Over in the "TV Shows I Am Binging" thread, I noted that I got hooked on This Is Us, which led to a quick discussion over the show's merits and a pledge to talk about the latest episode. We threw out the idea of having that conversation in the "What Are You Watching Right Now?" thread, but I decided to start one dedicated to the show. Although I titled it "Season 4," I'm not going to limit my observations to that season alone,

So far, it's just been me and Jeff, but I welcome anyone else to join in -- especially Tracy! We've seen too little of you here in the Comics Cave!

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Very powerful episode last night. (Was it the season finale?) Don't want to say anything if you haven't seen it yet.

Yes, that was the season finale. Lots to chew on until it starts up again!

Some thoughts: 

  • The business of introducing people who seemingly don't have a connection to the Pearson sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. It worked with the firefighter who found Randall; it worked with Dr. K. It worked with Cassidy. I don't think it worked with Madison's OB/GYN. Unless we're going to see a lot more of him, but I didn't see anything that made me want to.
  • Speaking of Madison, I don't think she's The Love of Kevin's Life, but I don't mind them trying to make a go of it. 
  • Deja sighting! It's been too long!
  • Adult Baby Jack's story must be in the far future, even further out than Old (But Still Beautiful) Rebecca on her deathbed.
  • I didn't notice it, but both Future Kevin and Future Nicky were wearing wedding rings?

The main event, of course, is Kevin and Randall's blowout, saying the things that are better left unsaid. And the worst part about it? You could see in Kevin's face that he knew he shouldn't have said what he said, and regretted it the moment it left his mouth ... and Randall knew he shouldn't have said what he said, but did not regret a single word. Beth, you've got to talk your man off the ledge! 

Then there's Randall's bullying Rebecca into entering the clinical trial. Re his argument with Kevin, I do think they both have at least one valid point: for Randall's part, if it works, they'll all be glad for the additional time with Rebecca; for Kevin's part, she said what she wanted and we should abide by that.

Randall is not thinking about what if this trial fails: then they've lost nine months together with Rebecca they could have had. We've seen other flashbacks (or flashforwards?) that indicate Rebecca will still have the memory lapses, so the clinical trial didn't work, or didn't make a whole lot of difference. Will Randall see how wrong he has acted after that comes to pass? 

“I don't think it worked with Madison's OB/GYN.”

Agreed.

“I don't mind them trying to make a go of it.”

Agreed.

”Deja sighting! It's been too long!”

I thought the same thing1

“Both Future Kevin and Future Nicky were wearing wedding rings?”

Yup. (Tracy picked up on that..)

“The main event, of course, is Kevin and Randall's blowout…”

They said things to each other they will never be able to take back. Randall, in particular I thought, used his words with surgical (and deadly) precision.

There for a minute I thought Kevin and Madison’s girl was going to end up being the baby Kate and Toby adopted. (Not very realistic, but this is television.)

I’m looking forward to seeing some on location filming at Wash U and elsewhere in St. Louis next season.

From E! News: "This Is Us Writer Jas Waters Dead at 39: Mandy Moore and More Stars React"

New season begins October 27.

Looking forward to it.

Can't say I'm terribly excited about them bringing coronavirus into it (I saw Randall wearing a mask in the promo), but I get that TV shows feel that they have to. I'd still rather they didn't.

I think every returning TV show should do a time jump and open with a title card that reads "SIX MONTHS LATER" (or "NINE MONTHS LATER" or whatever), and in the first scene, have somebody say, "Whew! Glad that's over with!"

The problem with that approach is that no one knows how long is it going to last. How far are we into it now? Half way? A third? A quarter?

If it comes back, they can bring it up. I'd still rather they didn't.

There are two schools of thought on that, and the disagreement applies to comic strips, too. Personally, I like to see entertainment reflect reality... well, most of the time, anyway. We'll have to wait and see how they handle it. 

I just finished listening to the first four-part set of "Stranded," the latest Doctor Who audio, in which the (Eighth) doctor and his friends are "stranded" in England in the year 2020. Thing is, the entire set was wrapped, including post production interviews, just before Christmas 2019. It's a bit "unrealistic" in that it takes place in 2020 and there's not a single mention of the the pandemic. 

Well, you all know where I stand on "realistic"... 

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