Friday, January 09, 2015

NBC "Parenthood" approaches close, puts on troubling medical and crime situations

I haven’t followed NBC’s “Parenthood”, although the network is making a lot of the fact that this is the final season and that it’s down to the last four episodes.
Thursday night’s episode “How Did We Get Here?” presented a couple of personal challenges that certain demonstrate the values of the show.  Zeke Braverman (Craig T. Nelson) has another heart attack in bed, and is rushed to the hospital.  The family gathers, and is kept on edge by the ambiguity of the doctors’ answers from the emergency department.  It’s even going to take a couple hours to get a room in the ICU.  (It usually doesn’t in my experience here at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington VA with my own mother a few years back; the ICU looked like a regular private hospital room, even with TV and phone if you paid for it, but with extra monitoring).  Later, Zeke is confronted with a choice.  He can do nothing, remain an invalid needing care of others and probably only a few months to a year to live with cardiomyopathy.  Or he might try a second valve replacement operation, very risky.  (Barbara Walters had surgery like that at age 81, was out of commission for a summer, but came through just fine.) My own mother had a choice like that in 1999, electing coronary bypass surgery at age 85, at a time when it was unusual at that age.  She would live 11 more years, all but the last four quite productively.  So modern invasive surgery, even in the elderly, does work.
While the family is out, a coffee shop belonging to a couple of family members is burglarized and ransacked to shreds. The insurance company pays out enough that the owners can settle their debts, lay off the employees with a little severance, and keep a little.  It all sounds a little seedy, something insurers don’t like to see depicted.  It also shows that a single crime can bring the end of a small business, again a sobering lesson.

The show seems to be set in the Bay Area, around Berkeley, CA.  

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