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S06.E13: May God Bless And Keep You Always 2015.01.29

I'm glad that Sarah got her "happily ever after", I'm just not happy that it was with Hank. I don't know why, but Hank was my least favorite of Sarah's romantic partners. The teacher (sorry I'm forgetting his name) she almost married was great. Even the guy who lived in her building (the one who went off to Africa without her because she kept waffling about Hank) had more of a spark with her, and they weren't even together that long. Hank just seems like someone that she'll always have to "manage". He has the emotional maturity of a child. Despite the great love story I'm supposed to buy into, all I can seem to remember are the passive-aggressive ways that he would try to undercut Sarah anytime she started to grow away from him personally and professionally. And during all that weirdness with his ex-wife and daughter, Hank was 200% useless. And every single time, Sarah responded as if she was the one with the problem and cleaned up the mess, so to speak. 

Come to think of it, maybe those two will be perfect together. Two codependent hot messes in love.

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Hank just seems like someone that she'll always have to "manage".

In a way, I can't understand why he likes her. She's a flake who can't focus on a job, let alone a man (and she's always zeroing in on a man). Of all people, Crosby is more stable than she is.

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I'm going to have to unsubscribe from this thread before I lose my mind from having that song stuck in my brain, so I just want to say thanks to all my fellow Parenthood watchers, this is one of those shows that about 90% of the reason I continued watching it was just so I'd get the jokes in the forum.  Thanks for all your utter brilliance!  May God bless and keep you always ... arrrgghhhh.

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One observation is tho I live in the Bay Area, I had to keep reminding myself all these years it was supposed to be taking place here because there was nothing that even had a whiff of this part of the country. Very very nowhere--sort of the way Friends and Seinfeld were in "NYC" and "Cheers" was in Boston and "The Good Wife" is in Chicago--all salient features and speech and ways of being evaporated in favor of some universal American way of being.

That was probably the least important aspect of Parenthood, so no harm done. But it's sad that tv producers demand our regional differences have to be disappear into some sort of 2% reality-free half-gallon carton to be accepted nationwide. Maybe actual regional or even state differentiations could be put forward in 2015?

 

This. As someone intimately familiar with the city and metro area the show was set in, I actually preferred when I could forget it was supposed to be taking place in Berkeley. Of course it doesn't look like the actual place, and one can't expect an LA-based show to do so, especially in exteriors (lots too big with too much space between houses - even large houses in the hills are pretty cheek-by-jowl so nothing like Zeek and Camille's property - sidewalks too wide and new, etc.). But what really got me was the show not even trying to reflect the place it was supposedly set, for instance, when everyone got concern-faced and "Is it safe?!11!" when Amber found her apartment in Oakland, as if Oakland were one big danger zone, or when Max referred to a freeway as "the" 280 (using "the" with route numbers is a So Cal convention, not used in Nor Cal). It would take so little effort to get simple stuff like that right and make it less generic.

Edited by caitmcg.
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Except that no matter where a show is set and no matter how carefully the producers try to replicate that place, there will ALWAYS be someone who posts that they got it wrong, that no one does that, no one goes there, that store is not popular, that road does not take that long to drive, those houses are not affordable, etc. etc. There are variations in every country and in every part of the country, and for every "they got my area exactly right!" there will be another "nobody is like that here!"

So they stick with a reasonable fictionalized and generic version. Of all things to nitpick in Parenthood, this was not one of them for me.

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For my part, I can't say I've been impressed with this season, or rather the writing for the series this season, which is not quite the same thing.  The writing has made me cringe more than once, but the acting has been wonderful. 

 

Mostly what I enjoyed about the finale was reading the reactions of all the people who loved it and felt moved by it.  Realistically I am just not the target audience for this.  I have practically no family other than my son and husband, so I can't relate to the family gatherings or all the "We are Bravermans" stuff.  I sort of find turning nearly all of the women into baby machines downright offensive.  So I had kind of a sour, eye-rolling , didn't-even-mist-up let alone cry reaction to the finale. 

 

Then I read some of the really positive reactions here and elsewhere and that I was really touched by and moved.  The description someone wrote early about their father having died a week ago, that made me tear-up.  Knowing that a lot of people I really like were genuinely moved and made happy by this finale is good enough for me. 

 

I loved Gilmore Girls, personally.  I was a single mom to the only child I ever had when I met my husband and have a really difficult relationship with my surviving parent, my mom.  So I remember crying buckets at that finale, because it had so much personal context for me.  

 

Parenthood ultimately does not.  Still, it was fun to see what a fine actor Dax Shephard is (he is after all married to Kristen Bell, who is delightful, so it was fun to find out her husband is pretty darned talented in his own right).   Between this and Men of a Certain Age, I have become convinced that Ray Romano is a truly gifted actor.  Peter Krause always kicks ass.  Erika Christenson is amazing.  Bonnie Bedelia was largely wasted in this role, which is a shame but hey...can't complain too much.  

 

Everybody committed so much to playing these flawed and difficult characters.   

 

The story choices became just silly and hail from a fictional universe, but I have a lot of friends with large families (and my husband is from a large family ) and reading and hearing how delighted so many people were was a positive experience in and of itself.  Plus, Parenthood ended without actually making me take that rage-induced-header off of my elliptical, so I will file that all under the "win" category.  

 

The thing I really wish Parenthood would have done though?  Let someone, anyone just work a damned job that wasn't the fulfillment of their personal fantasies and dream-chasing.  Why?  Well, simply put, this show made it seem like there is something wrong with that.  That if you aren't following your professional bliss in addition to providing for your family, then you're somehow doing it wrong. 

 

Yeah, I wish Adam had cheerfully taken the Water job and Crosby had taken that Luncheonette check and started saving for his kids college or something.  Just, hey wouldn't it be lovely if we all had jobs that were the stuff of our dreams?  It's just...there's a lot of glory in that work/life balance where you do something you can at least stand doing, for the benefit of those you love.   

 

Stupid gripe, I know.  It just got so Wish Fulfillment in Work and All Things that ....yeah, I'm glad it made so many people happy that I personally know and that's the part I get to be glad about, because some of the other stuff just made me wince. 

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It doesn't seem worthwhile to start a music thread now that the show has ended, so I'll post this comment here, given that the episode's title is related to my gripe.

 

I do not like the Bob Dylan version of Forever Young used over the opening credits.  The sped-up tempo just doesn't sound appropriate to the lyrics, IMO.  The way he races through the song turns it into a parody of itself.  Dylan recorded slow versions of this tune, e.g., here, so I don't understand the choice to use the version they did.

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Does anybody know where Sarah's wedding took place? I though the location was gorgeous, especially the reception area. I loved the shot of Zeek and Crosby and that gigantic glass structure they were sitting in front of while Crosby bemoaned the death of his dream job. I've tried to find info online but have come up short.

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Erika Christenson is amazing.

Speaking of Erika, the first time I remember seeing her was in "The Upside of Anger". Hers was a very small part, but what struck me about her was that she was in the background while wacky things were being said/done, and for some reason I noticed her and zeroed in on her facial expressions because they seemed spot on to me. That's just not something I ordinarily do, focus on background characters. I'm sure she'd be pleased to know that when Parenthood came on, I recognized her as "that girl who played Joan Allen's daughter".

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Does anybody know where Sarah's wedding took place? I though the location was gorgeous, especially the reception area. I loved the shot of Zeek and Crosby and that gigantic glass structure they were sitting in front of while Crosby bemoaned the death of his dream job. I've tried to find info online but have come up short.

It looked like they were trying to make it look like wedding took place at the Brazilian Room in Berkeley but that they actually shot it somewhere else (I'm assuming on location in LA or on a soundstage).

When Sarah said she wanted to have her wedding in a week, I assumed it would be in someone's yard but getting a venue like that on a week's notice? About as likely as Sarah's career as a playwright.

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It doesn't seem worthwhile to start a music thread now that the show has ended, so I'll post this comment here, given that the episode's title is related to my gripe.

 

I do not like the Bob Dylan version of Forever Young used over the opening credits.  The sped-up tempo just doesn't sound appropriate to the lyrics, IMO.  The way he races through the song turns it into a parody of itself.  Dylan recorded slow versions of this tune, e.g., here, so I don't understand the choice to use the version they did.

Because they have a limited time for the opening credits and wanted to play the song through them. 

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It took a while for me to work up the nerve to watch the finale, but I'll add myself to the ugly criers group.

 

Best part for me was Joel's response to the adoption, "She's Victor's sister, she's already ours."  That cued the waterworks for me.
I have to admit that I cried like a baby when Joel said that she is Victor's sister, she is ours already.

 

Yup. Me, too. I really like Joel's and Julia's relationship. Mostly. I also felt like the fourth kid might be theirs biologically -- I immediately thought of the expression "There's no cure for infertility like adoption."

 

Yes. I would have liked to see Camille with some company for that trip... it depressed me to think of her going all by herself and missing Zeek. Haddie could have gone with her... or Drew. Or Tim Riggins, for that matter.

 

Oooh. Go, Grandma Millie!

 

I actually thought it was kind of nice that Camille would make the trip on her own. I like the idea that she'll enjoy a newfound independence, happy to be out of the shadow of Zeek. (I actually began to wonder if the theme of the flashforward portion of the festivities was "See how much better off the Bravermans are in their Zeek-free existence? "No It's A Wonderful Life for you, Zeek! Ha ha ha." Yes: I am a terrible person.)

 

OMG, Crosby, STFU! He is such a child! Yes, we get it, you love the Luncheonette. That doesn't mean Adam is obligated to stay there forever and it doesn't mean that you need to pout, give Adam the cold shoulder, and tell anyone who will listen that this is all Adam's fault.

[Frances Sternhagen] is still alive at age 85 and working as an actress as of 2014.  Maybe she had other commitments.  Maybe Grandma didn't go to the wedding because she was off trekking in Katmandu and couldn't get back on short notice.

 

Thank you! Gahh. My loathing for the Crosby character remains undimmed to the end. How does adorable Jabbar spring from such appalling, self-delighted nutcases? (Loved the shot of Jabbar dancing it up at the wedding.) I liked Drew's speech a lot. It seemed in-character for him to see his mother that way, and it wasn't too polished, in the way that wedding speeches so often are on tv.

 

Or maybe Grandma finally just thought "Ah, screw it! I'm 92 years old. And my son is a horse's ass!"

 

I snarked a lot about Bonnie Bedelia and her plastic surgery frozen face.  However... when from a distance , she realizes Zeke is dead, her emotions did overrule the Botox.  I thought the quick scene with her dragging the suitcase across the cobblestones in Paris was sweet and showed that she would pursue a good life on her own.
 
Can't hate on Dax.  He's a man-boy, and cute as a button.  He played the same type of character in "This is Where I Leave You" and was also enjoyable there.

 

I really like the way Bedelia played Camille's realization. It seemed very true -- a complicated rush of expressions across Camille's face in a few seconds. (Meanwhile, Zeek is only slightly less communicative in death than he was in life.)

 

Can't feel you on the Dax Shepard love, though; his toothy, smarmy mug was a big part of why I found Crosby's man-child act so trying. Also, Dax Shepard struck me as looking very old, all of a sudden, in the finale. Really pale and kind of drawn.

 

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the music on this show. I liked the Iron & Wine/Rhiannon Giddens duet cover of "Forever Young," though I confess I didn't love it. I did love the Sara Watkins song "You And Me" played at the wedding. I liked that one enough to download it right away, actually.

 

I found the ending satisfying, I guess, if a trifle dependent on musical montages. And I didn't even mind so much the wrap party aspect of much of it. If these people had a good time together for six years, more power to them.

 

But by God, that kid playing Nora's an adorable child! Almost to the point that I didn't mind Max having his little hugging breakthrough with her. I didn't have patience for the whole run of the show, but I am glad I saw the end.

 

From the story:

 

Hank opens by saying he doesn't know if Sarah's told Zeek about "the Asperger's thing, like Max." She hasn't, but Zeek rolls with it, saying it explains some things, and that if Sarah's not bothered by it, neither is Zeek.

 

I can't imagine that this last statement has ever been true, throughout Zeek's entire existence. This is one moment that took me out of the show (the other being the whole Adam becomes Dumbledore Snowflake thing). I just didn't believe it.

 

Okay, now I'm done. Really.

Edited by Sandman.
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You killed Coach. YOU BASTARDS.

 

Although I'm glad they waited until the last possible second. It was realisitic to show a family going through a decline with slow acceptance, and Craig T. Nelson deserves an Emmy for this season. 

 

Did anyone think to take a picture of Zeek meeting Zeek?  Or Zeek holding Zeek at the wedding?  Anyone?  All these possible combinations of people, and I was miffed I didn't see that one.

 

I was hoping Camille would yell at Amber for over-bouncing the baby in that glider. He looked seasick. Back off the bouncing, Amber.  A newborn should not rise 4-5 inches out of your arms while also being glided back and forth.

 

I guess I'm kind of stuck on those pictures, because the part with Camille looking through them was atrocious. The dialogue sounded like it was written by a 14 year old (Max, probably) and BB sounded so... wooden. Maybe she was steeling herself for the Big Emotion to come in the next few seconds.  But the juxtaposition of those two moments back to back-- pukey hokim, terrible writing + Let's Praise Max-- to the silent moment of her finding him alone was super-whiplashy. Like this entire show

 

So... yep, fitting, I guess.

Edited by LadyKenobi.
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