I apologize for the delay on this post and the general shortness of my thoughts this week. It’s been extremely busy at work, which makes me more unproductive on weekends unfortunately. Fortunately, it was a shorter and less critical week of TV as shows take a hiatus or air slightly less pivotal episodes in preparation for sweeps.
- Jane the Virgin: The episode itself had a lot packed into it. As a result, it wasn’t the best episode this show has produced but it had an important message imbedded into it. Earlier this season, we found out that Alba was undocumented. When she was hurt in the midseason finale, I was immediately concerned for her physical fate, not considering what her status would do to her treatment options. It didn’t occur to me until I was trying to fall asleep Sunday night that Alba had concerns beyond her physical health and it made me sit up and gasp in shock and dismay. I live in the southwest, approximately 1 hour from the Mexican border. Conversations about legal status and what services are provided to whom are not uncommon in our local politics yet it’s still very depersonalized. It’s easier to have these conversations when there isn’t a face attached to the issues and if it’s easy here, I can only imagine it’s easy elsewhere in the country where it is less of a concern. I applaud Jane the Virgin for calling attention to the concept of medical repatriation (which I had never heard of) and for taking a stand on immigration reform. This show knows it has a platform and it’s willing to use it and that’s admirable.
- Parks and Recreation: I’m so glad we had two episodes of this show to watch last week. “William Henry Harrison” was a decent episode with some moments that made me laugh and any time Andy is a great husband (which is often) it’s a good episode. But it pales in comparison to “Leslie and Ron” which was the real star of the week. Whenever Parks and Recreation intensely focuses on the relationship between Leslie and one other person in her life, the episode is an outstanding success. This show is all about these characters and their relationships and they know how to make them shine. Leslie and Ron have always been very different people who feel equally strongly about their opposing beliefs so their feud seemed inevitable. It was easy to think it was about a difference in politics or misunderstanding as a result of their beliefs but what we got was a far deeper examination of friendship and what happens when the circumstances that brought two people together as friends changes. It was a beautiful tribute to these two characters and their love for each other. Both Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler were outstanding, especially in the scene where Ron confesses that he was planning to ask Leslie for a job, and I know they very likely won’t win awards for it because award shows are terrible and blind, but they really should.
- Parenthood: This was Lauren Graham’s episode to shine. She got to shine as a daughter who is faced with losing her father and as a mother who is watching her daughter give birth to a child of her own. This is the episode I have been wanting to see for Sarah since the show started. Her relationship with Hank played a role as they decided on a wedding location and date, but it was primarily about her relationship with her family. I would have loved to see so much more build-up throughout previous seasons for that scene with her dad, but even without it, it was one of the most powerful moments of the episode. I also loved the ending, with Zeke and Camille meeting their great-grandson. I don’t care if it was expected or not, it seems so beautifully fitting that Amber would name her son after her grandpa. Their relationship has been one of the best of the series and as the family prepares to say goodbye to Zeke Sr., it’s only right that they have a new Zeke to love in a different but equally strong way.