Joel and Julia have been through some heavy stuff over the past season on Parenthood , and Season 6 is already proving to be no exception. Julia's got a sexy new man named Chris, and Joel is desperate to rekindle their relationship, planting a smooch on his estranged wife and begging her to talk to him. During "Happy Birthday Zeek," Thursday night's new episode of Parenthood, Julia put it pretty bluntly to Joel: "I begged you for a year and you refused and I'm almost okay, so you can't come over and talk...you cant kiss me, you cant pretend like you didn't destroy me because you did. You destroyed all of us." Ouch. True...but ouch. But not even dwindling hopes of a reunited Joel and Julia could compare to their biggest hurdle this week: Sydney Graham.
Look, I know it's probably terrible for an adult to actively hate a child, but is there a worse, more unlikable child on all of television than Joel and Julia's spawn Sydney? What a deeply, deeply unpleasant kid. And yes, I understand that Sydney is acting out in the face of her parents split, but I have a hard time believing that Sydney's bullying of an overweight classmate is, as Julia put it, "Not like her at all." Nice try, Julia, but Sydney has been world-class unbearable and mean long before this incident. Granted, her problems at home probably isn't helping, but she was a vicious monster when Victor came into the picture, so her bratty, selfish behavior isn't anything new, just amplified.
After one of Sydney's outbursts ("I HATE BOTH OF YOU!" she screamed, in ultimate cliche mode) and her declaration that the filling in Julia's gluten-free fruit tart "sucks," Joelia saw eye-to-eye on one thing together since their split: Sydney is a handful and they don't know what to do with her. On the bright side, Sydney's behavior could just be the thing that unites Joel and Julia, which might just make her remotely redemptive.