This Is Us s1 ep 7

I feel like my This Is Us reviews are beginning to suffer from the same ailment as Kate’s storylines – just as her storylines are almost always about her weight (except for that one time she wanted to watch football with her dead dad instead of her clingy boyfriend), my posts are almost always complaining about them. FYI: no change in this week’s episode, and I’m bored of talking about it, so let’s move right along.

1980s Jack and Rebecca are struggling a bit; their sons are fighting, Jack’s trying to close a big deal and Rebecca’s going back to singing. It’s all exceptionally awkward: the boys’ football match erupts into all-out warfare, the Pearson’s marriage is long past the honeymoon phase, and there’s a disquieting amount of pointed flirtation going on at the office, suggesting somebody’s going to have an affair, although whether it’ll be Miguel or Jack is, at this point, still up in the air.

As for the signing, well, outwith shows where everyone’s singing is integral to the story (eg Nashville or Glee), I’m never a massive fan of giving a tv character in a drama musical aspirations, especially when I know the actor already has or wants a real-life musical career too. Because I’m constantly suspicious that they might then try and release the same song in real life, I find it all a bit break-the-fourth-wall embarrassing. And even more so since, although Mandy Moore has a really lovely voice, Rebecca’s songs all seem to be terrible.

Never mind all that, though. The focus in both timelines this week – and the best storyline by a mile, even if Beth and William hanging out is great too – is on Randall and Kevin’s relationship, which is stilted in the present and positively toxic in the past. As the episode develops, we get an idea of why, and things get very much worse before they get better. But by the end, there’s hope for the future too, culminating in a deeper understanding between the pair of them and a simple, yet eloquent scene towards the end: two guys just sitting watching a sitcom together has never been quite so significant or so sweet. Bless.

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2 thoughts on “This Is Us s1 ep 7

  1. Snoskred January 24, 2017 / 9:02 am

    Clearly the Kate Weight storyline is not going away anytime soon. It is going to Be A Thing, Longterm. Having had weight problems myself and having a friend who was larger than Kate size and is now half that weight, the storylines around the weight are actually pretty realistic. I’m feeling a bit more concerned about all the race stuff myself, that feels really on the edge of Not Quite Ok to me, but that is not somewhere I am comfortable speaking much about, nor should I be, I think. It just makes me very uncomfortable overall.

    I do mostly enjoy the show even with all the cringey uncomfortableness. My feeling is, it is emotionally manipulative on so many fronts. Sometimes that is ok, and sometimes it annoys me a bit. But either way I’m on board for it all, because it is so well done.

  2. Jed Bartlet January 24, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    This was probably my least favourite episode so far. I liked it, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t love it.

    Kevin used to be a jerk, arguably still is, and I was half hoping that Randall would rip his head off when they were playing football. (Although the scene when they were fighting as adults was worth it for “I’m still black”.) If I were Beth, I’d have reached the stage of kicking one of the interlopers out weeks ago. The girls are having to share a bed? Nuh-uh, Kevin. Back to your hotel.

    The Kate/Toby stuff is getting a little tired: not necessarily because it’s all about their weight, but because… they don’t seem to be making each other very happy, do they? I mean, it’s one thing to portray a relationship having problems a few years in, when you’ve got kids and commitments keeping you together anyway. But they’ve only been seeing each other for a few weeks. Shouldn’t they be enjoying it a bit more? By way of contrast, I thought the 80s Jack/Rebecca scenes were well done for precisely that reason: they’re at the stage when habit starts to overtake excitement, and you might start to look for the excitement elsewhere, her with the singing (and that dude?) and him with work (and that chick?).

    I do agree with Snoskred: it’s all manipulative as hell. But as I’ve said before I don’t mind being manipulated when a show does it well, and This Is Us does it very well.

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