Friday, October 19, 2018

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 3, Episode 4 “Vietnam” (C)

This show has so much to offer in the way of its many characters and their different lives, but then it has episodes like this which are supposed to provide immense background that doesn’t end up being all that relevant since, in this case at least, the only person who remembers it all is no longer alive and can’t share that knowledge with anyone else. Telling it in reverse, starting with Jack finding his brother in the middle of Vietnam and then explaining just how it is that he got there from the very point that Nicky was born, which was a time before Jack’s father was an abusive alcoholic who clearly modeled his behavior on that of his own father, played by Michael Ironside. I recognized Scott Michael Campbell’s name in the credits and identified the “Shameless” actor as Jack’s commanding officer who wasn’t willing to let him travel the short distance to go check on his brother, who was of course played by Michael Angarano of “Will and Grace” fame. Having Jack and Nicky watch the lottery numbers called and then showing an entire hospital room full of newborn babies who would all eventually be called up to war was moderately powerful in its own way, but I definitely don’t think we needed an entire episode dedicated to a character that we know we won’t really have a chance to meet because even Jack didn’t get to spend enough time with him before he was presumably killed in action.

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