John Corbett made his Parenthood debut as Amber and Drew's dad, Seth, Tuesday. Although he wasn't exactly welcomed back with open arms by his ex, Sarah (Lauren Graham), his introduction served as a strong first step in what is sure to be a rocky, but riveting, story line.
Sarah has always been a focal point of the NBC drama — her move back to Berkeley to live with her parents kicked off the series, after all — but her story lines have always focused much more heavily on her love life than anything else. While Adam and Kristina were reeling from their son's Asperger's diagnosis, Julia struggled to balance her professional and personal lives and Crosby came to terms with his son, Sarah's family issues (and there are plenty of them!) have always taken a back seat to her love life.
Season 1 it was her daughter's boyishly handsome English teacher Mr. Cyr (Jason Ritter), whom her daughter also happened to have a crush on. The beginning of Season 2 it was her also-much-younger co-worker Mike (Kevin Alejandro) before her boss Gordon (Stephen Baldwin) stepped in and soon left town after selling the company at which both Adam and Sarah work.
While her various relationships have always made for good television, the focus on her love life on what is otherwise a strong family drama has always kept her slightly disconnected from her siblings and the rest of the extended Braverman family.
With the introduction of Seth and the inevitable drama that comes with having your formerly drug-addicted significant other back in your children's lives, promises to give Graham the deeper material her character has deserved since the beginning. There's plenty of time for Sarah to fall in love again, and truly find her place in the world professionally, but first let's try and repair some of her deep trust issues.
Hopefully, Seth's return doesn't go the inevitable route of Sarah falling back in love with her ex now that he's sober, but even so, meeting the man who defined her life and struggles for so many years can only be a good thing. Plus, it gives more material for Graham's excellent on-screen kids, Mae Whitman and Miles Heizer.
What did you think of Corbett's Parenthood debut?