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1-2: "Man vs. Possum" 2010.03.09 (recap)


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#1

TWoP Dietrich

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 4:49 PM

TV Guide sez:

Adam and Kristina try to digest the news that Max may have Asperger's syndrome; Zeek encourages Sarah to aim high while she looks for a job; Crosby gets to know his son; and a mom from Sydney's school irks Julia.



#2

KaliDoom

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:04 PM

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

I don't know if I can handle this show, but now it's become part of my Tuesday night routine, so I can't break it. I don't think I've ever shouted "fuck you, show" at my television as much as I did tonight, but that was all in the first 20 minutes. The last half was well done, I think. I hope they make Raquel go away.

#3

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:06 PM

I'm still unsure about how I like the show overall, but wow, Lauren Graham broke my heart in the job interview scene. Absolutely gorgeous piece of acting.

I also loved the auction, with the family as a whole bonding over dislike of Raquel. I found her character hilarious in general because I've definitely known women like that--the incredibly grating "perfect" mom.

#4

pinky5

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:06 PM

This is my new favorite show. Love it.

Raquel, however, needs to get the fuck off my tv screen now.

#5

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:10 PM

Awww, St. Judy's Comet. What a great way to close the episode!

I literally LOLd at the possum scenes, because it reminded me so much of my brother-in-law and his war with 2 raccoons that had taken residence in his house one summer.

The only forced note to me was the doobie smoking session at the elementary school...I mean, really show?

Lauren Graham cries so pretty. I wish I could cry that pretty.

#6

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:18 PM

The only forced note to me was the doobie smoking session at the elementary school...I mean, really show?

All I could think of was "Man, you know how much trouble you'd get in for that?!" They were making ME paranoid.

Not gonna lie, when Adam was dressed as a pirate and playing with Matt, I teared up. What a sweet scene.

Everything Sarah does (well, LG rather) is made of win. Her in the job interview was awesome.

Does anyone else think that perhaps Adam and Kristina's daughter (Haddie?) is acting out because of all the attention on her brother? It seemed as though her parents were remarkable uncaring about her big confession. (And personally, if my parents ever found that pot, they would NEVER believe it wasn't mine. Their favorite line of reasoning was "There are three of us in the house, and neither of us is responsible. Who does that leave?")

#7

EnduringWon

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:24 PM

My new favorite show too!

I really enjoyed it.

#8

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:29 PM

Ditto on all of the Raquel comments. The lawyer mom is nicer than me. After the mic issue, I would've tried to work in something about her regular flirting with my husband. The instant family reaction at her introduction was hilarious.

Two other issues:
1. No principal would've pulled a student out of class to tell her that she's being moved back a grade. That would've been a discussion prior to the first day of classes with her mother present. That whole scenario was just unbelievable.

2. I laughed out loud when baby mama (don't recall her name) had the gall to look irritated when Casey asked if she was sure he was the father. She shows up after years with a child and she doesn't expect some skepticism?

That said, I still like the show and will be back next week.

Edited by hlyntunstl, Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:30 PM.


#9

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:48 PM

Well, it was nice to see episode 2 was as good as the pilot. There were nice little touches, like Zeek's "This isn't hovering. THIS is hovering bit." Once again Graham, Krause and Whitman were the ones who got to me and got me teary. And the scenes with all the siblings together are some of my favorites. I had seen the smoking scene on some preview and it made me laugh, especially with Camille picking up so quickly on what was happening, and Adam tearing off after Crosby after gettng smoke blown in his face. (Though realizing it was pot being smoked at a school makes me a little tense, because that is just not cool.)

I did have the sense, once again, that they're trying to pack too much into each episode. Tonight I starting thinking that both the introductions of Jabbar and Raquel could have waited a few more episodes...give them a chance to play with Crosby's commitment issues and Julia's working mother guilt before introducing another layer to their scenes. Makes me wonder what they're going to do in later episodes.

#10

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Posted Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:55 PM

Everything Sarah does (well, LG rather) is made of win. Her in the job interview was awesome.

As soon as she said that she was happy with the pay range, I shook my head. I'm taking negotiations this semester, and from a lot of the work we've been doing, the research shows that women often do not negotiate their salaries. That is a big reason for the pay gap between men and women. I yelled, "no, Sarah! Don't go with the "pay range"! Ask for more money!"

Raquel can die now. This working mom v. PTA mom reminds me of the storyline on Cashmere Mafia. The whole auction scene was crazy. I loved her family's reactions to her game face.

Crosby needs to not worry about feelings and ask for a DNA test. Maury will hook him up for free!

Edited by IvyDarling, Mar 9, 2010 @ 11:55 PM.


#11

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:13 AM

I agree. I'm a woman and I might be very angry if any future baby daddy asked for a DNA test. But, it's been 5 years. You don't come out of the wood work unless something is wrong or you need something. I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into a drop off my son and never come back story. The mother's character doesn't seem to suggest that at all, but I wouldn't put it past the show.

It's such an overused device to make the immature sibling grow up. I hope this show goes slow and that the kid really is Crosby's.

It irks me that Sarah didn't get the job due to lack of College Degree. Esp when I've been getting the opposite treatment. I have a BA am working on my MA have done multiple internships but, have no real paid experience (other than school and internship portfolio. I had to work in retail because I needed money to pay for school) in my field and therefore, I keep getting passed over for people who either a. know someone in the company b. have more working experience in said field. Ok off my soapbox.

I really like the siblings relationships. The carrot cake scenes were really cute.

#12

IvyDarling

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:42 AM

I agree. I'm a woman and I might be very angry if any future baby daddy asked for a DNA test.

I'm at the point where I think DNA tests should be mandatory, regardless of hurt feelings on the mother's part. There have been too many stories of late of men being made to pay child support for children that they thought were theirs but weren't. Crosby's situation is even more imperative. At this point, he hasn't even thought to try and figure out her real motives. If he were smart, he'd get this done ASAP before he has to involve more of his family or his girlfriend.

#13

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 2:17 AM

Awww, St. Judy's Comet. What a great way to close the episode!

I know! LOVE that song. And it actually worked with the closing montage.

No principal would've pulled a student out of class to tell her that she's being moved back a grade. That would've been a discussion prior to the first day of classes with her mother present. That whole scenario was just unbelievable.

I thought it was believable. I think with high school age, there's nothing wrong with speaking directly to the student like that. I could see that situation playing out exactly as it did on the show in real life.

I'm really hoping this doesn't turn into a drop off my son and never come back story. The mother's character doesn't seem to suggest that at all, but I wouldn't put it past the show.

Well, that is exactly what happened in the original movie. But I'm wondering if they're not gonna go the "terminal disease" route on this. Crosby grows up, girlfriend gets her instant family and all is right with the world.

It irks me that Sarah didn't get the job due to lack of College Degree. Esp when I've been getting the opposite treatment.

I think it really depends on the industry. In Sarah's case, (sorry, I missed the scene - was letting dogs out) it seemed like it would have been company policy that the employees had to have a degree. It was supposed to be this big prestigious place that was so competitive to get hired on. Degrees would be "de rigeur" at a place like that, I would imagine.

Speaking of Sarah, did she have a conversation with her daughter about the pot not being hers or not? She wants to have a closer relationship with her daughter, it might be a good idea to apologise.

I agree, though, that Adam's daughter probably is doing a bit of attention-seeking of her own.

And speaking of Adam, I didn't have a problem with them smoking pot in the parking lot, or whatever. No one was around and they knew perfectly well they shouldn't be doing it - it seemed the whole appeal of it, in fact. They would surely have extinguished anything incriminating in plenty of time.

Edited by zelmia, Mar 10, 2010 @ 2:21 AM.


#14

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 4:06 AM

Here we go again with the conceit of a Bay-area family who insist the world revolves around only them. How many ridiculous breaks did the Party of Five family get? Sarah in that interview? A farce. The doctor's schedule opening up and he doesn't go to the waiting list? No way in Hades does the precious Max get in because Crosby knew a former lover. I know it's supposed to play as whimsy, but it infuriates me.

Adam is easily my least favorite character. I've known far too many like him. He has the supreme arrogance only the most self-satisfied can possess. This whole thing is about hiiiiiiim. Only the very best doctor can diagnose MY son! Then he gets the miracle appointment and HE attempts to dictate terms to the expert. Then he can't just play with his son. Oh no. He has to have the same costume! On the surface, he comes off as heroic. In reality, he is simply horrid.

I love LG. But it's going to be difficult to accept all the wonderfulness and specialness of everyone.

#15

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 6:22 AM

As soon as she said that she was happy with the pay range, I shook my head. I'm taking negotiations this semester, and from a lot of the work we've been doing, the research shows that women often do not negotiate their salaries. That is a big reason for the pay gap between men and women. I yelled, "no, Sarah! Don't go with the "pay range"! Ask for more money!"

I think Sarah was absolutely right to say she was happy with the salary. It is an entry level position and she has nothing to negotiate a higher walary with. As someone who once switched fields and sought an entry level position for which I had no experience, I know one of the reasons I nearly didn't get the job was because the company had budgeted for an entry level person. I have also been in the position of recruiting people for similar positions and to be honest, if someone applies for an entry level position and tries to negotiate a higher salary, it more often than not comes off as arrogant. They have no experience or specific skill sets that the next entry level candidate doesn't have and more often than not the basis for them asking for a higher salary is what they could earn in other jobs which suggests to me that they aren't so interested in the job I am offering. There is a definite place for negotiating salaries when you have experience, but IMHO Sarah had no foundation for asking for more.

2. I laughed out loud when baby mama (don't recall her name) had the gall to look irritated when Casey asked if she was sure he was the father. She shows up after years with a child and she doesn't expect some skepticism?

I missed exactly what she said, but when they were talking about it having been five years, she made some comment about him not listening to her phone calls or something. Initially I assumed that she meant when she contacted him recently, but then I realised that she had contacted him by text in the pilot. So it did make me wonder if she was actually saying that she tried to call him 5 years ago when she found out she was pregnant but that he didn't answer her calls.

I thought that the credits were really cute, with their childhood photos/videos.

Also, I just realised that a lot of the stuff from the preview wasn't in the episode. The preview had Minka Kelly as Max's behavioural therapist, yet she wasn't in it and it also had the scenes with Jason Ritter's character Mark: they showed him with Amber, as well as Sarah's meeting with him and also the scene where she told her family she had met him, yet none of these 4 scenes were in the episode.

#16

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 8:50 AM

*small voice* I...kind of hated it.

And this is coming from someone who was more 'rah rah' about the Pilot than most. Maybe it's because my expectations of Pilots are just lower, since I expect them to be clunky and awkward, while I expected this episode to be a lot smoother?

Honestly, it feels like the showrunners are getting paid per storyline---why cram so many into every episode?! I understand it's important with a large ensemble (TOO large IMO) that everyone have at least some peripheral connection to a storyline.
However, the writers seem to be stretching themselves way too thin, throwing so many different mini-plots at us that, for me, it dilutes the poignancy and interest value of all of them. Maybe not every single one of these (largely forgettable) characters has to be seen in every single episode? That would really help with the show's overall pacing IMO.

There are great moments (like the oft-mentioned awkwardly vulnerable interview scenes with LG), but in this case those few awesome parts are definitely superior to the show as a whole IMO, which was IMO a choppy, poorly paced and just generally 'off' mess.

Oh, and I should amend my crack about wondering whether the showrunners get paid per plotline since there seem to be so freakin' of them to add that they must only get paid per ANGST-DRENCHED plotline because, seriously, this show just feels like it's trying to so very hard to be so much more of the Very Serious and Important drama than it's meant to be.
And even their attempts to tack on a little humor, like the auction nonsense and the forced bonding afterwards over the pot, are falling really flat for me.

Naturally, half of the blink-and-you-miss-them issues seem to be wrapped up by the end of every episode to the tune of an impossibly corny musical montage. *insert eye roll*

Overall, the show just feels to me like it's trying way too hard to be serious and important and is already becoming a treacly, angst-soaked mess instead. There are too many 'main' characters, too few of whom I like or feel remotely invested in. There are too many plotlines, too many of which feel awkwardly tacked on so that we can be reminded that the angst on this show is relentless!

Oh, and that Dex Shepphard (sp?) guy could not have been more woefully miscast as Crosby, but I've already dug up his thread to snark about that in case anyone wants to join me over there!

Edited by couldhavebee, Mar 10, 2010 @ 8:54 AM.


#17

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:04 AM

I'm not loving the show, but I'm loving LG enough to keep watching.

I think the best scenes are when the siblings are interacting with one another. My favorite scene in the Pilot was when they were all at Adam's house, the girls cutting in on the Adam/Crosby time, and my favorite in this ep was the scene outside the elementary school. But on their own, none of the storylines are particularly interesting or engaging to me.

Love the credits though.

#18

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:11 AM

Love the credits though.


Hee! I can honestly claim the credits are among the best I've ever seen...and, sadly, far more poignant, interesting and entertaining than the majority of the actual show IMO.

#19

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:29 AM

I'll have to remember that and not FF the credits next week. I'm a bit too quick on the FF button at times.

#20

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:31 AM

It's still finding it's legs, but I'm enjoying the show. I like that every character has a storyline. It feels a lot more realistic than the family members taking turns having drama in their lives. Plus, I have a feeling that we're getting every character in every episode now because it's the beginning so the writers want to introduce everyone and then they'll start narrowing their focus for individual episodes.

I laughed out loud when baby mama (don't recall her name) had the gall to look irritated when Casey asked if she was sure he was the father. She shows up after years with a child and she doesn't expect some skepticism?


Seriously. I realize it's only the second episode, but baby mama is already almost unredeemable at this point. She's, by far, the worst parent of the cast. I still can't believe that she brought the kid to surprise Crosby. And then she acts offended because he doesn't believe her right away. But the worst part was when she was pissed that he had plans for the weekend and couldn't hang out with her. Sorry lady that he had no idea he was a father (because YOU decided to keep that from him) and made vacation plans for the weekend. The writers are going to have to do something huge to bring her back.

#21

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:57 AM

I gave it another try and thought episode two was much better than the pilot. It feels like they are pulling away from the movie a bit and making their own identity. The humor is still more Brothers and Sisters-esque than the movie's brand of humor, but I guess it's all right. I was actually laughing at a few of the scenes this week (Zeek's "hovering," the other Asperger's kid's family, the pot smoking scene, Julia owning that slut Raquel at the auction) so that is a very good sign.

Also, loved it that Dr. Abbot from Everwood played the Asperger's specialist. I'm sure we won't ever see him again, but it was nice seeing him. He's a great actor.

I enjoyed Lauren Graham this week, though she's still very "Lorelai-esque" to me. I was sorry she didn't get the job.

#22

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 11:57 AM

Sorry but I'm going to step on my soap box here for just a moment. I'm really quite offended by the way the show is portraying Autism, Asperger Syndrom, and the family members of those with Autism/Asperger Syndrome. I have one nephew with Aspergers and one with High Functioning Austism. In fact, I know at least five children with Autism and none of them wear costumes everyday. It seems odd to me that the one family they talk to about Autism has a son who also wears a cape all the time. Also, Aspergers is a very specific spectrum disorder and often confused with and compared to High Functioning Autism, which is the highest level of the Autism spectrum; often considered the easiest to integrate into normal schooling. They have this couple acting like their son was just diagnosed with cancer and has two years to live. Seriously, calm down. He's still your child. He might need a little more patience and care but he is still a kid. If you figure out what he likes and what sets him off half the battle (with your child at least) is done.

#23

YumYum

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:28 PM

I know at least five children with Autism and none of them wear costumes everyday.


I, too, have an Asperger's child in the family. The wearing of the cape or a costume was not supposed to be a symptom of Asperger's. Our child never wanted to wear a costure, either. The wearing of the cape was showing that Aspies fixate on something...it can be anything...and they hang on to it for long periods of time. It can be a concept (our child obsessed on the depth of things for months) or a physical object or repetitive movements. So far I think the show is depicting an Asperger's child quite well.

Edited by YumYum, Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:30 PM.


#24

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:31 PM

After thinking about the episode a bit, I’m realizing that I didn’t love it as much as I should have. (Don’t hate it, just didn’t LOVE it.)

But I’m having trouble putting my finger on why.

There’s lots that’s good:
  • The acting, for the most part, is pretty top notch
  • The writing, scene to scene, is good (meaning each scene as it stands alone is strong)
  • The sets and people are pretty, and well photographed, nice to look at (I have no problem with it being unrealistic…this is tv. Plus there are other shows I can watch if I want gritty realism)
  • The couples, for the most part, are well matched and seem to fit together.
  • There really seems to be a nice chemistry in the family, especially the siblings.
  • The kids are the best tv kids I’ve seen since Once and Again or Arrested Development…no cloyingly precocious brats or attention addicts here.
  • The music choices are right up my alley
  • The opening credits are really wonderful, that was a nice addition since the pilot….I found myself grinning silly back at the childhood pictures of the cast. (though I’m not sold on the title music choice…)
What’s the issue then?

  • Maybe early-episode-itus, while they’re trying to find the tone and rhythm things just are a little off?
  • And like some folks have said, there are a lot of moving parts here and the show’s trying to service all of them in 40-50 minutes, so there is too much jumping around.
  • And they’ve introduced some ‘developments’, Crosby’s son and ex-flame and Raquel, even the Possum thing, that maybe we didn’t need quite yet? Give us a chance to get used to the characters in their normal states before mixing things up. I think if in the first couple of episodes we just had Sarah and kids moving home, and Adam and Kristina becoming aware of Max’s Aspergers, that might have been enough. It might be better to allow the show, the storylines and the characters to breathe a little bit. And that applies to the direction and editing too: let the emotional beats hang in the air and develop for a couple of seconds more before jumping to the next scene.
  • And a style thing…as in the pilot, I found some of the music too loud. For example, while I love St. Judy’s Comet, I found I really wanted to hear the sounds of Adam and Max playing pirates in the final scene, but it was totally drowned out by the music. It’s sort of like if you have a sandwich with delicious cold cuts, you don’t want too much mayo or mustard because then you can’t taste the turkey or whatever. The music here was the mayo and mustard drowning out the good stuff.


And, yeah, Grizzly, there's something wonky with the previews. I noticed some of the scenes we saw tonight that had been featured in previews were actually different versions. Either different takes or the same take edited differently. It was a little distracting (kind of like when you hear a different mix of a song you know).

Edited by ImNotLeesa, Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:37 PM.


#25

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:32 PM

On the surface, he comes off as heroic.

Not by me. I think he's an unbelievable tool.

I don't like Crosby, either.

The show is weirdly frantic. FNL has a huge cast and the pacing is waaaaaay more relaxed.

The attempts at humor on Parenthood are like watching stock footage of Standard TV Conventions.

I want to like it. But it's like ultra bland at crack speed-- exhausting but without fullness. I watch shows that are emotionally intense or
which require concentration, so I'm willing to get tired from a TV show. But I want to feel something other than the exhaustion, too.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the reaction to Max is offensive and overblown. He doesn't strike me as nearly as impaired or disruptive or even socially outcast as the parents make him out to be. I also didn't like the way the other family was portrayed, as though they were so dysfunctional and desperate that they would do stuff like inviting folks for dinner and not preheat the oven in an attempt to make the guests stay. I couldn't tell if we were supposed to be mocking them for being such nutbags or if we were supposed to be sympathetic to them for being so overwhelmed, but they screamed caricature and it irks.

#26

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:51 PM

I hated the other Aspie family, too, and found them rather offensive. I was worried that they were going to make Max only do weird stuff for his screen time, but this week, they showed some of his gifts, too, and that redeemed it for me. I did really yell at the TV for the first 20 minutes with all the stupid pirate costume crap and then the other family with the loud guitar music and the kid running around. Then, they started showing Max spouting off all kinds of "smart kid" stuff, and I relaxed. I like that they showed that Aspie's aren't completely mentally deficient. I really cried and cried when they were at the behaviorist's office and at the final scene with the guys playing pirates. I wished somewhere across the country, my parents were watching this show and giving up some of their denial that I'm just "quirky" and need to be forced or shamed out of it.

Edited by KaliDoom, Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:52 PM.


#27

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:55 PM

I agree that the music is too loud. I also wasn't a fan of the song at the end or any of the songs they've had so far and actually find many of the choices extremely grating and out of place. I guess it isn't a huge deal, but I do tend to enjoy shows more when I like the choice of music (Grey's Anatomy, for example, is great at choosing songs that are catchy and fit with the plot and the show in general. Gilmore Girls was good about this too.)

Crosby still annoys me to no end. Asking the five year-old-kid if he had a girlfriend, etc wasn't funny, just stupid, IMO.

#28

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:58 PM

I'm pretty sure the previews are "This season on...." or "Coming up on...", rather than all "Next week...".

For the first time ever, I am loving Peter Krause. He didn't annoy me before, he just..nothing'd me. But I love Adam. I can see the straight line from movie-Gil to TV-Adam: both hyper-control freaks (as we oldest children so often are). It broke my heart in the therapist's scene when he was all "Tell me how to fix this" -- just like most men! -- and "practical, I can do"...I could see that realization break over him in waves, that there is no "quick-fix". I thought the pirate thing at the end was something he (understandably)picked first because it was something he could do. I expect later on, it won't flow so nice (of course, he couldn't get his sister the job she wanted, either -- so much for control). In the meantime, I don't even mind the telegraphed sl's, because I like the actors so very much.

(Thank GOD she didn't get that Perfect First Job! Now, that I would've hated.)

I couldn't get past one ep of Brothers & Sisters so I'm obviously not seeing any similarities. Maybe because I don't get the smug from the Bravermans like I do from any group Sally Field is a part of.

Did I mention, loving Peter Krause? I ha a sex dream about him last night, so I'm probably in for the whole season.

#29

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 1:18 PM

I agree about Raquel. The problem with that whole plot line is that she's such a ridiculous person that I can't buy Julia's husband having any interest in her. Her lack of social graces, her co-optation of other cultures, etc. doesn't leave much to desire -- are we really supposed to worry that Julia's husband would have an affair with another woman just because she's skinny?

#30

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Posted Mar 10, 2010 @ 1:21 PM

Who has to pre-heat an oven to make pasta, even if it is gluten-free? That made absolutely no sense.