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'Parenthood' nostalgia recap: Sink or swim

Season 1 | Episode 3 | “The Deep End of the Pool” | Aired Mar 16, 2010

Throwing your kid into the deep end of the pool is a surefire way to teach them to swim, at least according to most people over the age of 65 who don’t agree with the overindulgence and coddling of today’s parenting styles … and those who think anxiety and lifelong PTSD is fun.

Episode 3 of Parenthood finds many of our Bravermans taking a leap off the high dive into the deep end, but also into other pools of uncertainty. Let’s find out who sinks and who swims.

For the first time, Crosby is in charge of Jabbar for an entire day while Jasmine is at an audition. After spending too much time in Candy Land Hell (which is about four minutes, if I remember correctly), Crosby takes his newfound son for a drive up and down the hills of San Francisco in his sweet red convertible. The wild ride reminds Jabbar that he’s lactose intolerant (seems like something Jasmine might have mentioned before leaving for the day), and he pukes all over Crosby’s car. Welcome to parenthood.

Going to Adam for advice, Crosby tells him this dad thing is stressing him out, and he doesn’t know how he’ll manage working at the studio and watching Jabbar.

Adam: You want us to watch him?
Crosby: Seriously?
Adam: No, jackass! He’s your son. Grow a pair and deal with it!

Good advice.

But Crosby admits he doesn’t feel a connection with Jabbar yet. Later, Jabbar breaks a piece off the mixing board at the recording studio and runs off, where he’s discovered by Crosby’s girlfriend. When she asks Crosby who Jabbar is, Crosby lies and tells her he’s just some kid he’s supposed to be watching (which Jabbar overhears). Superdad later apologizes, and both he and Jabbar admit they were scared … of the situation, and maybe of each other. Boom. Connection made.

Perfect mom Racquel is still making waves with Julia, who shows up at Sydney’s Zen swimming class to find her nemesis flaunting her bikini bod and encouraging Sydney to “swim” by merely blowing bubbles into the pool. Julia, who was an “All-CIF swimmer” in high school (I’d Google that, but let’s just agree it means “very good” and continue) is outraged that Sydney is being led to believe that blowing bubbles is swimming, and decides to take matters into her own hands.

At the next lesson, Julia, channeling her inner Dara Torres in a racing Speedo, swim cap, and goggles (and reminding me of her awesome 2002 thriller Swimfan), dives off the starting block and swims to Sydney, much to the amusement and mortification of Joel and all the rest of the moms and kids. “You know how Grandpa taught me to swim? He dropped me in the deep end of the pool when I was two,” she tells Syd. No surprise there.

Sydney is terrified, but lets go of the edge … and immediately sinks. Convinced her thrashing will eventually turn into swimming, Julia lets her sink, but Joel grabs her, and Syd comes up sputtering and screaming: “YOU DROWNDED ME!” The other moms crucify Julia with their eyes and hold onto their children for dear life. Guess they saw Swimfan too.

Later, however, when Julia gets home from work, Sydney is thrilled to show her a video clip of her swimming underwater like a fish. I’m confused as to how it happened, and to the lesson here, but let’s just conclude that Julia’s method—while terrifying—worked.

Meanwhile, Sarah is having a hard time feeling like an adult while living under her parents’ roof, and sharing a bedroom—and bed—with Amber isn’t helping matters. Zeek trying to solve her car troubles by offering to buy her a new one; Millie gabbing with Jim Kazinsky on the phone after Sarah breaks up with him; and that pesky discovery of the box of condoms in her dad’s office drawer are all contributing to her feeling like a kid again. Trying to salvage a shred of independence, she asks Zeek if she can live in his office (i.e., the guesthouse). Oh, and BTW, why does he have a box of condoms in his desk drawer? Taking the fifth on the condom question, Zeek drops a different kind of bomb. He discloses that he and Millie haven’t been doing well, and that he’s been frequently staying in the guesthouse, but that Sarah can have it now. “Don’t worry about your mom and I. We’ll be fine.” Oh, okay. Thanks.

Someone who is causing worry, however, is Max. As in the first two episodes of the series, Max’s Asperger’s again takes center stage, and this week Adam and Kristina are frantically trying to get him into Footpath Elementary—a top-rated school for kids with learning disabilities. After the headmaster tells them that there isn’t space for new students, Adam and Kristina go to bat for Max and passionately sing all of his praises (which we know they’ll do approximately 989 more times throughout the years), finally wearing the headmaster down enough to give him an interview.

However, they seem to keep forgetting about the other player on their team, and their concern for Max causes them to miss Haddie’s soccer game. Again. Adam admits he blew it and apologizes, but Haddie gets in the last word. “Why is everyone thinking this Max thing is news? It’s been never-ending. Ever since I can remember, it’s all been about Max.” Ouch.

Knowing that Adam and Kristina will be anxiously awaiting the news from Footpath, Joel and Julia show up to take them to the community pool for distraction. Once there, they’re joined by the entire family (because BRAVERMANS!), and pass the time with typical Braverman fun and frivolity. When the call comes with the news that Max got into Footpath, hysteria ensues, with everyone jumping and splashing and having the kind of fun only found in commercials … and Braverman get-togethers.

Sink or swim? Looks like for now, everyone is kicking like crazy to stay afloat.

Join me back here next Friday for more Braverman memories!

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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