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'Parenthood' preview: Hope for a second chance

Season 5 | Ep. 19 | “Fraud Alert” | Airs Mar 27, 2014

The video preview for next week’s Parenthood ends with the announcer’s always somber, I-have-bad-news-to-tell-you voice wondering, “Is there hope for a second chance?” A second chance for Sarah and her old love Mark Cyr (Jason Ritter), who makes an unexpected return and shares a glass of wine with her? A second chance for Sarah and Hank, who share a smile … and a glass of wine? Or a second chance for Joel and Julia, who aren’t drinking wine but are having yet another tense conversation filled with rhetorical questions about getting back together? To be honest, I’m too distracted by all the wine to care. Plus, I just really want to know if Zeek and Camille have decided to sell the house.

As for the return of “one of the greatest love’s of Sarah’s life,” loyal Parenthood fans might stone me for saying this (and I’m not talking about the Amber and Drew kind of stoned): I’ve never liked Mark Cyr. He’s a nice enough guy but acts too intimidated by Sarah — very Benjamin Braddock the first time he meets Mrs. Robinson — and it’s irritating. The problem I have isn’t their age difference, it’s that their age difference is an issue to him. His apprehension and caution around her makes it hard to buy into their relationship. Although it was surprising when she chose the introverted Hank over Mark last year, I wasn’t sad to see him, or his bristly, patchy beard go. Could his surprising comeback possibly truncate the “year of Sarah”? I don’t think so. If the beautiful Dr. Carl couldn’t do it, nobody can.

Speaking of the second oldest Braverman, why must all her storylines revolve around men? One week she’s breaking Carl’s heart (and subsequently, mine), the next few weeks her complicated relationship with Hank is spotlighted, and now Mark is back and getting thrown into the pack. Here’s an idea: Let’s let Sarah be Sarah for awhile. Her success as a photographer is the most exciting thing that’s happened to her in forever (or at least since season 2 when she was a playwright) and is something she’s achieved on her own. Let’s get rid of all the distracting men and let the “year of Sarah” truly be 365 days where she not only gets reacquainted with herself but we get to as well. I don’t know about you, but I kind of miss her being just her.

As for the ongoing saga of Julia begging Joel for answers about the state of their marriage? I’m frankly growing tired of it. I’m tired of Joel not being able to give his wife any real answers, and I’m getting increasingly disappointed in Julia’s acceptance of her stoic husband’s silence. Maybe the upcoming dinner date and repeat tease of a romance between Joel and his boss Pete (Sonya Walger) will finally shed some light on the direction this seemingly endless situation is taking. I hope so. I’m exhausted.

Who do you think deserves a second chance? Should Joel and Julia declare a truce? And whose team are you on — Team Mark, Team Hank, or are you for Sarah playing it solo for awhile? Tell me in the comments, and check out the preview for “Fraud Alert” below.

Read more of Michelle’s posts at You’re My Favorite Today!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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