Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 4, Episode 7 “The Dinner and the Date” (B+)

This was a remarkably uncomfortable episode, possibly the most awkward one that this show has yet produced, but I also found it to be very effective. Tuning out the present-day problems faced by Kevin and Kate was a smart choice, continuing the theme of similar events in different time periods to underscore what it means to be these people. Rebecca couldn’t understand why Jack was so eager to have Mr. Lawrence over when Kevin had repeatedly asked to invite the nurse whose breasts he liked, and watching Jack fight to be the most relevant parent was not a good look. Kevin’s comments weren’t helpful either, but fortunately Jack decided to follow him outside to have a real conversation about what role Mr. Lawrence could continue to play in his journey towards self-discovery and how Jack could best support that. Having Randall in a very different position as the less open-minded parent to his wife’s open-toed attitude made for a considerably testier interaction, one that started with Kelly shushing her hosts because the baby was asleep and resulted in full-blown confrontation between the mothers. The performances by Omar Epps and Marsha Stephanie Blake as Darnell and Kelly are really terrific, and I’d be very open to seeing them again on this show. Also, how can Susan Kelechi Watson not get an Emmy nomination for playing Beth after this episode? Seeing the sweet nature of Malik and Deja’s relationship demonstrates the connection between the two of them, each trying to overcome their own circumstances, and it’s great that Randall and Beth decided to officially approve of the romance rather than try to push them away from each other.

No comments: