Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What I’m Watching: This Is Us

This Is Us: Season 5, Episode 4 “Honestly” (B+)

I appreciate this show’s ability to mix humor with drama, and it was definitely very funny to see Randall dance on camera without realizing the livestream was still on and then become the subject of a few very true-to-life memes. It was nice also that he got to have a serious moment of bonding where Malik demonstrated himself to be very worthy of Deja and of the internship that he still managed to get even after failing to stop the video before Randall started stripping (which objectively he should have confirmed had happened before so readily taking off his clothes). Looking at role models was an effective framework for this episode, with Jack riding Kevin hard to take his commitments seriously in a way that ultimately prompted him to be friendlier to Randall and then still use that flashcard strategy when preparing for a role with a truly impossible director with the same style of encouragement. This show has always done a great job of casting Kevin’s costars, and it’s nice to see Jamie Chung, fresh off a very memorable part on “Lovecraft Country,” as his latest scene partner. Kate opening up to Toby about her abortion reveals a struggle she went through apparently all by herself, and it’s good for her to have a reliable support system who shouldn’t be scared away by this news. We still haven’t yet seen Randall’s mother in the present day, but his viral video was enough to make the man who seems to be her partner aware of his existence, though it’s still not clear whether she’s alive and how such an approach will hit a surely unprepared Randall.

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