Ranking The Terrible Kids Of Parenthood
Parenthood features one of the largest child casts in primetime. Also, some of the very worst kid characters. Let us count the ways!
Parenthood has a tough job: it has to portray a realistic version of modern parenting while also being an enjoyable drama. You can't have a show called Parenthood without children, yet in order for the kids to be involved, they have to be...challenging. Parenthood, therefore, celebrates the difficult side of child-rearing. Sometimes, though, like Seth Holt with a pocket full of cash and a fresh motel room, it celebrates it a little too hard and doesn't know when to stop. Here's a ranking of the major (and majorly frustrating) kid characters on Parenthood. (Note: If you are a young actor on Parenthood or his/her mom, please don't read this.)
Who Is He? Son of Crosby and Jasmine.
Major Crimes: None. Jabbar's kind of the perfect kid. He's sweet, kind, enthusiastic, and the worst thing he's ever done is not want to clean his room. If he wasn't in the main cast, he wouldn't even be on this list. That's how good Jabbar is.
Mitigating Factor(s): Until he was five, he thought his dad was some deadbeat who didn't love him. Why would he think this? Because his mom basically told him so. Hey, how is Jabbar the most well-adjusted person on the show?!
Final Judgment: Jabbar's the best.
Who Is She? Baby daughter of Adam and Kristina.
Major Crimes: None, really. She's a damn good baby.
Mitigating Factor(s): None needed. I'm sure control-freak duo Adam and Kristina will screw her up plenty.
Final Judgment: She's not the worst, but she's not the best, either. Jabbar is the best.
Who Is He? Son of Sarah, by Seth.
Major Crimes: Moping. Wishy-washiness. Oh, and getting his high school girlfriend pregnant.
Mitigating Factor(s): Did we mention he's Sarah's kid, by Seth? Unlike Jabbar, Drew's dad's an actual deadbeat, while his mom's a narcissist who jumps from career idea to career idea without ever really giving one of them an honest go. (I just got really depressed writing that sentence. I also think Lauren Graham should be given a hundred Emmys for making that character as charismatic as she is.) Also, with a trouble-magnet sister like Amber, Drew basically gets no attention.
Final Judgment: Hooray for Drew, he no longer mopes! As with his sister, post-high school Drew is waaaaay better than high school Drew. Maybe Zeek and Camille were the problem?
Who Is She? Daughter of Sarah, by Seth.
Major Crimes: Hoo boy. Drunk driving, sleeping with her cousin's boyfriend (they were on a break!), running away, going out with dumb Damian in Season 1, fooling around with politician Bob "Bargain Toby Maguire" Little, smoking.
Mitigating Factor(s): See above for the Seth-n-Sarah Effect. Also, Amber was a lousy kid, but has turned out to be a pretty good adult. She's always there for her brother, and she's put up with quite a bit from her troubled boyfriend, Ryan.
Final Judgment: Not even close to the worst of this crowd.
Who Is He? Son of Adam and Kristina. (He also has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes me feel badly about putting him on this list at all. But he's main cast, so what're you gonna do?)
Major Crimes: Yelling, defiance, obstinacy. Saying terrible things to everyone all the time. Being no fun at sleepovers.
Mitigating Factor(s): He has Asperger's Syndrome, you monster!
Final Judgment: There's a difference between being the worst and just being a handful, and the moments where Max finds connection or delight are gems. Max is exhausting, and a keeper.
Who Is She? Daughter of Hank (by his ex-wife, Marie Schrader).
Major Crimes: Being a tween. Not hanging out with her dad on visitation weekends, falsifying photos of herself with Justin Bieber, refusing Max Braverman's overtures.
Mitigating Factor(s): Her parents are maybe not great. Her dad is Ray Barone in full Robert Barone mode, and her mom — again, Marie Schrader — thinks it's a good idea to move from Los Angeles to Minneapolis. Minneapolis is great, but that's just a thing you don't do, man.
Final Judgment: Eh, she's all right.
Who Is She? Daughter of Crosby and Jasmine.
Major Crimes: Crying every second she's onscreen; being the worst baby character on television.
Mitigating Factor(s): Colic?
Final Judgment: She's the worst baby on the show, that's for sure. Lucky for her, she doesn't have any lines.
Who Is She? Daughter of Julia and Joel.
Major Crimes: Being a terror. Being a sore loser, a tattletale, a complainer, and a manipulator. To be blunt, she's kind of an asshole. Which seems awful to say of a child, but maybe you haven't seen Sydney Graham? She's like the ten worst Project Runway contestants stuffed into the body of an grade-schooler.
Mitigating Factor(s): She's modeling her mom's Type A traits and her dad's stubborn self-righteousness. Also, how would you feel if you were the oldest kid in your family, and then one day your parents sign on for something called a Sky Baby and suddenly you've not only got an older sibling, you've got one who sucks all the attention away from you? How would that feel, princess?
Final Judgment: You see we're getting toward the bottom of the list here.
Who Is He? Adopted son of Julia and Joel
Major Crimes: Throwing a baseball bat at his little sister. Telling his adopted parents he hates them -- like, every week. Saying terrible things to Sydney. Stealing bribery candy from Julia. Is Sydney a nastier piece of work? Yes, but Sydney lets up every now and then. Victor's a monster 90 percent of the time.
Mitigating Factor(s): He's been adopted from a living mother who's in jail. That's pretty rough. His new parents make only the most superficial attempts to understand the culture they've plucked him from. He has to live with Sydney. His new parents' marriage is suffering a core meltdown.
On the Other Hand: He's been rescued from the foster system and poverty and a pretty rough-looking life and been given parents who really are trying.
Final Judgment: Victor is nearly the worst.
Who Is She? Daughter of Adam and Kristina.
Major Crimes: Making everything about her. When her father loses his job, what's Haddie's reaction? Screaming and raging that she won't be able to go to the college of her choice. No one said "no college," Haddie, they just said you may not be able to go to that one incredibly expensive Ivy League school. (Which they found a way to do, thanks to her tantrum. No college for you, Nora!) Later, when Kristina gets cancer, Haddie ignores her mother's instructions and flies home from college, jeopardizing her entire semester at said incredibly expensive school, mainly because she just wants to make herself feel better. She refuses to go on the family Autism fundraising walk because she's pissed at Amber. Haddie also shirks her babysitting duties, enabling her younger, Asperger's-affected brother to wander off and get lost in the city. WTF, Haddie. W-T-F.
Mitigating Factor(s): Her brother has Asperger's Syndrome. Okay, that's stressful. Her cousin slept with her boyfriend. (Though they were on a break!)
On the Other Hand: Do these sound like good reasons to be a selfish creep? Because they are not. Also, Haddie, you are a teenager/young adult. Your closest competitors for this spot are still drinking from juice boxes. Congrats.
Final Judgment: Haddie is the worst!