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'Parenthood' recap: Braverman, interrupted

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

Your resident Parenthood recapper is probably riding Space Mountain right now or having a glass of wine at Epcot Center (I hope it’s the latter, sounds much more fun). That’s right. Michelle Newman is vacationing at Disney World with her family this week, so I will humbly try to report back all things Braverman in her absence.

This episode is all about interruptions. Kristina slides into bed with Adam wearing her slinky robe and “lotion for the ocean.” Yup. That kind of lotion. And yes, I just vomited a little in my mouth — Kristina and Adam are my TV parents. I know they have sex, but shudder at the thought. Luckily, Max saves us by barging in to declare that he’s not going back to school. As in, ever. Who can blame him after Trevor peed in his canteen?

The next day, Kristina and Adam tell Principal Radford that their son is too traumatized to come back to Cedar Mill. His response? We can’t punish any student until he comes forward and tattles on himself. I realize that that sentence should’ve had a “he/she” situation, but it was Trevor. We know it. Max knows it. Kristina and Adam know it. Mr. Knight knows it because he was chaperoning the field trip and says so. But the only advice the school administrator gives them is to do nothing and have Max stay at home, which inspires this gem from Max’s dad, “Your response to this really blows.” Not exactly Shakespeare, but our thoughts exactly.

Crosby and Jasmine are also interrupted while gettin’ busy — by Zeek (remember they’re staying with mom and dad because their house is infested with mold). For those of you old enough to remember, Craig T. Nelson used to play Coach. Ack! I can’t imagine Coach walking in on my husband and me. The thing that was so important that it couldn’t wait (or knock) is a mint condition, 1965 GTO grill. Zeek wants to take a father-and-son road trip to Eugene, Oregon to get it — and he wants to avoid making a decision about selling the house.

A few chili dogs and all the hits of 1962 later, Crosby and Zeek arrive in Oregon. Zeek asks for Pauly. And no, he’s not referring to this guy. But there’s no Pauly. See, this is Ernie’s Salvage Yard, and he’s asking for $350 more. Zeek sputters like his GTO engine on its last tank, and Crosby warns of writing a nasty Yelp review. But it’s really not about the grill. “I’m feeling old, Crosby,” Zeek reveals. He says selling the house “feels like cashing in the chips, feels like the end.” If I could hug you through the TV, Coach, I would.

ParenthoodMeanwhile, Amber runs into her mom’s ex and her ex-high school English teacher (yeah, that relationship was all kinds of weird) on the street. He asks her how the wedding planning is going, and awkward, she has to tell him that Ryan broke off their engagement and reenlisted in the military, which is why her interruption is on the streets and not in the sheets. This entire encounter leads to Mark calling Sarah and asking to talk. She agrees and then winds up in a nice restaurant with a glass of their favorite Italian red wine that they used to share together when they were dating. Oh, Sarah, don’t you know that Starbucks was founded for just this reason? You grab your portable coffee and pastry, so that you can jet at the moment it gets weird. But then, Mark drops a doozy: He’s engaged! More awkward. They reach for their menus in silence to look over food options. Seriously, Sarah, Starbucks next time.

Our last interruption, which gives this episode its title, belongs to Julia Graham. Yes, I am still using Joel’s last name; they are not divorced yet. I have hope! But not much after Julia’s credit card company calls to inform her of a $468.36 charge made at 12:18 a.m. at a fancy downtown restaurant. Did she make this charge? No. Does anyone else share access to her account? Ding, ding, ding! Looks like hubby went on a date, but when she confronts Joel about it, he swears up and down that it was a business dinner with his boss Pete. This may sound innocuous, but Pete’s a hot woman with a British accent — not a burly construction guy. Their conversation quickly spirals into a finger pointing match of who’s to blame for their failed marriage, which is how it’s been between the Grahams for the past few episodes, except Julia reveals this juicy nugget: Joel’s dad was unfaithful to his mom. As Michelle pointed out, we weren’t even sure Joel had a dad. Well, everyone has a dad, but this is the first mention of him in five seasons.

Cue the Joshua Radin music (“Underwater” in case you were wondering) and a montage of now uninterrupted lives: Max surfs since his school failed him. Crosby somehow convinces Ernie to sell his dad the GTO grill and a dirt bike. Coach, I mean Zeek, tells Camille that he’s finally ready to sell their house, and Julia enters Library Bar with the man who broke up her marriage. I guess she’s moving on.

Did you think Max’s school failed him? Is Crosby your favorite Braverman (he’s mine)? Tell me in the comments below, and check back next week when Michelle returns from the magical world of Disney.

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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