Tonight Pam and I settled in with a marvelous dinner to watch Tuesday nights’ episode of Parenthood. For those of you who don’t know, Parenthood is the best show on TV since “24”, and possibly the best family drama of all time. However, this particular episode was a classic illustration of the difference between men and women, and more importantly why every family needs a strong father. The fact that Pam and I saw the same scene so differently just serves to prove my point.
Sarah is one of the main characters in the show and although quirky and semi-adorable at times, she is also a complete train wreck at other times. She has two teenage children and is raising them as a single Mom with prodigious amounts of help from her siblings and especially her Dad, Zeke ( one of my favorite characters on the show ). The father of Sarah’s two kids is a drug-addicted, ne’er do well who was so violent and despicable when he was her husband, that she was forced to leave him three years ago and move back home with her parents back when the show started. So, in this episode, good old Seth shows up out of nowhere, gets into a drunken brawl in a bar and calls Sarah to come rescue him literally from the gutter. By the end of the episode Seth has made the decision to enter rehab and Sarah goes to Zeke for some money to pay for it all. Seth and Sarah hold hands in front of their two incredulous kids and determine that they will get through this together “as a family”.
Here’s where the whole differences between men and women come in. Zeke absolutely refuses to pay a dime for Seth’s rehab. You know why? Because Zeke had to watch the hell that this bum put his daughter through the entire time he was whoring around and doing drugs when he should have been providing for her and their children. Zeke has had to stand by helpless as he watches his grandchildren struggle with feelings of inadequacy because their bum of a father couldn’t be bothered with raising them. Zeke is doing what every good father is wired to do, look after the best interests of his family and protect them from deadly predators.
So Sarah goes to her sister Julia, the well-off lawyer and her stay at home husband Joel for the money. Of course Joel says yes and in an impassioned speech says to a frustrated Zeke words to this effect…”Sarah has made a decision with her heart and you need to honor that.” Pam practically swooned at the sweetness and support that Joel showed in the scene, and I must admit, I do like Joel but get real. It’s one thing to show all this support and sweetness when you have no skin in the game. Sarah isn’t HIS daughter. Joel wasn’t around when Seth was beating Sarah up when the kids were toddlers. Besides, Joel is a stay at home Dad, and as such has probably lost a few mph’s on his fastball. I would also suggest that Joel will be singing a different tune 20 years from now when some drunk loser breaks little Sydney’s heart.
Every family needs a Zeke, someone who isn’t afraid to be the bad cop and put an end to all of the bleeding heart, give peace a chance nonsense that would abound if Mom’s and Sisters ruled the world. Here’s whats going to happen . Seth is going to get through rehab by some fakery, then further worm his way back into Sarah’s life to the point that she will then plead with Crosby and Adam to give him a job at their recording studio ( Seth was a musician in a rock band back in the day ). He will then succeed in poisoning the entire Braverman family dynamic. All because the women of the family ( and Joel ) wouldn’t listen to Zeke when he reminded them all that Seth had never done anything good for their family in his entire life.
Its ok Zeke. At least you tried to warn them!