Ranting about “Parenthood” and “The Big Bang Theory.” And a beautiful photo exhibit of life with cancer

Parenthood - Season 4

Haven’t done a “ranting about television” post in a while, and it just so happens that two of my favorite shows got me riled up this week.

First, “Parenthood.” As I’ve maintained since the beginning of the show’s run five years ago, I love it, and even when I’m mad at some of the choices the writers make with it, I still love it. I think the acting is terrific, it’s got great heart, and the show always makes time for all of the characters to get their own storylines and great moments.

And this year has been great… I love what they’ve done with Zeke and Millie and their struggles with each other, and selling the house. I am enjoying the Amber/Ryan story line (he’ll always be Luke Cafferty from “FNL” to me), even though I know it will end badly for Amber, the best actress on the show, IMO. Even the Joel/Julia stuff with their son has been solid, though it looks like the writers are taking the lazy way out by having the threat of infidelity be a wedge between the couple.

So it’s been terrific… except for the completely ludicrous and stupid “Kristina running for mayor of Berkeley” storyline. So many reasons to hate this: First of all, the woman just survived cancer, and now she’s got the energy and strength to run for mayor with zero political experience? Because that’s good for a cancer patient, running a major campaign.
Then there’s the way the writers are trying to make Adam, her husband, look like the bad guy for putting on the brakes on this. The dude is worried about feeding his family (and baby daughter, who conveniently is absent this year) and that his wife might collapse under the strain, and they paint him as the bad guy?

Then there’s the pathetic double standard in last week’s episode, where Kristina feels bad about taking campaign money from a developer she disagrees with, but is totally fine with getting money from a rapper who’s a felon? Ridiculous.

Like I said, I still love the show. But it seems like every year they have to give us one storyline that completely defies belief (Sarah and Ray Romano’s character having a tryst, Adam and Crosby not selling the Luncheonette for millions).


**OK, on to “Big Bang Theory,” which for years has been the best thing on broadcast TV. Four perfectly drawn male characters, the females who love them, and so much quirky fun that even in reruns I find myself laughing really hard.

But here’s the problem: Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon, has won all kinds of Emmys and other awards for his fantastic job playing the role. And the writers have completely gotten sucked into his awesomeness, to the point that they make nearly EVERY episode about Sheldon.
Which wouldn’t be that bad, if we saw any change, any growth, any sign of human development from him.
But nope, this season he’s exactly the same as all the other years: Completely oblivious to others’ feelings, totally self-absorbed, and having no clue about how to have a relationship with the awesome Amy Farrah-Fowler (I couldn’t love Mayim Bialik more).

I mean, no human being could really be this static for this long, and their constant focus on Sheldon treating others horribly, and everyone just accepting it just fine, has gotten really stale.
The show has become a lot less funny, and simply stupid at times tis year. There’s so much material they can still mine with Howard, Raj, et al., but by continuing to give us the same tired old Sheldon behavior and stereotypes, they’re really getting close to jumping the shark.

Whew. OK, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.


**Finally today, a beautiful and heartbreaking photo essay by a man named Angelo Merendino, who took the time and endured the heartache of photographing every stage of his girlfriend’s long battle with cancer.

The pictures are beautiful and terrible, and nearly impossible to forget. The one above is my favorite, but I strongly urge you to take a look at his beautiful images here.


2 responses to “Ranting about “Parenthood” and “The Big Bang Theory.” And a beautiful photo exhibit of life with cancer

  1. I’m pretty sure Braverman means Terrible Decision Maker in another language. I agree on pretty much everything you say about the show. I’m still a fan, but some of the decisions in writing the show have been off this year. The acting, on the other hand, is always top notch.

  2. Regarding Big Bang. I think Sheldon has some form of attention deficit disorder. Witness the knocking three times on Penny’s door. Comedy’s tend to latch on to certain characters. Fonzie on Happy Days is one example.
    As far as dramatic television series I think the Good Wife is the best thing on over the air tv.

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