Sunday, October 2, 2016

Round Two: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Big Three” (B)

This is easily the new show of the season so far, earning critical acclaim and a first full-season pickup the day this second installment aired. As a result, I feel like it’s important and worthwhile for me to try to get into it, and I’d like to be optimistic about its quality. This was a decent follow-up in many ways, but I’m also not entirely sure if this is going to be a great show. Pairing scenes about the triplets as kids with their parents working on their marriage and the present-day struggles of their adult counterparts is effective in many ways, but, as with any show that relies heavily on flashbacks or links multiple time periods, it can feel forced since there had to be something that happened in between. Kate telling Toby that every single moment of her life is about her weight is fair since that obviously began early and she hasn’t been able to get away from that mentality. Kevin calling Randall late one night after we saw Kevin abandoning his brother when he was being taunted by other kids at school feels less genuine. There’s also the shock factor, which kicked in once again when we got confirmation that Jack and Rebecca were still alive only to see Rebecca walk in with a man named Miguel who was introduced as Grandpa - and looks a whole lot like Jack's best friend - to Randall’s children. As long as this show uses its framing device as an aid to its storytelling rather than its guiding instrument, it should work out okay. Beth confronting William and telling him he has overstayed his welcome turned into a big nothing, and at things point that problems they are all facing seem to be heading in a positive direction with a career move for Kevin and Toby as an energizing force in Kate’s life. Let’s see how things go in episode three.

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