine.  It's not like she had Sydney arrested.  As far as we've seen so far there have been no disciplinary actions taken at all.  The teacher started a conversation with the parents, which strikes me as a reasonable and important first step in addressing the problem.

 

And when it was brought up with Sydney she flipped out, so clearly she is having some issues.  I mean, other than just being a spoiled and often nasty piece of work in general.  

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Not that I missed him but why couldn't they have at least given some excuse for Drew not being there to help celebrate Zeek's birthday. Hello, the old man DID give Drew that classic car that he and Victor had worked so hard to restore!  Also would it have killed them to at least say Haddie had flown back East?

  Oh, well. If Zeek's 72 now, if his mother Blanche's still living that means she's 89 which means she had him when she was 17. It wouldn't be the first time a very young new parent wound up [not exactly]growing up with their child. LOL

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All these examples of the ridiculousness of this show is so unreal right! Yes! Where is that little snit Drew after Zeke handed over that car? And Christine, whats next indeed. Doctor? Lawyer? How bout Indian chief? Why doesn't she run a comb through her hair once in awhile? Or iron her clothes? Oh that's right! She's wonder mom! We, as viewers, have to get the visual for making it seem so real. She can even raise her younger daughter without being there! THIS SHOW!

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Snowflake Academy looked like a college dorm lounge.  I've never seen a highschool school with sofas and cushions for the students to just hang out.  And agreed with the whole ridiculousness of the lunch thing, unless that was some sort of selling point to get the 39 other kids to sign up for the charter school.

 

I just lol'd when Joel and Julia saying they didn't know why Sydney was acting out.  Besides the fact that she's been a spoiled entitled brat since she was a toddler, why do you think she's behaving worse?  Having her dad move out wouldn't be it, you think?   I still don't know why he had to do that, even if they were fighting, couldn't he have just slept in the guest room?  Moving out, especially when you have kids you say you love, should have been the ultimate last resort, not the first choice.  I have to agree with Julia that Joel blew it and he just can't act like its all normal.

 

Amber has to be nuts to think that Sarah would approve of her having a baby as a single mother, without even telling the father and giving him a say.  Maybe she should talk with Crosby about how rude that can be.  And what did Amber really think Sarah was going to say, "sure, go ahead have a child on your own without a college education, few marketable skills, and little money.  Its worked out so well for me, can't you see?  Too bad I don't have a guest house you can freeload at when you lose your next entry-level job."

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Amber has to be nuts to think that Sarah would approve of her having a baby as a single mother, without even telling the father and giving him a say.  Maybe she should talk with Crosby about how rude that can be.

This is a good point. Did Amber say she wasn't planning to tell the father? I must have missed that. No way is the rest of the family go along with that once she starts showing.  Especially Zeek, once he finds out this part, I can't imagine he would support this.

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Here's an article from a few years ago describing the status of meals in California's charter schools: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/01/local/la-me-0101-charter-food-20110101. According to the article, "Mealtime is more complicated at the more than 900 publicly financed charter schools in California. Unlike traditional campuses that must follow state nutrition regulations for schools, charters can make independent decisions about what's for lunch. Some charter schools told the state that they provide an alternative meals program without government funding. Even with access to government funding, other charter schools report that they do not have the resources to feed students on campus or to comply with the numerous food safety, nutrition and administrative requirements to participate in federal meal programs."

 

Two years ago, a bill was introduced that would have required CA charter schools to offer free/reduced lunch to low income students but it was vetoed by the governor ("Pupil nutrition is profoundly important, but so also is the fundamental premise of charter schools that they be free from large portions of the voluminous state Education Code. I am reluctant to erode the independence and flexibility that have well served the families and teachers who choose charter schools.").

 

 

I predict the circle of life.

 

Me too but I hope it involves Max being devoured by his neglected dog.

Edited by Jessie Q.
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I agree that bullying is different now, because kids can't escape it when they leave school because of social media. Used to be, an outsider type,of kid could switch schools, or even find peace and enjoyment in other activities or just at home, but now those little shits will keep bullying them online so that they never get a break. They'll find out what school their victim transferred to and message someone there (they can always find their own kind) to tell them anything that will humiliate the victim all over.

As for Zeek and Camille's house, while,lovely, it was a poor choice for a retirement property, even if it's in perfect condition. All those stairs are a big mistake, the first issue in retirement is decreased mobility. Eventually, it is likely that one of them will need a cane or walker or wheelchair, or be bedridden for certain lengths of time (as in, lost-surgery) or carting oxygen around. All those stairs would be a huge hindrance. Not to mention, Zeek being in danger of fainting, if you faint in your living room, it's a short fall, but if you're on one of the many staircases they have, it would be long trip.

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As for Zeek and Camille's house, while,lovely, it was a poor choice for a retirement property, even if it's in perfect condition. All those stairs are a big mistake, the first issue in retirement is decreased mobility. Eventually, it is likely that one of them will need a cane or walker or wheelchair, or be bedridden for certain lengths of time (as in, lost-surgery) or carting oxygen around. All those stairs would be a huge hindrance. Not to mention, Zeek being in danger of fainting, if you faint in your living room, it's a short fall, but if you're on one of the many staircases they have, it would be long trip.

We don't even need to go "medical conditions". As we get older, we generally try to avoid stairs, especially at home, so we don't have to climb up and down for anything we want to do. 

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Two years ago, a bill was introduced that would have required CA charter schools to offer free/reduced lunch to low income students but it was vetoed by the governor ("Pupil nutrition is profoundly important, but so also is the fundamental premise of charter schools that they be free from large portions of the voluminous state Education Code. I am reluctant to erode the independence and flexibility that have well served the families and teachers who choose charter schools.").

 

Independence and flexibility in school curriculum and teaching methods is one thing.  Nutrition is another, and shouldn't be contingent on what type of education the child is getting.  I fail to see what making the school confirm to certain basic nutrition standards has to do with "independence and flexibility" with providing an education that would be affected by such a bill.

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Independence and flexibility in school curriculum and teaching methods is one thing.  Nutrition is another, and shouldn't be contingent on what type of education the child is getting.  I fail to see what making the school confirm to certain basic nutrition standards has to do with "independence and flexibility" with providing an education that would be affected by such a bill.

 

It seems that being required to provide lunches is both a space and funding issue.  Some of these charter schools don't have the facilities to make lunches, and some (many?) wouldn't be able to handle that additional expense and still be able to function.

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Never. And, I mean EVER have I wanted to smack three fictional, tv characters as much as I wanted to smack Sidney, Max, and Kristina.

Sidney has ALWAYS been a brat! I can't think of one scene where she wasn't a self-centered, indulgent snot head. The fact that she's turning into a bully while her mom gets her rocks off with the unnamed coworker and her dad moles....not all that shocking. And, if I were newly adopted brother, I'd be watching my cereal bowl with that kind of sister.

Max demanding a photography elective is hysterical. I mean, for those of us in reality. Even charter schools have curriculum reviews and standards for credit. It's called a hobby, Max. Learn it. Love it.

Kristina is completely unbelievable. You can't possibly expect to run a school with one administrator. She's not even qualified to be a principal.

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Was Drew in the season premiere?  Or is the last time we saw him heading out of town in Zeke's restored car??

 

I loved the Zeke and Amber scene, but most of the rest of the ep was terrible. Someone mentioned up-thread the way he calls the kids, "Grand-Son" or "Grand-Daughter," which is adorable, and I noticed last Christmas that Craig T. Nelson does the exact same thing in the movie "The Family Stone."  So I'm wondering if it's something the actor ad-libbed at first, and the writers picked up?? 

 

And yeah, the Bravermans are all going to be working at Special Snowflake Academy by the end of the year.  Crosby can teach music and Jasmine can do dance, Millie can be the art teacher, Hank will teach photography and Sarah...I'm not sure.  Bartending?  Screenwriting?  Getting obsessed with something and dropping it the next season?  That leaves Julia to do all the "real" subjects, like math and English, for which the kids will have approximately 15 minutes.

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Was Drew in the season premiere?  Or is the last time we saw him heading out of town in Zeke's restored car??

 

He was in the premiere briefly, painting at the Snowflake Academy. He had that pill of a girlfriend with him.

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Isn't it part of the deal that was brokered for the final season? The actors were limited as to how many episodes they would appear in right? Not for nothing, but if there are characters we're just not going to see, there are a few I could live without (and Drew and his terrible girlfriend might be #1 on the list).

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if there are characters we're just not going to see, there are a few I could live without (and Drew and his terrible girlfriend might be #1 on the list

Agreed.  Those two aren't likeable enough to watch and not quite annoying enough to bash.  So not sure what to do with them.

 

If it were up to me I'd like to see the series/season wrap up with:

  1. Max having a "breakthrough" in terms of better, more sociable behavior and respect for others (stop coddling him Kristina, just because he's your "bud!")
  2. Jasmine getting to do something interesting instead of just standing around holding Aida and being supportive of Crosby.
  3. Amber getting a working, stable, realistic life plan in place so she has a good start for her and her baby.  And it would be nice if she could get the walls of that grim apartment painted.
  4. Plenty of scenes with Camille and Zeek being the awesome parents/grandparents that they are, and neither of them dying, please.
Edited by JasminePhyllisia.
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Consider the Herculean task of baby-proofing that bizarre apartment Amber lives in.

 

I would watch the Ray Romano and Betsy Brandt show. Sans Sarah. She did NOT seem happy to have Ruby come in to their lives.

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