In Defense of Haddie Braverman


After last week’s episode of Parenthood, once again my twitter feed was filled with those claiming, “Haddie is the WORST.” That is false. Aside from the fact that it is completely hyperbolic (I mean, Hitler.), it is unfair. Haddie is a teenager, a very realistic teenager. Let’s look at the facts:

1. She ran away from home to date a guy her parents did not approve of.

Okay, first of all, she ran away to her grandparents’ house. Not exactly hardcore-living-on-the-streets kind of rebellion. Second of all, her parents refused to let her date Alex before they even met him. Yes, he was older and yes, he was a former alcoholic, but her grandmother knew him and approved. Once her parents met him, they loved Alex. Point for Haddie.

2. She sometimes yells at Max and that one time she lost him.

Max has Asperger’s, so much of his behavioral issues cannot be helped, but that does not mean it isn’t frustrating to live with them. Adam gets frustrated and yells at him on an episode-ly basis and no one is calling him the worst. Even sweet, carefree Jabbar got mad at him. That time he got lost was not even Haddie’s fault. She had to study, but since every member of that family has to talk at the same exact time, no one heard her say that so she was stuck watching him. He ran away (and even if she was watching him, I’m not positive she could have stopped this), but they found him and he was mostly unfazed. She felt terribly guilty, too.

She also does nice things for Max, like patiently explaining things to him and buying him weighted blankets. She even tells him she loves him even though he can’t reciprocate because Amber only taught him how to look sorry and not other emotions like love. Point for Haddie.

3. She was upset about not being able to go to her dream college.

Who among you would not be upset if, at age 18, you got into your dream college and yourparents said you couldn’t go because your brother’s school was so expensive and, oh yeah, they’re having another baby? If you meet a teenager who would handle that situation better than Haddie did, they’ll probably grow up to be Mother Teresa or something. Point for Haddie.

4. She doesn’t want to spend every waking moment with her family the week before she leaves for college.

Maybe if her family could get together and just have dance parties and family portraits made she’d be all about that. But they have to go shopping and to a party and then to this restaurantthat she loved when she was five. Do you know what restaurant I loved when I was five? Shoney’s. Some things just don’t hold up. Especially when there’s a kid in your family that has Asperger’s and an infant and they no longer serve everyone’s favorite food or seem to have any high-chairs. Plus, she’s leaving her friends, too, so of course she wants to hang out with them. Again, she’s a teenager. She does show up at the family party. She does hug her parentsgoodbye in tears. Point for Haddie.

5. Her bangs.

I really have no defense for this. Sorry, Haddie.

In conclusion, Haddie is not the worst. Haddie is a teenager. Teenagers, well, they kind of are the worst.

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