There was a resounding sigh of discontent when Crosby (Dax Shepard) slept with Gaby (Minka Kelly) on Parenthood. Ken Tucker, in fact, detailed the conflict last week before the new episode. But now that Jasmine (Joy Bryant) halted plans for reconciliation, are Jasmine and Jabbar (Tyree Brown) really going to go on without Crosby? Well, perhaps “go on” is too strong, as it implies they’re running away. But the idea of Crosby’s budding family unit breaking apart is pretty sad.
It’s a thought that’s twirling in my head since last week’s wrenching scene when Jasmine told Crosby she had to “move on.” (See her speech below.) The problem is that I tend to unfairly expect a happy endings from family TV shows — I assume that even though TV families go through hard times things will be resolved in the end. But — as in real life — that’s not a fair expectation to have. There’s a chance things won’t work out for Crosby and his budding family unit. The question I’ve been asking myself, however, is that if it didn’t work out, would I be okay with it? Or would it ruin a little bit of the “it’ll all work out” magic that seems to sweep over the ever-resilient Braverman clan; you know, the magic that protects them just enough from total destruction but not enough to make them disinteresting.
This is a subject I touched on with Joy Bryant when I spoke to her late last month. After expressing her hope for reconciliation, she said she also wouldn’t take issue with a less conventional happy ending for the fan-fave couple.
“One of the cool things is that the show reflects the different types of parents and the different dynamics of parenting,” she said. “There are a lot of people out there who aren’t married but they have a child — they’re making it, they’re doing the best for the child. Not everyone is married and has that unit, but there are so many people out there that are going through a similar kind of thing. The show is reflecting what’s out there. So if we get back together, that’s amazing, that’s wonderful. But if we don’t, it’s great to just to see how people who aren’t romantically involved — or may have been at one point and that didn’t work out — how they put that aside for the sake of their child.”
She said that at the end of the day, she sees Crosby and Jasmine’s story almost secondary to Jabbar’s. “It’s about Jabbar growing up and having two parents that love him and support him. I think that people really relate to that,” she said. “Maybe there’s a happy ending — maybe there’s a different happy ending.”
So Parenthood watchers, do you agree with Bryant? If the story took a twist and gave us the “different happy ending,” would that sit well with you? I didn’t use to think I would like it because I love Jasmine and Crosby. But now a part of me likes the realism of the alternative message — things don’t have to be perfect to be happy.
I’m torn. Thoughts?