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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I think the producers did a convincing job on all the re-castings except Randall--I don't think any of the actors look at all like each other, let alone the same person. 

I think they did best with the various stages of Kate. Sometimes I really can't tell Middle School Kate from High School Kate.

Speaking of Déjà, Tess and Annie, here's an interview with Lyric Ross, Eris Baker and Faithe Herman!

From the "Survived the Shows" blog: "Meet Randall and Beth's Daughters on This Is Us: Tess, Annie, and Déjà"

Tonight is the penultimate episode of This Is Us

In an appearance last Monday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Mandy Moore told Fallon that when she read the script for this episode, she threw up. I suppose she meant it in a good way ... 

Tracy is out of town this week so I won't be watching tonight's episode until Sunday at the earliest. 

"She's on a mission in space."



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Tracy is out of town this week so I won't be watching tonight's episode until Sunday at the earliest. 

"She's tied up on an urgent mission of her own."

The Baron said:

"She's on a mission in space."



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Tracy is out of town this week so I won't be watching tonight's episode until Sunday at the earliest. 

We watched both of the last two episodes on Tuesday night. We spent probably too much time trying to guess who the young, cancer-cure-seeking doctor was in the penultimate episode and his connection to the Pearsons. (Unrelated to that question, I thought, when he reported his "breakthrough" to his senior, I thought the older guy was going to take credit for his work. But I digress...).

I thought the series went on maybe one episode too long. I have known more people who rushed to make it to the bedside of a terminally ill parent who haven't made it than who have. (For the record, that is two who haven't, zero who have.) Would I have liked to have seen Kate not make it? No, I just wish they had avoided that scenario altogether.

The train bit was nicely done.

When Tracy and I got married, she brought The Gilmore Girls into the marriage. At first, I didn't watch it with her (or, if I was in the room, didn't pay much attention), but eventually I learned who the characters were and started following the story. We followed Lauren Graham to Parenthood, and when that show ended we read an article that suggested if we liked Parenthood we should give This is Us a try. Now we'll have to find something on the 2022 schedule to replace This is Us

I look at the last two episodes as the first and second half of the This Is Us series finale, although it wasn't billed that way. (Maybe they should have billed it that way.) In that light, I am satisfied.

I could quibble, and there's plenty one could find to quibble about if one is so inclined to quibble. But I think its very true to This Is Us to spend the second half of the finale on Rebecca and Jack and the kids spending a lazy Saturday with nothing to do, to make the point that life isn't about the big events but the small ones, like Dad teaching you how to shave (even when you don't actually have any hair on your face to cut). Nice that they did this with the original bunch of Big Three kids, who are all growed up now.

I don't mind that we didn't hear Randall's and Kevin's eulogies at the funeral, or get a flash forward into everyone's lives, save for the moment when Jack II (Toby and Kate's son) was at the playground with his kid in a swing. 

All the complaints I might have about what we didn't get are really not about the finale but about the series as a whole. Like Randall's entire national political career happening off-screen. (How does one go from being a mere city councilman to United States senator? And from there to munching on deep-fried Oreos?) Or the woefully underdeveloped lives of Tess and especially Annie. Or just how did Déjà and Malik find their way back to each other? If there was a spinoff to be had (but there isn't), I would definitely go for one about this branch of the family tree, if only to see more of the coolest member of the entire family, Beth.

Also off-stage: Kate got her act together to the extent that she got a master's degree in early childhood education AND is launching a chain of schools using her curriculum? That's even more fantastic than her courtship with and second marriage to Phillip! 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I have known more people who rushed to make it to the bedside of a terminally ill parent who haven't made it than who have. (For the record, that is two who haven't, zero who have.) Would I have liked to have seen Kate not make it? No, I just wish they had avoided that scenario altogether.

I could have done without that, too. It might have been interesting if she hadn't made it, but they couldn't have spun the stories that would have come from that in only one episode. (Well, they might have tried, since they covered Kate's entire divorce, courtship and second marriage in one episode, but it wouldn't have been very satisfying.)

Watching it, I was baffled that Mandy Moore said reading the script for the finale made her throw up. And although it was supposed to be a tear jerker, I wasn't crying; I was happy, watching the Easter eggs and seeing the Pearsons go through their moments, sad and bittersweet and joyous. I liked what I saw. 

A roundup of coverage about This Is Us and its finale, from TV Tattle, here.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

When Tracy and I got married, she brought The Gilmore Girls into the marriage. At first, I didn't watch it with her (or, if I was in the room, didn't pay much attention), but eventually I learned who the characters were and started following the story. We followed Lauren Graham to Parenthood, and when that show ended we read an article that suggested if we liked Parenthood we should give This is Us a try. Now we'll have to find something on the 2022 schedule to replace This is Us

I never took to The Gilmore Girls (I've tried, but it just didn't take), and although I liked Parenthood the movie, I never watched either version of Parenthood as a TV series (one 12-episode season in 1990 and the reboot in 2010, which lasted six seasons).

I need to find a replacement for This Is Us that we'll both watch. Right now, there's nothing that really grabs both of us. There's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but the next season is a long way away, and there are several shows I watch that the other half is uninterested in (Chicago Fire, Atlanta, Grey's Anatomy, The Flash, Superman & Lois, Home Economics, Bob Hearts Abishola, Ghosts, B Positive [although that's no longer around] and We Own This City.

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