Why you should subscribe to HBO

My cable bill is stupid high, thanks to a bundle deal I have through AT&T.  But one thing I pay for, and pay for gladly, is my subscription to HBO.

I pay $16 each month for the service, and let me tell you, it’s totally worth it.  Yes, there have been amazing shows that have been on HBO, like The Sopranos and Sex in the City, but now, they have even better shows, and their HBO Go app is amazing.  Here are a few of the things you should watch on HBO (in my opinion):

Game of Thrones.  If you have read my blog, you know I love GOT.  Season 7 releases in a month and 4 days (not that I’m counting).  I am so excited for this show to return, even for an abbreviated season (with longer episodes).  This show is so well written and beautifully acted, if not confusing, given the sheer number of characters and storylines to remember.  There is even an aftershow now, which helps with that.  If you haven’t watched seasons 1-6, get started.  You have a month and 4 days to catch up.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  I look forward to this show every week, and not just because I am not a fan of our President, but honestly, I learn about things I didn’t know.  Oliver does a story each week, and talks about it.  A few weeks back, he talked about the French election and he talked about Brexit this week and it’s possible consequences.  While he is vulgar, he is very funny and has a refreshingly strong sense of what’s going on in our country.

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The Wire.  Yes, The Wire is a very old show (from the early 2000’s), but it is still very relevant and worth watching.  It focuses on a group of detectives from Baltimore, and Baltimore’s drug lords in the first season.  It deals with shipping issues in the second season, back to drugs for the third, the public school system in Baltimore for the fourth (and in my opinion best season) and politics in the 5th.  Incredibly well written and acted.  Worth watching. Oh yeah, Idris Elba is one of the stars.  Yummy.

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Documentaries.  HBO has put out some incredibly good documentaries.  Most recently was Mommy Dead and Dearest, about a woman with Munchausen by Proxy and the consequences of that on her daughter.  There was also There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, about a woman who was killed in an auto accident with her children and nieces in the car.  And the best was The Jinx, the story of Robert Durst.  You have to watch that one.  It’s so unbelievably good.  It has an ending you’ll never see coming.

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There are also the movies, and other shows like Veep that are worth watching.  But I look forward to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Game of Thrones the most.

Happy watching.

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This is Us Episode 12 – The Big Day

PLEASE NOTE:   This post will contain spoilers about last night’s episode of This is Us.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’ve watched last night’s episode.  If you haven’t, you may want to come back and read it later.  You’ve been forewarned:)


So, instead of typing up a lengthy post about the content of last night’s episode, titled The Big Day, I’m going to briefly reflect on my thoughts on said episode.

This episode, set entirely in 1980, focuses on Jack and Rebecca, who are awaiting their triplets.   It’s Jack’s birthday, but Rebecca is on a rampage about everything and anything.  And being an uber bitch about it.

As a mother, I can totally understand hormones – and I only carried one child at a time.  How she acted didn’t bother me – it’s typical.  You also get “pregnancy brain”, where you forget stuff.  Been there, done that.

Jack continues to amaze me as a character.  After Rebecca kicks him out of the house, Jack meets Miguel at a golf course, where Miguel offers to buy Jack golf clubs.  Some of the other dads talk about using golf as an excuse to get away from their families.  Jack will have none of that.  He gushes about how much he loves his wife, and promptly leaves to go home to her.

I’m still not sure what to make of Miguel.  The fact that he and Rebecca are together is pretty creepy.  Assuming Jack has been dead for around 10 years (Kate mentioned the 2006 AFC Championship game was the last game she watched with her dad), that’s pretty fast for someone to have remarried.  Or maybe I just don’t like Miguel and I’m looking for reasons to dislike him.  Could Miguel be a reason that Jack and Rebecca had marital problems?  Did they get together after he died?  So. Many. Questions.

We also got to see more of the amazing Dr. K, played brilliantly by Gerald McCraney.  Dr. K is struggling with the loss of his wife a year earlier.  He hasn’t gotten rid of her clothes or things.  He talks to her like she’s there.  His son visits, urging him to “move on.”  Dr. K lays into him, telling him there is no time table for grief.  He runs into a friend at the grocery store who offers to cook dinner for him (herself a widow).  Then there is the scene at the cemetery, where it looks like Dr. K might be giving up.  Until he gets the page about the Big Three.  That entire scene had me in tears.  So beautifully acted.

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We also got a look into the life of firefighter Joe, the man who brought Randall to the hospital.  It turns out he didn’t bring the baby straight there – he brought him home to try to make a family with his wife, whom he can’t conceive children with.  His wife insisted that Joe take the baby to the hospital immediately.  But their story ended happily.

joe-firemanMy favorite scene, though, was when Rebecca talked to the babies, telling them that she loves them very much and apologizes for the mistakes she knows she’s going to make.  Jack comes in at the end with a video camera, which he brought himself for his birthday.

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Overall, this is probably my favorite episode yet.  This show is so beautifully written and acted.  It’s a shame it didn’t win any Golden Globes.

Happy watching.

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This is Up Episode 9 – The Trip

PLEASE NOTE:   This post will contain spoilers about last night’s episode of This is Us.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’ve watched last night’s episode.  If you haven’t, you may want to come back and read it later.  You’ve been forewarned:)


This week’s episode picks up where last week’s left off. Randall is still devastated over the revelation that Rebecca has known about Randall her whole life.  Randall keeps pacing the floor, and pausing to write down reasons he’s angry with Rebecca.  He’s at 22 reasons.  He also tells Beth and William that he’s angry with them, but not as angry as he is at Rebecca.

Randall mentions to Kate and Kevin that Rebecca is planning on selling their family cabin. Kate is upset by this news, and suggests to her brothers that they take a trip to the cabin for old times’ sake.  They arrive at the cabin, and Randall immediately starts packing stuff up.

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Unbeknownst to Randall and Kate, Kevin has invited Olivia to the cabin. Olivia doesn’t arrive alone.  She brings Asher, her ex-boyfriend, and Sloane, the playwright (better known as Lilly from the AT&T commercials).  Kate is none to pleased with the situation.  She chastises Kevin for inviting Olivia; he in turn tells her he had no idea she wouldn’t be alone.

In the past, Randall is 9 and starting to ask questions about his biological parents. He asks random African Americans if they can roll their tongue like he can, hoping to find his birth parents.  Jack mentions to Yvette that Randall is getting curious – he’s been talking to the mail man, the janitor – jobs an African American may have.  Yvette suggests to them that they take Randall to an all black karate class.

Rebecca is very opposed to finding Randall’s birth parents. Jack (shirtless, yum) asks her why she’s opposed.  She admits that she’s worried they may be better than them.  She’s terrified of losing her son.

Back to the present, at the cabin, Asher asks who drank his mushroom smoothie. Turns out it was Randall, and he’s stoned.  Hysterically.  Randall goes outside, and sees Jack on a ladder cleaning off the roof of the cabin.

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Randall starts going off to Jack about how upset he is with Rebecca. He asks Jack if he knew about William.  Jack says no (and I believe that).  Jack jumps to Rebecca’s defense, saying she was trying to protect her family.

Meanwhile, Kate, Kevin and the play bunch are playing a game and Kevin is acting like a different person in front of Olivia. Kate confronts Olivia, telling her she knows “girls like her.”  Olivia asks Kate point blank – what if you get the surgery and nothing changes?  This clearly freaks Kate out.

Kate then confronts Kevin about his behavior, and he ponders if she is deflecting due to her breakup with Toby and upcoming surgery. Kate informs Kevin that she “almost died”. Kevin disagrees, saying she “hit turbulence and spilled her peanuts.”  Kate gets mad and goes for a walk, on which she calls Toby.  Toby answers, and sounds very upset.  Kate starts telling him about Randall, and Kevin’s behavior.  Toby asks if they are still broken up.  Kate says yes, and Toby politely ends the call.

Meanwhile, stoned Randall is having a talk with Jack. Randall tells Jack that he was “only a replacement for the baby they lost.”  Going to be honest – that was a real dick thing for Randall to say and completely not true.  I get that Randall is pissed off, but he had a great life, and Jack was an amazing father, so this comment really pissed me off.  Jack informs Randall that he was no replacement, and reminds him that he was very loved.

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In the past, Rebecca goes to William’s apartment, hoping he still lives there. He does.  He informs Rebecca that he has been sober for 5 years, and has a good job in a bookstore.  Rebecca informs William that Randall has been asking about his birth parents.  William gets very excited, and suggests that Rebecca could bring him into the store.  William gets up to look for something, and while he’s doing that, Rebecca disappears.  Poor William doesn’t even know her last name.

Later, Jack and Rebecca attend Randall’s karate class. The sensei asks Jack to come lay on the ground, acting as a foundation, and has Randall get on his back.  Jack then does pushups with Randall on his back, acting as his rock.  Even after being told to stop, Jack keeps going, again proving what a freaking amazing father he is.

Back to the present, Kevin is in the cabin with Asher and Olivia watching a video of Kate and Kevin singing as kids. Asher and Olivia are snuggled on the coach, and Kevin flips his lid.  He calls Olivia out, telling her she has likely never experienced anything real in her entire life.  She and Asher then leave in Sloane’s car, stranding her in the woods.

Meanwhile, Randall sees a vision of his family in the past, playing games at the cabin. He sees how happy they were.  He then has a vision of Rebecca having a freak out in the cabin, locking all the doors and looking frantically for the kids.  It appeared to symbolize her fear of someday losing Randall.

In the past, we see William receive the now famous letter from Rebecca. William starts crying and drops the letter on a book of poems he had written, called “Poems for My Son.” That was a really heartbreaking scene.

The next morning, Kate goes to wake Kevin up and finds Sloane in his bed (big shocker). The Big Three (and Sloane) then leave the cabin and head to Rebecca’s house.  Randall goes to the door by himself, with Kate and Kevin waiting by the car.

Randall tells Rebecca how lonely it must have been, keeping that secret for so many years. Rebecca starts crying, and goes to reach for Randall.  He backs away, saying “not yet”, but tells Rebecca that he’ll see her at Christmas.

This was a great episode. I loved Randall’s mushroom trip.  I found the entire scene hilarious.  Sterling K. Brown should really get an Emmy for his performance as Randall.

On a side note, next week is the “fall finale” and I’m so sad that this show will be going on a break. I’m looking forward to the Christmas episode next week.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Happy watching.

 

This Is Us Episode 8 Recap – “Pilgrim Rick”

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.


Episode synopsis:  As Jack, Rebecca and the three kids make their way to Rebecca’s parents’ house for their traditional Thanksgiving holiday, an unforeseen detour occurs. Kate makes two drastic life-changing decisions. Kevin brings Olivia to Randall’s house for Thanksgiving. Randall’s heart is broken when he learns about a lifelong secret his mother has kept from him.

We all knew this was going to be a powerful episode, but what it turned into was something even more than I could have expected.

Due to the way the story is told this week, I have to tell it in order.  I’m going to focus on Randall, Rebecca and Jack for most of this, but will cover Kate and Kevin later.

It’s 1988 or 1989, and Jack and Rebecca are preparing for Thanksgiving at Rebecca’s parents house.  Rebecca is trying to make the perfect cranberry sauce, because her sister makes the perfect pie and her mother makes the perfect dinner.

The boys end up ruining her cranberry sauce, and they had to stop at several stores to buy more.  As they are going to the grandma’s house, the blow out a tire in the middle of nowhere.  There’s a sign that states 3.4 miles to a gas station, and the family has no choice but to walk to the gas station.

Present Day – It’s Thanksgiving morning, and nobody is more excited than Randall.  He wakes he whole family up at 6:30 am to help prepare for dinner.  Once everyone arrives (Kevin, Olivia [we’ll get to that later], Rebecca and Miguel), Randall tells everyone it’s time for the annual Pearson family hike.  How long is the hike?  3.4 miles.

Back to the past – once the family reaches the gas station, Rebecca calls her mother and gets chewed out for not showing up.  On the way to the gas station, Randall noted that he hated going to her parents house because they always made him feel like an outsider.  There happens to be a lodge across the street and the family gets a room for the night.  Unfortunately, the only food the gas station had was hot dogs, cheese and crackers.

Once they get to the lodge, they are greeted by a strange man who calls himself “Pilgrim Rick”.  The family goes to their room, which is eclectic to say the least, and Jack goes out in search of food.  A while later, there is a knock on the door and it’s “Pilgrim Rick”.  It’s really Jack, who has food and the movie “Police Academy 3”.  They cook their hot dogs covered in crackers and cheese in the heater in the room.

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Back to the present, everyone comes back from the hike in time to watch the traditional movie (Police Academy 3).  While on the hike, William tells Randall about his music tapes that he would listen to every Thanksgiving.  Randall, fearing that this may be William’s last Thanksgiving, drives to William’s house to get his music tapes for him.

While at William’s apartment, Randall finds a letter written to William and recognizes the handwriting.  At this point, he realizes that Rebecca has known about William his entire life.  To say he’s angry would be an understatement.

Back to the past, The Pearson’s are in their hotel, just finished the movie and Rebecca suggests that each member of the family say something they are thankful for.  They do this while unraveling a sweater that Rebecca’s mom made for Kate.

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Back to the present, Randall returns home and is clearly pissed off.  They start the family tradition of saying what they are thankful for with a ball of twine.  Rebecca says her thanks and one of the girls comments that “grandma always says the same thing.”  Randall agrees and then tells Rebecca what he found at William’s house.  A letter, with a photo of Randall, telling him it was great to see him looking so well after “all these years”.  Randall loses his mind.  Rebecca tries to explain, but Randall screams at her to stop and tells her he can’t even look at her.  He then storms out of the house.

In the past, Randall tells Kate that he wants all his Thanksgiving’s to be just like the one that year.  He has carried all the traditions from that year forward; the hike, Pilgrim Rick, the movie, the twine.    Clearly family is the most important thing to Randall, and this news that Rebecca has known about William his whole life is devastating for him.

It was a very realistic scene, and I hope that Sterling K. Brown uses it for his Emmy nomination (which he should totally get).  The pain on both Randall and Rebecca’s face was heartbreaking.   While I understand Randall’s anger, William was an addict back then and I can understand why Rebecca wouldn’t want her son around an addict.

The Present – Kate and Kevin

Kate and Toby go to dinner, where Toby devours a plate of spaghetti; while Kate eats a salad.  She tells Toby that she thinks they should take a break.  She’s very serious about her weight loss and being with Toby, who is not taking his diet seriously, is not helping her.  She cries when telling him this, and Toby is none to happy.  Kate tells him she doesn’t want him to accompany him to New Jersey for Thanksgiving.

Kevin’s play wraps for Thanksgiving weekend, and Olivia tells him she has no plans for the holiday.  Kevin invites her to Randall’s house.  Olivia goes on the hike with the family, where she tells Kevin about her sob story; absent father, drunk mother.  She gets to the point where she can’t take it anymore, and she leaves.  She’s in the front, waiting for her Uber, and William is outside, getting some fresh air. Olivia asks William what it’s like to die.    William explains what he’s going to miss; stroking his granddaughters hair, making Randall laugh.  William tells Olivia that she should stop pushing Kevin, someone who is clearly smitten with her, away.  Olivia goes back in the house and kisses Kevin.  She and Kevin then go and watch Police Academy 3.

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Kate is on an airplane to New Jersey when she hits some severe turbulence.  She makes a big decision after that – to have gastric bypass surgery.  Which she announces to the family right after Randall storms out.  Olivia then tells Kevin that her family is amazing.

On a side note, Miguel asked Kevin if he could wear “the hat”.  Kevin told him no.  That only he and Randall wear it.  Kevin clearly has an issue with Miguel (his dead father’s best friend who is married to his mother, as he told Olivia).  Kevin decides to let Miguel do the honors.  Watching Kevin blossom during this show has been one of my favorite storylines.  When the show started, he was a spoiled brat and now he’s a man you can respect.  A man who learns from his mistakes.  A man who wants to right his wrongs.  I’m enjoying watching the man he is becoming.

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Kate’s storyline, however, is annoying to me.  You finally meet a great guy, and you push him away because he doesn’t want to diet.  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  I hope she quickly realizes her mistake and she and Toby reconcile soon.

I’m very curious to see how things are going to play out with Randall and Rebecca.  I don’t think that Randall is going to forgive her anytime soon.  It appears Rebecca has fractured relationships with Kevin and Kate, which is interesting to me.    I hope that William tells Randall about how his life was back then.

Another fantastic episode.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

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This Is Us Episode 7 Recap

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.


Episode synopsis:  William unexpectedly reveals a secret to Beth when they are together; Rebecca and Jack admit there’s a distance between them; Toby strays from his diet.

Ok, I was worried that Toby was cheating on Kate.  Thank god I was wrong.

Here’s my weekly recap.

The Past – Jack and Rebecca

It’s 1990 something, and the kids are in high school.  Kevin is the quarterback of the football team, and Randall plays defense for his school.  Kevin and Randall share a room, and Kevin loses his shit when he wakes up at 2 am and Randall is still up doing homework.  Rebecca comes in and jokingly asks Kevin if he wants to move to the basement.  Kevin is all over that.

We realize what an asshole Kevin was to Randall.  More on that later.  The big game comes up, where Kevin’s school is playing against Randall’s.  Jack is busy with work; so busy that he leaves the house without kissing her goodbye.  Rebecca auditions for a band and she and Jack can’t even take 5 minutes to talk about that.  We are starting to see some cracks in their relationship.  That makes me sad.  But as the mother to two busy kids, I can certainly see it happening.

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Kate & Toby

We first see Kate working very hard on her diet.  She’s working out, counting calories and portioning her food.  She and Toby go to their weight loss support group and Kate has lost only 1 pound, while Toby loses 8.  Kate walks out upset.  She later calls Toby, who is not responding to her.

She goes to his house to find that Toby is cheating on his diet.  He then tells Kate that he’s done dieting; he is tired of depriving himself.  Kate questions how their relationship is going to work with her trying to lose weight and Toby not.  Toby assures her it can work.  They go to dinner and Toby orders a huge dessert at Kate’s urging.  On her way home, she stops for gas and buys some powdered donuts.

PERSONAL SIDEBAR.  As a person who has struggled with my weight my entire life, I can completely understand Kate’s POV here.  I also feel her pain in Toby losing weight faster.  It’s so hard to be a woman.  Sidebar over.

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Randall, Kevin, Beth and William

This was the biggest story of the episode.  Kevin and Randall make dinner plans with Rebecca in the city, but at the last minute, Rebecca cancels, leaving Kevin and Randall to have dinner on their own.  Since their relationship has always been strained, and they don’t have much to talk about, Kevin chooses a loud, posh restaurant where everyone will know who he is.

Meanwhile, William is dealing with chemo and the side effects.  Beth tells him that marijuana is good for helping and makes “special brownies” for them to help with the pain.  While high, William and Beth move all of Kevin’s belongings to the basement.  Lol.

Back to NYC, Kevin is greeted by a man and Randall asks who the man was. Kevin looks shocked; turns out, the man was Kevin’s best friend on The Manny.  It turns out that Randall has never watched the Manny.  Kevin gets pissed and storms out of the restaurant.

Back to Jersey, William and Beth are sitting outside under the stars and they quote a poem and Beth notes that it’s from a book of poetry Randall has had for ever.  William says “oh yeah, the one I gave Rebecca years ago.”  Uh-oh.  Yep, William just told Beth that Rebecca has known about him Randall’s whole life.  Beth is furious with Rebecca and calls and leaves her a voicemail to call her.

Back to NYC.  Randall finally confronts Kevin about why he hates him so much.  Kevin admits that he was always jealous of the attention Rebecca showed to Randall.  Randall says it’s because he didn’t get the love and attention from the only person he wanted it from – Kevin.  They start shoving each up and end up on the ground.  Of course, the people around grab their phones to record the scuffle, and Seth Meyers (playing himself) stumbles upon them and asks Kevin if he should call for help.  Kevin tells him that Randall is his brother and that everything is good.

Back in Jersey, Beth is seething with the news about Rebecca (and it’s going to come to a head next week, according to the previews).  William begs her to not to say anything to Randall.

Randall and Kevin pull up outside of the house, and Randall informs Kevin that “back there” was the first time in 36 years that Kevin has ever call Randall his brother.  Kevin says “that sucks”.  They go in the house, and Kevin says “someone’s high”.  He could tell immediately (which I found hilarious). Randall asks William if he got his wife high, and then says “that’s cool.”   William then informs Kevin that all his stuff has been moved to the basement.

Kevin goes down to the basement, and Randall comes down to make sure he’s ok.  Kevin asks him to hang out for a while, and they sit on the couch, watching the Manny together.

The whole Kevin/Randall story was told so beautifully in this episode.  Hopefully a change will happen in their relationship (especially since Kevin is living at his house).  But I like this storyline.

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This was a good episode.  I’m really excited for next week.

Happy watching.

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This is Us Episode 6 – Career Day

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.


TV Guide synopsis:   Kate interviews for a new job; Randall doubts his career path; Kevin and Olivia’s relationship moves in a different direction; Rebecca and Jack are conflicted on what to do when Randall tests as a gifted child.

God, how does this show just keep getting better?  Whoever is writing this show deserves an Emmy, a Golden Globe and any other awards that exist for TV writing.  This show is just brilliant.

Anyway, here are my thoughts.

The Past – Jack & Rebecca

It’s report card day and the Principal wants to see Jack and Rebecca to talk about Randall.  Randall tested very high on a standardized test, but he gets B’s in class.  The Principal tells them they should consider sending Randall to a private school where he can excel.  Jack is instantly opposed to the idea.  Randall already goes to an almost all white school, and it would be the same at the new school.

At work (Jack is NOT a cop but a builder/architect), Miguel is given a promotion and offers to take Jack with him with a promotion for him as well.  Jack has been thinking about starting his own company, “Big Three Homes” (awwww).  Jack brings Randall into work with him and Randall can tell him off the cuff how many two-by-fours Jack would need on a wall.  Jack then confronts Randall on why he’s not performing so well in school, and Randall admits he doesn’t want to be better than Kate and Kevin and have them hate him.  That scene broke my heart.  Randall knows he is already different, but wants his siblings love.

Then Jack decides he needs to do right by Randall, and takes the promotion, putting his dreams aside so Randall can attend the private school.  Jack takes him the first day, and beams with pride as he watches Randall walk in.  It’s a beautiful scene, and I’m tearing up just thinking about it.  Jack is such an amazing dad.  He’s an amazing guy.  It makes knowing he’s gone so much harder to handle.  But the whole storyline was incredibly written and beautifully acted.

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It’s career day at school and the girls have decided that they would like William to present, since he’s a musician and his job is interesting.  Randall says NO.  Then Kevin walks in the room and the girls want famous Uncle Kevin to come.  Again, Randall says NO.  He’s doing it and that’s final.

Why don’t the girls want him to present?  They don’t really understand what he does for a living.  Apparently he trades weather commodities (whatever that means).  Randall tells Beth later that maybe there is a musician/poet locked inside of him due to his DNA and tries to play the piano (with awful results).

At career day, Randall comes on stage and begins to sing a song (on piano) about his job, and it’s just awful.  The family is mortified.  But he gets through it.  The next morning, he announces that he likes his job, and puts on a tie because he wants to, and that his dad put on a tie because he had to.  Randall also announces that he’s taking piano lessons from a neighbor down the street and that a recital will be held in the spring.

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Kate

Kate gets a job as a personal assistant to a woman named Marin, played by Jami Gertz.  Marin has an overweight teenage daughter, Gemma, who is quite frankly a real bitch.  Part of Kate’s job is going to be driving Gemma around.  Kate drives Gemma to a friends house, and Gemma is all but ignoring Kate and being rude.  The then tells Kate she was hired because she’s fat.  Kate then kicks her ass out of the car.  I was so proud of Kate for doing that!

Kate then confronts Marin and asked her if she was hired because she’s fat.  Marin admits that it was a factor in her hiring.  Kate gets her to agree that she won’t have to do anymore personal errands and Marin agrees.

Afterward, Kate goes outside to talk to Gemma, who is on her phone again.  Kate admits that growing up, she was resentful of her thin, beautiful mother and that their relationship is strained because of it.  Kate told Gemma to give Marin a break.

This is the first episode sans Toby.  It was nice to see Kate on her own.  I am kind of getting tired of the whole “fat Kate” thing.  Being fat doesn’t define Kate.  It would be nice if the writers focused more on Kate’s talents and less on her weight.

Sidebar – in the preview for next week, Kate shows up at Toby’s house and it appear that he has company.  If he is cheating on her, I will lose my shit.

Kevin

Kevin is struggling to emote as his character in his play.  Olivia invites him to a party.  However, it’s not a party for a memorial service for a complete stranger.  Kevin is furious with Olivia, but ends up having a real moment with the widow, where he talks about losing his dad, and how for a month after he died, Kevin wouldn’t eat or get out of bed, and how he threw all his models away because he was so upset.

It was the first time we saw Kevin show any genuine emotion.  It was actually really nice to see him being a real person.  Olivia then slept with Kevin and told him it wouldn’t be happening again.  It was all to get him to emote.  And it worked.

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Overall, this was another solid episode.  Jack was the standout to me this week.  His storyline with Randall was so beautiful.

What did you think?

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This Is Us – Episode 5 – The Game Plan

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.


TV Guide synopsis:  Jack and Rebecca argue about the idea of starting a family; the story behind the family’s love for the Pittsburgh Steelers is revealed; Kevin discovers that the script for his part in the play is relevant to his own life.

Ok, it’s official.  I’m obsessed with This is Us (TIU).  I’ve decided to do a “weekly recap” after watching the episode (which was delayed because the Cubs are in the WS and I’m from Chicago).

There are a few plot lines going on in this episode.

Kevin, Randall, Beth & William

Firstly, Kevin is still staying with Randall and Beth.  At the beginning of the episode, they bluntly ask him when he’s going to leave.  Kevin explains that staying in his large, plush, expensive hotel room is very lonely.  Randall jumps all over that and tells Kevin that he and Beth will stay there for the night, and that he and William can watch the girls.

Once Randall and Beth had to NYC, Kevin is in charge of the girls.  He’s busy reading for the play he’s been cast in, trying to learn his lines and be “off-book”.  The girls want to play, so Kevin ropes them and William into helping him.  The story takes a turn and has the girls questioning Kevin about death – an answer which he totally fucks up, freaking the girls out.  The girls note that grandpa is sick and takes pills and ask if he will die; Kevin’s response is “I wouldn’t get too close.”  After William puts the girls to bed, he and Kevin talk and he points out to Kevin that he is constantly doubting himself.  I appreciated William doing that – Kevin needs to get over himself a little.

Meanwhile, in NYC, Beth admits to Randall that she’s “late”, news which Randall doesn’t handle too well.  They go to a pharmacy to get a pregnancy test, while Randall blasts Beth for being irresponsible with her birth control.  She throws in his face that she wants to go back to work and isn’t too excited about the idea of being pregnant.  Next we see them, they are sitting in the bathroom of Kevin’s hotel room waiting to see the results of the test – Beth is not pregnant.

Back in New Jersey, Kevin tries to make amends with the girls by telling them a secret that not even Kate knows.  That he paints how he feels when he reads a script.  He then goes into a speech about life – it was a very beautiful moment for Kevin and his nieces.  I love that he realized he messed up and wanted the girls to trust him.   The moment felt very real.

We then have a montage in which Randall appears to be packing up William’s belongings while crying.  We know William has a terminal illness, but who knows how far down the road this is.  Sidebar – Sterling K. Brown in a phenomenal actor.  He should be nominated for an Emmy for his performance in this show.

Jack & Rebecca

Back in the late 70’s, we are with Rebecca and Kate on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Steelers are playing the LA Rams.  They head to a bar to watch the game, and Miguel and his wife meet them there, after telling them a horror story about their children’s behavior before leaving the house.  This prompts Rebecca to look at Jack and say “promise me we’ll never have kids.”  This clearly pisses Jack off.

Later, Jack and Rebecca get into it, with Rebecca saying she’s not ready to have kids yet, but sees it in their future.  They end up getting it on in the bathroom of the bar, and the kids are supposedly conceived that night.

Kate & Toby

Kate makes Toby a healthy breakfast in bed, and Toby invites her to play mini golf that evening.  Kate politely declines, stating that the Steelers are on.  Toby invites himself, but Kate again declines.  At their OEA meeting, Toby passes Kate an invitation to his house to watch the Steelers, and Kate reluctantly goes.

Once there, she meets Toby’s friend Shooter, who proceeds to stand in front of the TV and talk during the game.  Sidebar – as a football fan, I could totally sympathize with Kate there.  Anyway, Toby pauses the game, which causes Kate to leave.

Toby comes over to her house later, and asks her what the hell that was all about.  Kate tells Toby about growing up a huge Steelers fan and watching the games with her dad.  Toby says he wants to meet her dad sometime; Kate then brings an urn over and introduces him to Jack.

Yep, Jack is dead.  He passed away sometime after the 2006 Super Bowl.  This news, however, doesn’t end the story.  It opens even more questions – how did Jack die?  Were he and Rebecca still together when it happened?  Was he sick?  I’m so sad.

I find it funny that Randall, who is the outsider in the Pearson family, seems to have his shit together, while Kevin and Kate are messes.  Kevin is a totally insecure person, given his fame, money and extreme good looks.  He constantly needs to be told how great he is.  Kate is a mess for other reasons – her weight for one, and her inability to trust.  I hope that the show explores Kate’s relationship with Rebecca.  I have a feeling that’s another reason for Kate’s insecurities – skinny, beautiful mom.

On a side note – Toby is my favorite character on this show.  He is the NICEST guy.  He clearly cares for Kate for who she is.  I firmly believe that there is someone for everyone and Toby is the guy for Kate.  I just hope that Kate realizes it soon before she pushes him away.

What did you think of the episode? Did I miss anything?  Do you love this show as much as I do?

Happy watching.

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