I know I said we shouldn’t do this, but we need to talk about This Is Us. It is two episodes into its trilogy featuring each of the Pearson children, and in my opinion they’ve been the two weakest episodes of the whole series.
I’ll keep it brief.
Point 1: Randall and Jack carry this show. The only genuinely touching moment in the first two episodes of the trilogy was Jack encouraging Kevin in the hospital. Randall has been completely absent. The rest of both stories, including Kevin’s solo scene on the football field, was ho-hum. With episode three set to focus on both characters, it is almost certain to be stellar.
Point 2: Kevin’s meltdown was absurd. The whole thing. From the hotel bender to how literally only one person at his high school noticed he was stone-drunk off his ass. And that speech, with the crowd’s reaction. This Is Us built its following by being emotionally true and real. I think this episode broke that promise to the point where the show, for one night, lost its credibility.
Point 3: I can’t stand Kate. More precisely, I can’t stand how hard adult Kate makes it for anyone who isn’t her brother to love her. She’s completely unfair to her mom (as is young Kate, at times) and at times seems to be prodding Toby to run away from her. Which I hope he does, because I like Toby. All he wants to do is love Kate and she constantly makes it hard for him. I warmed up to adult Kate ever so slightly earlier this year when Toby and Kevin had their rulers out over who could love Kate more. Since then, she’s ruined it.
Point 4: I find it improbable that all these life-important things happened to the Pearson kids on the same day. That is all.
I still maintain This Is Us should be a show we analyze minimally and enjoy with our hearts. It almost always delivers. But the past two episodes have been pretty bad.