Friday, September 29, 2017

What I’m Watching: This Is Us (Season Premiere)

This Is Us: Season 2, Episode 1 “A Father’s Advice” (B)

I think it’s fair to say that this was one of the most beloved new shows on television last season, and many are celebrating its return. I watched the entire first season mainly because my wife likes it, and I’m glad I stuck with it if only for the awards attention eventually heaped upon it. I don’t think that the quality has changed given the content and format of this premiere, and I’ll keep watching if only for the reasons listed above. Starting again by celebrating all of its main characters’ birthdays doesn’t feel all too gimmicky, and it’s useful to check in with all of them to see where they are in life now. With Toby’s health scares behind him, at least for now, it’s just boyfriend-brother Kevin who’s in the way of his happy relationship with Kate, who stood up for herself when the two men in her life were arguing over her like she wasn’t there and then scored a personal win by getting turned down for a music gig because she lacked talent rather than a thin frame. Kevin’s acting seems to be going great, and he’s still with Sophie, with the great distance between them as their likeliest downfall. Randall made a big mistake when he tried to force his adoption desires on Beth, telling her that she needed to get with the program, but fortunately they worked with that, and a teenage adoptee is sure to come around soon to complicate matters. It’s heartwarming to see that Rebecca went over to vow to stay with Jack when they were on the brink of separation, but then this show went into heartstrings mode to give yet another unclear hint of Jack’s eventual means of death: a shelled-out house destroyed by a fire. This show could be much better if it didn’t insist on shocking its audience and making them cry at the same time.

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