When a television show consistently delivers honest writing and acting, there is usually a great backstory of what makes it work so well. The latest episode of "Parenthood," "Together," beautifully blends reality with a fictional script, along with the heart-tugging story behind a "cancer sweater."
Supporting Braverman tales
While no match for the Kristina Braverman breast cancer scripts, the Nov. 12 installment moved forward with a few interesting scenes.
Amber and her main squeeze, Ryan, need a refresher course on what it means to take things slowly, because after flirty giggles and a predictable "let me show you how to hold the club" move on the miniature golf course, the amorous duo were heading for a hot bedroom romp.
Amber's mom, Sarah, who knocked on Amber's door after the steamy encounter, reacted to her daughter and Ryan's mattress sizzle with the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old girl. These are days when the lines are crossed between who is the adult, who is the child.
Sarah's other kid, Drew, apparently had no problem using Aunt Kristina's cancer battle and her gift basket to win back his flaky ex-girlfriend. While it may have worked, his desperate acts were cringe-worthy.
In more kiddie tales, Julia and Joel search for friends to hang out with their son, Victor, who is not feeling the love from his new classmates. The parents take a ride to the scary side of town to pick up Victor's old buddy from the 'hood, Miguel, who breaths life back into the little guy. Julia, the constant contender for mother of the year, was later seen learning Spanish, so she could better connect with her adopted child.
Kristina's cancer drama remains the shining glory of "Parenthood" with Emmy-worthy writing and acting that hits close to home for many people, especially those personally affected by the life-altering condition.
Monica Potter and Peter Krause, as Kristina and Adam Braverman, are the brightest stars, delivering the performances of their careers.
As the family copes with Kristina's cancer and her chemotherapy, realistic scenes of Adam burning breakfast, cleaning up the dog's mess, arguing with Max, losing his patience with a sloppy Crosby or a random guy at the bar are all signs of a devoted husband and father trying to manage a household and business while remaining strong for his suffering wife.
More pain for Kristina
Kristina's mother, who has never been shown, was revealed to be a cold-hearted woman who refuses to be there in her daughter's time of need, while Camille, Kristina's loving mother-in-law, steps in to help out around the house and fill the void.
However Kristina, who has a strong "Type A" personality, struggles with surrendering control: "I don't like being taken care of… I feel helpless right now. I want to be able to pick up my baby, not eat crappy food, and want my own mom to consider me important enough to be here for me."
The story of the "cancer sweater"
After another emotionally charged episode, NBC released a video about the real-life story behind a sweater Camille gave Kristina to wear during her chemotherapy treatment.
In the six-minute video, fans discover why the writers are doing such an outstanding job with the cancer storyline, with clips from executive producers Jason Katims and Ron Howard, director Patrick J. Norris, plus other cast and crew members who share their personal testimonies. It is a beautiful video that will touch the hearts of "Parenthood" lovers everywhere.