Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 1, Episode 9 “The Trip” (B-)

Since I’m a few weeks behind on this show, I watched this episode just as I heard about the Golden Globe nominations, which included bids for Best TV Series – Drama and Best Supporting Actress for both Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate, and Mandy Moore, who plays Rebecca. I suppose there is something relatable about the characters the two of them play, where Sterling K. Brown, who got nominated for his Emmy-winning performance on “The People vs. OJ Simpson,” is in a whole different class in terms of his focused and intense portrayal. What it all comes down to is a show that’s interesting and occasionally very endearing, but hardly as substantive as something like “Parenthood” that really deserved all the praise and attention that this show seems to be getting. This episode was the first to toy with its flashback-and-present format, showcasing the past in a hallucination that Randall had where he directly confronted his younger mother for not sharing the fact of his father’s existence with him. I didn’t find that to be particularly effective, and it didn’t enable much more clarity to have Randall’s memories of Jack defend Rebecca’s actions. Kevin’s relationship with Olivia is getting less and less interesting by the minute, and Kate being far away from Toby isn’t helping that romance either. I’m hopeful that as this show develops it moves away from being relatively simplistic and sappy and back to the inspiring and enticing drama that got everyone hooked when the pilot episode aired.

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