Sunday, October 14, 2018

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 3, Episode 3 “Katie Girls” (B-)

I’ve described this show regularly as emotionally manipulative, and while that was the case here, my main issue with this hour is that I’m not a fan of the device that explores hallucinations or dreams literally. I recognize that such an opportunity is wondrous on this show since it allows the three portrayers of Kate - adult Chrissy Metz, teenage Hannah Zeile, and child Mackenzie Hancsicsak - to interact on screen, and it also allows Jack to pull at the heartstrings by looking at his adult daughter face-to-face with pride. We’re learning more and more about how Jack continues to influence his children through his absence in their lives, like Randall’s grand gestures, and how little they actually knew him, like Kevin realizing that he should have asked him so many questions about his time in the war that he’s now going to try to answer with Zoe’s help. I’ll count it as a good thing that Toby told Randall that he’s faced depression before, so that he can help clue Kate in when things get really bad. Beth getting let go felt sudden, but I suppose things do happen like that, and it’s a good thing that she spoke up after Randall shared his newfound political ambitions. Spending time on Hunter Parrish’s mustachioed ex and his mother, portrayed by Jane Kaczmarek, who Rebecca puzzlingly turned to for advice about breaking up with her son, felt like a waste of time since she does eventually get together with Jack before his untimely death. At the very least, her decision to pitch a drive to Pittsburgh after she saw him doing dishes was sweet and endearing.

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