Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 1, Episode 5 “The Game Plan” (B-)

This episode continues to follow the format of one momentous conversation set when the siblings were children (or in this case, before they were alive) framing the events that take place in the present. It’s jarring to see Rebecca of all people express a desire not to have kids, especially after we’ve seen her display such attachment to them. Jack continues to be a sympathetic figure whose energy can’t be compared to anyone else’s, and the confirmation that he is in fact no longer alive in the present day only makes him more endearing. We still don’t know when or how he died and whether the marriage dissolved before his death, but Miguel and his own wife seem to go way back. Staging the fight in a bar that forced Jack to start a fight to defend his wife’s honor felt forced, and that sentiment was triply true when Toby tried to invade Kate’s secret tradition of Sunday night football watching. It doesn’t take much for someone to know that pausing a live football game right before a big moment is about to happen isn’t smart, and this one was all on Toby for being ignorant of her interests while attempting to ingratiate himself into them. Kevin seems just as oblivious to everything, thinking that babysitting could be a script readthrough with no lasting consequences like telling his nieces that their grandfather is going to die. Only Randall and Beth got to be serious, thoughtful people, one of whom was more than happy to accept the offer of a fancy hotel room and the other who was too preoccupied thinking about how fleeting those moments were going to be now that another child was on the way.

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