This is Us 1×04 Review- The Pool

I will be the first to admit that usually, when things are ‘critically acclaimed’, I tend to stay far away.  There’s just something about things being overrun in the media that drives me crazy and makes me want to avoid them.  But This is Us has completely broken that cycle for me.  Four episodes in and I’m still mesmerized by the entire hour long episode.  It’s one of the few that I’ll watch live, and don’t you just love shows that make you question where all the time went because they’ve captivated your attention that well?  This is Us continues to do this for me every single week.1x04

In my opinion, the best part of the show is that each week focuses on something a little different, while still moving the storyline along.  This week’s episode was a powerful one for all three of the Pearson kids.  It’s interesting to see how Randall’s life has been impacted by being raised in a white household.  Rebecca and Jack had a handful, not only raising 3 kids, but also lacking the knowledge of the more nuanced aspects of being white and raising a black child.  Such important messages seem to be handled delicately on This is Us, but you can feel the gravitas behind what’s going on.

On the flip side, things continue to come easily to Kevin.  Although the flashbacks showed him struggling to receive attention from his parents (even seeing 36 year old Kevin in the future, my heart still raced when he battled in the deep end of that pool!), in present day, despite a truly terrible audition for a play in NYC, he got the part from name recognition alone.  I’m looking forward to the personal and professional growth that could be in store for him. And I’m REALLY looking forward to how he’s going to handle Randall finding his birth father.  I hope we get more of those happenings next week!

The 3rd Pearson kid still tends to be my favorite.  I think it’s because I relate to Kate a LOT, from her insecurities to her love of singing.  Every week it seems like we get little glimmers from the flashbacks that directly impact the present day storylines, and the bullies from Kate’s past probably have a lot to do with why she’s so obsessed with Toby’s ex-wife this week.  But what I love the most is the point that he makes to her: it’s not about how someone looks, but how they treat you that matters in the end.

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The mini-messages in the episodes continue to affect me in BIG ways, and I’m loving the way things are all shaking out.  I have to say, this is probably one of the most introspective shows I’ve seen in a long time.  And in a TV age where everything has to be BIGGER and BETTER and have superpowers, I kind of love This is Us for staying true to what it it really is: an intimate look at a flawed but beautiful family who love each other no matter what.

What do you think is next up for the Pearson clan?  Leave a message in the comments or tweet me @FrontRowCas! 

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