EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Parenthood' nostalgia recap: A pirate's life for me

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Man Versus Possum” | Aired Mar 9, 2010

Last week, in an effort to alleviate a bit of the post-Parenthood anguish, I started reacquainting myself with the Bravermans of six years ago. I’m happy that so many of you decided to join me in these weekly walks down memory lane. Regardless of whether you’re watching the old episodes along with me, or just popping in to relive the memories, welcome to our therapy group—where the hugs are frequent, the dancing isn’t judged, and the Kleenex are plentiful.

Episode 2 opens with Adam trying—in vain—to catch a possum that’s wreaking havoc on his sleep, which is set hilariously to “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads. One episode in and Parenthood is already nailing it with music choices. He’ll keep trying to catch that darn possum all episode, by the way, but won’t be able to. Hello, metaphor for Adam feeling out of control of the things going on in his life! (They totally could’ve kept that illusive possum around for six years, couldn’t they?) Adam is freaking out about the possibility that Max has Asperger’s, and is trying desperately to find a way to fix it—Googling everything from parenting styles to recipes to cures. Frustrated, he gives up and Googles “trapping and killing possums” instead. Equally impossible, but he’ll learn that later.

Meanwhile, Crosby is attempting to bond with newly discovered son Jabbar and failing miserably (but, as usual, adorably). When Jasmine tells him that they’ve moved back to Berkeley and that she wants Jabbar to have a relationship with him—like, this weekend— he’s conflicted. Seems he has weekend getaway plans with his girlfriend, and this whole “suddenly having a son” thing is really gonna cramp his style.

Julia, still trying to figure out which side of the working mom line she walks on, is disgusted by Joel’s new bestie—stay-at-home mom Raquel, a Lululemon-wearing, zen-loving, overly cheerful, gag-inducing fellow parent at Sydney’s school. When Julia and Raquel get into a bidding war at the school’s fundraising gala (with the entire Braverman clan there for support, because you can’t spell “Team Braverman” without TEAM), Julia lets it slip—into her open mic—that Racquel “doesn’t even work.” Oh no she di’int just say that to a room full of PTA moms. Oh, but she did. At least she won the reserved parking spot, and the hate-filled looks of the other moms from now until Sydney graduates high school.

Now that Sarah is back in Berkeley, she’s looking for bartending work, and Zeek thinks she has all kinds of potential (as all good dads do). He has Adam put in a good word for her with an ad agency, and she has a very successful interview where she shows off an impressive portfolio of fliers she’d designed for Seth’s band. Who knew? But while the interviewer is impressed with her work, his boss isn’t impressed with her lack of higher education, and she gets rejected. Make my cosmo extra sweet, please and thanks.

As if Adam and Kristina don’t have enough on their plates with Max’s struggles, Haddie admits the baggie of weed that Adam found in the backyard is hers (after vehemently denying it the day before). “Sorry for not being the girl you thought I was,” she says, while not really seeming sorry at all. Sounds like someone wants some of Max’s attention.

Remember Suze and Phil Lessing (Amanda Foreman and Phil Abrams)? Adam and Kristina’s friends who have the boy with Asperger’s? No? Let me remind you. They’re the obnoxious ones. Adam and Kristina, who are at the Lessings hoping to get some insight into Max’s condition, sit in their living room (not to be confused with a Toys “R” Us) and are shell-shocked and overwhelmed as they hear about the meds, therapy, and diet that are associated with Asperger’s. (The Lessings’ color-coded box of index cards—which includes pink to remind them to have sex on Tuesdays—doesn’t help.)

Crosby (of all people) is able to secure them an assessment with Dr. Pelikan, the best behavior therapist in Berkeley (and a distant cousin of Mr. Rogers?). He tells Adam and Kristina that Max is very high functioning, but that his behaviors do indicate Asperger’s. “Not an insurmountable problem,” says Adam, and asks Dr. P how long before Max will be cured. Dr. Pelikan gently tells them that their job is to figure out how to uncover Max’s gifts. “Join Max where he is,” Dr. P says, “and when he’s ready, you walk him into the world.” Beautiful words, but really, Adam just wants his son to ditch the pirate costume already.

The next day, however, Adam—after coming to terms with the realization that possums cannot be caught, and dressed in a full-on pirate costume himself—joins Max in the backyard, and takes the first step on that long walk.

In other Braverman news:

  • Amber’s new principal moves her back to the sophomore class because of her poor credit record from her old school. Sarah, fed up with the entire world beating up on her and her kids, makes a desperate plea to the principal: “She’s really smart and she hasn’t gotten the break she deserves.” He either thinks Sarah is hot or he’s just a super-nice principal, because he moves Amber back up. Between that and the speech Sarah gave Drew in episode 1, I’m reminded why I love her so damn much.
  • Following Crosby’s lead, the Braverman siblings smoke Haddie’s weed outside the school fundraiser. When Millie catches them, she just chuckles and calls them idiots. Coolest. Mom. Ever.
  • I’d forgotten that the theme song back at the beginning of season 1 was not “Forever Young!” It’s “When We Were Young” by Lucy Schwartz. After I got over my disappointment at not hearing the chill-inducing opening line (“May God bless and keep you always”), I kind of loved it.

See you back here next Friday for more memories, Team B!

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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