I’m really not one of those people who shouts at the TV. Or at least I haven’t been until now. But there’s something about the folks on “Parenthood” that really push my buttons. I like the show. It’s topical, dealing with a lot of real situations families often confront on a daily basis, and it’s one of the few shows my daughter and I actually make time to watch together. That’s why it’s seems so out of character for me to be verbally berating the main family figures and their unfortunate foibles. “Ooh, bad call,” I moanas a child practically begging to be heard and hugged instead gets the cool rational approach from her parents.
In real life, I try hard to set a good example for my daughter, not be so judgmental, try to empathize, see both sides of a story, put myself in the other person’s shoes. But, Jeez Louise, how many bad decisions can the writers cram into one 48 minute show? The character of Sarah is particularly egregious – hyper-vigilant, nosy, untrusting of her children, and overbearing and manipulative in the politest of ways. “Don’t’ do it!” I yell, just before she makes plans to ditch an important weekend with her fiancée to enable the dysfunction of her boss. (How did her daughter Amber turn out to be so grounded, so sensitive, so sensible?)
And part of my frustration is watching the characters talk over one another – often three or more at once and usually at high volume. Most of these folks don’t know how to listen to one another, a situation I point out time and time again to my daughter as we watch. “Shut up and listen,” I burst out, but they never do.
So yeah, I’m yelling at the TV in front of my daughter. I have my little harangue, then often apologize. But maybe it’s not so bad. Perhaps there’s a little teaching moment in here – both my behavior and the show’s hapless family. “Yeah, Sarah drives me crazy, too,” my daughter confesses.