‘Parenthood’: Was Amber’s Kiss Hot or Creepy?

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Can’t anyone on “Parenthood” kiss someone their own age?  Or have a relationship where  there is not a creepy power dynamic? There was married fortysomething Adam (Peter Krause) and the recording studio receptionist. Inappropriate!  There is the ongoing relationship between forty year old Sarah (Lauren Graham) and the considerably younger Mark (Jason Ritter), which was initially somewhat inappropriate since Mark teaches Sarah’s children. Even high schooler Haddie’s (Sarah Ramos) relationship with the nineteen year old Alex (Michael P. Jordan) was questionable since he was a recovering alcoholic with his own apartment. This week’s episode, “Politics” featured another dubious kiss. Amber (Mae Whitman) smooched her boss, aspiring city councilperson Bob Little (Jonathan Tucker).

Everything about this kiss was wrong. First, Bob promoted Amber, a high school graduate whose prior job was as a barista and only landed her initial position working for Kristina (Monica Potter) due to blatant nepotism, to a role as his personal assistant after some flirtatious moments. Those Ivy League interns we met in previous episodes should be livid that she was given this opportunity. (Side bar: city council positions in Berkeley, your recapper’s home town, are part time jobs often filled by real estate agents and teachers. Campaigning consists of printing a couple of flyers and maybe a homemade website. Why does Bob have a huge campaign headquarters, Obama’s war room and a Super Pac? Would it have been that difficult to make Bob a candidate for congress so this storyline would be somewhat plausible?)  Bob and Amber were working late, inputting names into his database. He recalled their first meeting by the copier in encyclopedic detail. Creepy! He described Amber as, “so strong, yet vulnerable,” which is such a cliched line for an older man to use on a teenage girl. Then they kissed.  Let’s review: he’s her boss. He just gave her an undeserved promotion. He is in his late twenties. She is, at most, nineteen. Inappropriate! Possible sexual harassment lawsuit! Definite political suicide!

On the other hand, Amber is, legally, an adult. She lives on her own. She is capable of making her own decisions. Little is single. He is in his late twenties, so the age difference is not that horrible. His interest in Amber seems sincere. When she freaked out after the kiss and called in sick, he brought her soup. It’s hard to imagine Bill Clinton doing that for Monica Lewinsky. He also assured her that he promoted her based on merit and seemed willing to keep their relationship professional. Whitman and Tucker have a ton of chemistry.  Press play, watch the kiss,  and decide for yourself whether Amber and Bob have potential or are totally skeevy.

In other Braverman news, hot doctor Joe (D.B. Woodside) asked Jasmine (Joy Bryant) to move in with him, offering to purchase a huge house in the hills so Jabbar (Tyree Brown) can grow up in the lap of luxury. Yet Jasmine still pined for Crosby (Dax Shepard). Jasmine is clinically insane.

Zoe (Rosa Salazar) freaked out, moved out of Joel and Julia’s house and quit her job. Joel (Sam Jaeger) tracked her down. She insisted she still planned to let them adopt her baby, but it seems increasingly likely that this storyline is going to end unhappily.

Sarah meets Mark’s friends, an intriguing blend of dorky white guys and smoking hot women of color. She’s a little uncomfortable with the age difference and ends up having a meltdown about the fact that if they want to have kids, they need to do it right away. Mark professes to be ready to give up his dream of hiking the world and get down to babymaking.

Adam persuades Crosby to poach clients from another recording studio. Yawn.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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