Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 3, Episode 13 “Our Little Island Girl” (B)

I’ve always felt that Beth was one of the strongest characters on this show and that Susan Kelechi Watson was an unsung MVP. I didn’t feel that as much in an episode where she took center stage, focused almost entirely on flashbacks and only featuring one Pearson (Randall) at two points during the episode, when she first met Randall at college and then when we expressed total support for her career change idea. There were three notable guest stars in this hour, all playing influential figures from Beth’s past. Phylicia Rashad is probably going to earn her fourth career Emmy nomination after previous bids for “A Raisin in the Sun” and “The Cosby Show” for portraying Beth’s mom, who always stressed the importance of achievement even if those goals had little in common with her daughter’s desires in life. This is the second recent role that “Alias” alum Carl Lumbly has been given with a heavy accent after “Supergirl” earlier this season, and he definitely got to pull the heartstrings by playing Beth’s wonderful father who succumbed to an early death. And then there was “Timeless” star Goran Visnjic as the ballet instructor who pushed here and ultimately told her she wasn’t cut out for it. The notion of her returning to a career she actually liked is probably the most Randall move she could pull, and I’m excited to see how that goes for her even though it’s sure to be difficult given her mom’s general lack of support for foolish ambitions.

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