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

'Parenthood' nostalgia recap: Hot for teacher

Season 1 | Episode 7 | “What’s Going On Down There?” | Aired Apr 13, 2010

Ugh. It’s time for all the Mark Cyr fans to cry big tears of injustice over his and Sarah’s tortured love story and the anguish that is just beginning. I’ve gone on the record about my feelings for Mark Cyr (and his relationship with Sarah) many times over this past year that I’ve been recapping Parenthood for the EW Community, and I’m about to do it again.

Long story short? I’m not a fan. Sure, he’s full of adorable, witty comebacks and is as nice of a guy as you’ll ever find, but I’ve never been able to get past the fact that their relationship seems parental. And before you start to crucify me for ageism, let me tell you that it doesn’t really have to do with their ages. I mean, the fact that he looks like a pubescent teen who can’t grow a decent beard begs to differ, but it’s their difference in maturity level that makes the 11-year, 8-month gap (according to Sarah) so hard for me to get around.

Sarah’s life experiences have matured her far greater than her 38 years. Sure, there might be an argument about how Mark could help regain some of the innocence that her experiences with Seth took away, but I was never able to buy into that. Bottom line? I always felt like she was his mom. And yeah, the wispy beard really creeps me out.

Episode seven finds Sarah and Mark finding their passion and then—and this is when Team Mark’s tears of injustice come into play—getting it ripped away, all in the name of parenthood. (That’s with a lower case “p,” BTW.)

After Mark and Sarah agree to take things to the next level (so to speak), Sarah learns from Adam about Amber’s crush on Mr. Cyr. (Remember, he’ll be “Mr. Cyr” when he’s a teacher, he’ll be “Mark” when he’s a lovah, and he will forever be “Captain Morgan” to me.) Sarah, of course, goes to Amber to get the story from her and delicately deal with this complicated situation. Just kidding. She goes to Amber and tells her she’s hot for her teacher. #facepalm.

Amber, as you’d expect, plays the typical uninterested daughter and brushes off Sarah’s admission, but breaks into tears when she leaves, which Sarah overhears. Seems like a harsh way to find out if Adam was right, doesn’t it? Mother of the year, ladies and gents.

Realizing that Adam might have been on to something when he told her he didn’t want Amber to get hurt and revert back to her old ways (she’s turned a new leaf in Berkeley, thanks to one wispy, whiskered English teacher), Sarah goes to Mark and breaks things off. “I moved here to take care of my family,” she tells him. “That’s what I need to do.” Mark is heartbroken. Sarah is heartbroken. Spoiler alert: I am not.

Listen, I’m all for a great love story—I really am (paging Dr. Carl). But Sarah’s decision is the right one. Sure, Amber is a big girl, and you might say that she should be able to deal with and respect her mother’s decisions in the romance department, but this is a sensitive and sticky situation. The relationship between mother and daughter is troubled and in need of repair at this point, and jumping in the sack with Amber’s man-crush seems insensitive and imprudent.

Backing me up on this? Amber—who, instead of taking the SATs, which she’s poured uncharacteristic hours of studying into (trying to better herself and impress Mr. Cyr, of course), sees Sarah’s insensitivity and raises it an irresponsible. She ditches the test for a joy ride with Damian, the Fresno bad-boy boyfriend.

Other things happening in episode seven that weren’t nearly as exciting:

  • Crosby uses Jabbar as “chick bait” to land a sweet play date with a hot mama. But when she wants to “play” while the kids are in the pool, his father brain trumps his single-guy brain (cough) and he shuts her down.
  • Julia realizes that being a mergers and acquisitions lawyer isn’t what she set out to do, and is beginning to remember her old itch to save the world (i.e., become a civil rights lawyer).
  • Adam finally explodes from the constraints of his overscheduled life and the pressures everyone in the family puts on him. Realizing that everyone needs him but his kids (tear), he takes off to the beach—alone—and finds nirvana on a surfboard. It’s about time, dude.
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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