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S06.E06: Too Big To Fail 2014.10.30

I guess she's going to expect a full paycheck during her maternity leave?  What is she going to do for childcare?

 

It amazes me that even if Amber hasn't considered issues like the cost of a crib, etc., that her mother or other family members haven't stepped in by this point to help her start the planning process.  I mean, she is six months along, what are they waiting for?  Even if she is going to get a baby shower that fulfills all her immediate baby needs, it seems like she still has a ton of planning to do and choices to make.    

 

 

I did appreciate that Amber didn't mention the baby when she was asking for a raise, she made it a professional thing.

 

I figure it is already understood, so she doesn't have to say anything because her stomach says it for her. 

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I figure it is already understood, so she doesn't have to say anything because her stomach says it for her.

Yeah, she was belly-cupping like a pro.  

 

I realize I've been kind of hard on the Amber character, but I think it's because the character is just drawn so improbably.  I can't imagine she's ever earned enough at the jobs she's had to have her own large apartment in the City, with no roommate, let alone the upkeep/insurance/parking on a car.  It would make much more sense, now that's she's expecting a baby, to move in with Sarah or even Zeke and Camille, or for her and Drew to share a place.  Forget about stressing about not being able to afford automatically collapsing strollers -- that's the least of her concerns.  

 

 

It amazes me that even if Amber hasn't considered issues like the cost of a crib, etc., that her mother or other family members haven't stepped in by this point to help her start the planning process.  I mean, she is six months along, what are they waiting for?  Even if she is going to get a baby shower that fulfills all her immediate baby needs, it seems like she still has a ton of planning to do and choices to make.

I think Sarah would be more involved, if Amber didn't immediately take any practical advice from Sarah as an attack and criticism.  Kristina is obviously not interested in any child other than Max.  Jasmine hasn't been shown to have much of a relationship with Amber, though she'd probably be able to give the best advice, as she was pretty much in Amber's shoes herself in raising Jabbar.  You'd think Julia, who was so baby crazy a couple of seasons back she went out and adopted a 12-year old, would be more involved, but I guess she's pretty involved with NotJoel right now.  

 

What Amber really needs is a partner to help with the demands of a newborn, and money to pay for basic necessities, and those aren't really things anyone in her family can give her.  Drew's realizing this, and growing up quickly.  

Edited by annlaw78.
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I thought that when Drew first visited Berkeley, or some other college, with his girlfriend & her parents, he expressed an interest in some type of science field - biology or chemistry.

I remember that, too. I wonder why they dropped it. Did they actually forget??

 

Who spends $2,000 for a one weekend trip for a child's birthday gift anyway? I don't think Jabbar is the only kid in the country that would be mighty disappointed if that was their birthday request and it couldn't happen.

Seriously-- I found the whole thing completely insane. This show is so outside reality sometimes, I can't even believe they don't realize it. But apparently you can illustrate financial ruin by not being able to take spontaneous trips out of town for thousands of dollars on short notice, to celebrate the birthday of a young child. I wouldn't expect them to do it even if they had the money. It just seems like grossly disproportionate behavior.Were we really supposed to feel bad for Jabbar in this situation? He wound up with an awesome party with a bunch of friends, so boo hoo poor baby?

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But apparently you can illustrate financial ruin by not being able to take spontaneous trips out of town for thousands of dollars on short notice, to celebrate the birthday of a young child.

It's the spontaneity of it all that got to me. If you want to take a trip like that you start planning in advance. A spur of the moment plane trip? With a kid? To a popular destination where you would need to book a hotel room? Come on. That's the kind of thing you book far in advance so you can keep using it as leverage to make the kid behave.

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All of you make excellent points about the ways that they could be surviving as a recording studio.  Might I humbly suggest an alternative? The Luncheonette is an historic San Francisco institution (at least that is what we have been led to believe - Janis Joplin recorded there, Grace Slick recorded there, the Grateful Dead recorded there): RENT IT OUT FOR EVENTS.  You can't tell me that the uber-cool beautiful people of San Francisco's tech industry wouldn't trip all over themselves to have launch parties, etc. there, and it seems like the perfect spot for the West Coast equivalent of the Brooklyn-authenticity-Pinterest-wedding people to have their events.  If you're not using your (undoubtedly) very expensive real estate as the recording studio you intended, at least use it for something.

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Yeah.. I'm probably one of the very few who didn't think Sarah was wrong in not jumping for joy when she announced her pregnancy. Considering Sarah knew it would be hard for Amber because she had been there and knew of her relationship with Ryan, Sarah was right on being concerned. Then when she asked when Amber was going to tell Ryan, Amber kind of flipped out, like that was a rude question. The hell? I feel like she was beginning to talk about how hard it will be but Amber freaked out. So I think Sarah probably fears she can't do anything with this baby or helping out unless it's all happy stuff!

I thought Sarah's reaction was fine, too.  My impression was when Sarah became pregnant with Amber, things with Seth were rocky, but they were together and in young love, and I think married.  Seth may not have been a great provider, or always there to help with the diapers and feeding, but he wasn't 1) completely absent, 2) suffering from severe mental illness, and 3) not providing any financial support.  I don't think Seth's substance issues come to a head until later.  So, yes, in retrospect, Seth was a terrible choice for Sarah to hitch her wagon to, but in the beginning, it wasn't quite as dire as what Amber's facing.  

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Yeah.. I'm probably one of the very few who didn't think Sarah was wrong in not jumping for joy when she announced her pregnancy.

 

I am with you on that.  It's strange to me that this episode was three months later than the last one, and Amber still seems to be in the exact same place she was as though no time has passed.  I'm not saying she should be running around in a panic, but I would at least like to see something on her part where she discusses what her plans are, or that she has a plan in mind.  As it is, there seems to be nothing from her.  If anything, it's Drew who is actually at least giving thought on how to provide for the baby, which is just really sad to me, because he obviously has no say in Amber's choices, but he feels he's still responsible to make sure she will be okay.   

 

 

It's the spontaneity of it all that got to me. If you want to take a trip like that you start planning in advance. A spur of the moment plane trip? With a kid? To a popular destination where you would need to book a hotel room? Come on. That's the kind of thing you book far in advance so you can keep using it as leverage to make the kid behave.

 

It was another strange plot point.  I have no idea why you would plan that kind of trip on the fly.  If they wanted to show Jasmine and Crosby on the brink of financial ruin, I would have thought they would have done something similar to what was done with Adam and Kristina where they are literally bouncing checks.  That's a much better indicator of financial stress than not being able to randomly blow $2,000.00 on an elaborate birthday gift.     

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It was another strange plot point.  I have no idea why you would plan that kind of trip on the fly.  If they wanted to show Jasmine and Crosby on the brink of financial ruin, I would have thought they would have done something similar to what was done with Adam and Kristina where they are literally bouncing checks.  That's a much better indicator of financial stress than not being able to randomly blow $2,000.00 on an elaborate birthday gift.

Money on Parenthood is always dealt with rather haphazardly.  Characters careen from financial ruin to opening up new businesses and paying out-of-pocket for Ivy League schools and semesters abroad to bouncing checks and not being able to afford car maintenance.  Camille and Zeke "downsized" to a four-storey Victorian in the City.  Julia and Joel were able to afford two households on Joel's construction draws alone.  Jasmine and Crosby laughed off having to pay for mold remediation without insurance help.  Amber lives this hip SF lifestyle on what I can only imagine is less than $40k a year salary, and no roommates.  Drew borrows for room and board, rather than commute.  This show would make a lot more sense if it were set, as the original movie was (I think) more in middle-America.  And, even then, I recall the Amber-character and her husband lived with the Sarah-character.  And the Crosby-character and his son moved in with his parents for a time.  I've never met such a bunch of middle-aged "screw-ups," as Crosby and Sarah call themselves, which such impressive property portfolios.

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Just a comment about Amber's baby shower

What is the difference between Amber having a baby shower to get a lot of what she needs for the baby, and asking for the family to help? The Bravermans don't have friends. Amber does not have a friend, let alone friends who would step in and help her (Unless it is a friend like Kristina's who died and left her a lot of money)

I still think that the guy from the other episode will show up again, reveal he is actually a start-up tech genius and save Amber, save the studio and invest in the academy, and whatever else needs to be done.

And this being Katims show, he will probably fill in the stereotype of Asperger's genius and save Max too.

Edited by alexvillage.
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Amber's complaining for a raise would have far more merit if she'd actually been a reliable employee who also lived up to the one advantage of hiring her - she was supposed to have a pulse on the young cool music scene, right? So maybe if she'd approached her bosses and said, "hey, I managed to land the newest emo groups around, who are willing to take a break from covering 80s songs for bad Grey's Anatomy montages and come here to record," she might have a case. Demanding a raise after being a rather poor employee and primarily because she chose to get pregnant? Um...she's lucky she still has a job. Shut up, Amber.

 

Plus, she has ready to go day care at Snowflake Academy, I'm sure, as long as the baby learns to pay attention to Max.

 

I was wondering about Drew's interest in biology/chemistry, like other posters. Of all fields, those stand a chance at making some money, albeit after graduate school. If he's primarily concerned with making money, no college major is a guarantee, not even computer science or business. And liberal arts degrees can, in fact, be adapted to a multitude of positions that require critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability, so, in a way, his girlfriend, as dippy as she is, has a point, although I really wish they'd both get the heck off my teevee.

 

Don't even know where to start with the Dylan mess except to say I agree with everyone who pointed out its ridiculousness. 

 

 

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I was wondering about Drew's interest in biology/chemistry, like other posters. Of all fields, those stand a chance at making some money, albeit after graduate school. If he's primarily concerned with making money, no college major is a guarantee, not even computer science or business. And liberal arts degrees can, in fact, be adapted to a multitude of positions that require critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability, so, in a way, his girlfriend, as dippy as she is, has a point, although I really wish they'd both get the heck off my teevee.

I think Drew's point is he wants to be employable in two years, not eight or more down the road after further schooling (and loans).  I know plenty of people with business/finance/managerial science degrees who leapt immediately into consulting or the crazy (but remunerative) life of investment banking.  A Russian lit degree, that his GF was suggesting?  Not so much.  Sure, he could go to law school and apply his general writing, comprehension, and analysis skills to that, but I don't think he wants that.  And, really, unless you get an MD, a PhD in the sciences sadly is not very remunerative -- takes a long time to get your PhD, and then you're stuck in crap-paying post-docs for years.  

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But if there's been no one in there, I don't know what any of them have been doing. Have they been trying to book new clients? They should have been doing that before anyway, if Oliver was their only client.

Not to mention, where the hell did all those peanut shells come from if the studio has been devoid of clients for months? Do Adam, Crosby, and Amber toss shells on the floor of their own workplace? Have the shells been there for months and Amber's just now getting around to vacuuming? Inquiring minds want to know!

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As for the Luncheonette, when it opened, wasn't there a big deal made by some recording artists how it had historical significance, how cool it was for them to record there? And they had a couple of actual "name" musicians, if I recall. How do they go from being so awesome and trendy and busy to having no business at all within a year?

 

I may be mis-remembering, but doesn't this all come back to Adam insisting that the Luncheonette totally change their business model to become a "label" for Ashes of Rome instead of just a recording studio? Maybe that's why they aren't getting any acts in to record, becasue they changed course and instead want to sign contracts with bands to be a full record label.

 

Obviously since that aspect of things has failed so spectacularly (and I wish they'd explain that more--so the other label signed Oliver as a solo act...does that mean he left his band for good? Becuase they still have a contract with Ashes of Rome, if they got back together would everything ostensibly be all fine again? I don't get it.) they should get back to just being a straight up recording studio.

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See this is a problem with this show. I've seen every minute of every episode, yet I read Ashes of Rome and draw a blank. Even the character Oliver is only vague to me. They jump around so much from thing to the next, it's exhausting. I forgot about Kristina's ridiculous run for mayor and the scandal of Amber and the opponent until someone mentioned it, yet, it only happened two years ago. Exhausting!

I don't have an issue, however, with Crosby and Jasmine planning a birthday weekend extravaganza on the spur of the moment - if they could afford it. It's not unrealistic, we've gone on last minute trips (yes, by plane) with our kids when schedules suddenly opened up. And maybe a trip to Harry Potter Land was always a future plan (I know lots of families who have plans to go to Disney at some future point) and Jasmine just figured, what the hell, why not do it for Jabbar's birthday? Then learning the financial dire straits they were in.

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I am late catching up to the episode, and I watched half of it.

Someone should have given Mae Whitman some coaching on how to play a pregnant woman. The belly grabbing was almost like a satire of "how to hold your belly". Sometimes it looked like she was actually HOLDING it, as in IT MIGHT FALL. At other times she was grabbing it with only one hand, then had to do something with that hand and IMMEDIATELY grabbed the belly with the other hand. IT won't fall, MW, It won't. 

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I too was late in watching this episode, since it dealt primarily with the families of Sarah and Adam, which I dislike the most.

 

First, what mother doesn't tell her teenaged son that it is not appropriate to invite a teenage girl for a sleep over?  I mean seriously, tell Max no for a change.  And then not speak once to Dylan's parents about the arrangement?  I would be very pissed if the mother of a teenage boy acted like that towards my daughter, even if I thought for an instant it would ok in any universe for a teenage girl to do a sleepover at a teenage boys house, Autism or not.

 

Second, Amber is how many months pregnant and knows absolutely nothing about carrying for a baby?  Where the heck are all her aunts and why hasn't she asked them a single question about what she'll need and what do they have left over she can use?  Didn't Jasmine have a baby shower for Aida that Amber would have gone to, or Kristina one for Nora?

 

Drew about the only one I could stomach, because at least he's acting like an adult in realizing that he's likely going to have to support his current family at least as much as any future family he may have.

 

I'm assuming the Luncheonette still has some clients (hence the peanuts on the floor), just not as many as before.  I can't believe that just because they lost one recording artist that they entire business is falling apart.  It should have made more sense along the lines that they were still having business coming in, but it wasn't enough to pay off the bills incurred by Ashes of Rome (i.e. having to pay back the concert promoter).

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I'm assuming the Luncheonette still has some clients (hence the peanuts on the floor), just not as many as before.

 

I think Adam referred to only having booked the studio a few times in the last three months.  I don't remember the number, but I think it was pretty low.

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Second, Amber is how many months pregnant and knows absolutely nothing about carrying for a baby?  Where the heck are all her aunts and why hasn't she asked them a single question about what she'll need and what do they have left over she can use?  Didn't Jasmine have a baby shower for Aida that Amber would have gone to, or Kristina one for Nora?

 

Aside from her aunts who have had babies more recently, she also has a mother she could go to for guidance. I know Sarah wasn't thrilled with the idea of Amber having a baby at her stage in life, but she came around as much as one could expect and it's clear their relationship is still in good standing as Amber attended game night and they were so in sync with each other. Sarah would never turn her down or not help if she was asked. So instead of taking your 19 year old brother to shop for baby stuff, how about bringing someone who might actually be of use? Drew's a smart, sweet kid, but seriously, what does that boy know about babies? All the Bravermans who have had babies and Amber can't think of anyone more appropriate to accompany her than Drew? She would have been better off taking one of the actual babies with her. I'm sure Nora was free.

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All the Bravermans who have had babies and Amber can't think of anyone more appropriate to accompany her than Drew?

 

In fairness, Drew has apparently decided that the entire burden of raising the baby will fall upon him, so it probably was smart to take him shopping.  Otherwise, I agree that Amber's lack of planning at this point is kind of alarming, and mostly baffling. 

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Can't say I missed Sydney or Zeek.

Ack, Sydney. I went back to the first season this week and watched a few episodes, and that little girl has been heinous from Day One. I feel bad saying this about a child, but I cannot stand to see her on screen. 

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I'm calling it now. Amber dies in childbirth but the baby lives.

I hadn't even considered this, but you could be on to something ... seeing Sarah face raising that baby would be very poignant, given that she undoubtedly would feel she needed to do things very differently this time around. And seeing Hank step up would be interesting, too ... but given that Mark is coming back, will he figure into this somehow?

Edited by Literata.
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In the movie version, the Sarah character does marry the teacher and they have a baby at about the same time as the Amber character does,  I thought that was the direction they were going a couple seasons ago, but then Sarah blew things up and got with Hank, and seemed to have closure last season with Mark.  I can't imagine him coming back just to say how happy he is with his new wife, how boring and redundant would that be?

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My college design teammate is one of the executives for the company that makes the Origami stroller! That's the second most exciting bit of product placement I've ever seen! Way to go, Mary!

I like that Drew is being mature, but I think the whole "I have to support my sister" bit is a little too over the top saintly. I would have been satisfied with an explanation like, "Look, my mom and my sister aren't doing so great. Family safety nets only stretch so far. I have to make the most of this opportunity because others might use up all the family resources."

Just a comment about Amber's baby shower

What is the difference between Amber having a baby shower to get a lot of what she needs for the baby, and asking for the family to help?

Well, I'm not sure if this really answers your question, but one difference is that a shower is not thrown by the prego, it's thrown for her by others (friends and/or family). You're right that the list of gift givers would be the same either way since the Bravermans are actually a cult and thus not allowed to have friends outside the family, but the initiator of the interaction would be different. Edited by takalotti.
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I was watching this episode with my adult daughter. When Jabbar said he wanted to go to Harry Potter World for his birthday......

 

Daughter: There's no HPW in California. And in Florida, the place where it is, it's at Universal.

Me: There must be something similar.

D: I'm going to look it up on the Interwebs.  Nope, nothing like that in California.

Me: Who would go to Florida on a few days notice for a child's birthday?

Chorus of Two: THE BRAVERMANS!!

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