Stephen Covey and Adam Braverman
I finished the first season of Parenthood last week, a series that is provided free of charge with an Amazon Prime subscription. While there may be no "star" of this show, Adam Braverman, played by my college alum, Peter Krause, is clearly the center of the family. The eldest of four children, Adam is the family go-to guy when anyone needs advice, assistance, or intervention. And in season #1, Adam almost always comes through, never losing his temper or getting short with anyone. His disposition and demeanor are usually pitch perfect, kind of like he had read Stephen Covey's 7 Habits so many times he had come to embody them.
You can almost hear the critics chirping.
There is a reason Adam Braverman is a fictional character -- because he doesn't exist in real life! Expose this man to some stress, real stress, and then let's see how he reacts. Give him a wife that's a tad bit crazy and more moody and self-absorbed. Give him a boss who imposes demands on the free time he spends with his family. Make his family less understanding and more needy, and add in a little sibling attitude to the mix. Do this, and the Adam Braverman from seaon #1 will vanish into thin air just like every other human being who attempts to conform their behavior to the standards of Stephen Covey.
And that's exactly what the writers did for season #2.
Episode one kicks off with Adam receiving a phone call at home from one of his sisters while he is getting ready for work. It seems that Zeek (the family patriarch) has a leak in his roof. History tells us that Zeek isn't much a handiman, though he fancies himself one. Adam arrives at the scene while all hell is breaking loose. Thankfully his sister (and real life girlfriend) Sarah is present, and Adam delegates the task of managing the situation to her. But, alas, he is late for work, and his boss, played by Billy Baldwin, calls him into his office to discuss whether Adam’s family crises distract him from his job.
Adam assures him that there is no distraction, and that even when he is away from work, he is thinking about how to do his job better. Adam goes on to reveal a new product idea that he developed during his "off hours." The boss is impressed, and the two make plans to queue up the idea for further research. The only problem is that Sarah is the one who came up with idea, and she later tells Adam she wants a piece of the pie.
If all that weren't enough stress for Adam, his daughter, Haddie, pays him a visit at the office later in the week to ask that he replace her mother as Haddie's driving instruction. Adam explains that he can't just take over for Kristina (his wife) without hurting his wife’s feelings and their marriage. Both he and Haddie, Adam explains, must be patient with her mother. The patience doesn't last long as Adam returns home from work and is immediately inserted into the middle of a fight between Haddie and Kristina.
Ah, marriage and parenthood.
Gotta love it.
Adam never does lose his cool.
But it's only the first episode.
Let's see how the mild-mannered, even tempered survives a few more weeks like this.