25 Inimitable Men 13/25
Randall Pearson (This is Us)
Randall Pearson is one out of the three characters featured on this list that are from their freshman year, and if that alone doesn’t showcase how inimitable they are then I don’t know what will. Randall Pearson is as close to perfect as it gets — his wife Beth even agrees. If you look up the definition of loyalty, you’ll find his name underneath as the shining example. This is Us is setting the bar ridiculously high for cable television, and with a character like Randall taking center stage to reveal a number of cataclysmic human emotions all wrapped up inside a man with a compulsive need to be perfect, you can’t go wrong.. A man whose vice is his goodness — his integrity, his drive, his kindness.
Randall’s integrity and the heartfelt desire to do things perfectly and justly allows him to stand out in ways very few characters before him have. Because even when a person is good, they seldom continue avidly attempting to better themselves to a point where it becomes dangerous. And that showcases the importance of embracing flaws, which Randall probably doesn’t have, but even if he does, he needs understand that they’re okay. Although he was born into a family that didn’t want him and chosen by one he’s often felt like an outsider in, he has displayed gratitude beautifully. When he was taunted and teased because he looks different from the rest of his family, Randall handled with grace and a natural curiosity in a way that allowed him to inspire those around him. The goodness from a very young age is as much a result of his upbringing, and the natural purity in his heart. And that very goodness is later reflected in his choice to forgive his father because even though Randall wanted to rub it in his face that he’s successful, the reality is that he couldn’t. He is literally incapable of being unkind because when he is, it affects him so drastically, that he can’t stomach that kind of disturbance within. He’d rather not go against his heart’s actual desires even if his mind tells him to. In spite of the fact that Kevin mistreated him when they were younger, Randall’s never loved him any less. If Kevin’s needed him, he’d be there in a flash. Although it isn’t healthy for him, Randall’s compulsive desire to be perfect gorgeously showcases his integrity and kindness.
Randall Pearson isn’t perfect, no one is, but he is so honorably good that he comes pretty close. And the desires alone do the trick. But most importantly, Randall’s drive in life sets the kind of examples that not only the Pearsons should learn, but any person watching. He is proof that there’s absolutely nothing that cannot be achieved if one tries hard enough. I’ll be frank, this post has taken me a lot longer to write than the others have because a character like Randall deserves perfection out of me. And while I know it’s impossible, I’m trying my hardest to use the loveliest words for him. I’m trying to organize this structure in such a way where we can all sit here in awe of him. A drive is everything in this world — if it’s there, even the seemingly impossible is possible. Randall may have struggled in school because of the desire to consistently better himself, but it’s brought him far in life. The choice to try harder and harder while learning to breathe in the midst of the process has landed him a great job with a promising future. It has attracted someone as beautifully loving as Beth. It has made it so he’s a shining light in the lives of everyone who’s fortunate enough to know him. And Randall’s drive cobbled with his kindness has allowed his father to be better simply through knowing him for a short period of time. He’s chosen to forgive his mother in spite of how awful the secret has made him feel. He’s chosen the hard path time and time again because he’s known that the honorable road is the best one. The drive to make lives easier with the small choice such as making hotel beds in order not to disturb those who work in the hotel speaks wonders on behalf of his heart. The love within him is limitless — even when he’s hurt or upset, it doesn’t run out. It doesn’t even pause because even when he’s angry, there’s only so many insults he could physically throw out there without feeling guilty. He can only give the silent treatment for so long before choosing to remember that love is more important than anger — love is stronger. Everything we’ve seen so far has shown immeasurable integrity and goodness and quite frankly, there are no words.
If I had to pick an actor of the year — Sterling K. Brown takes the crown with no hesitations. What Brown has done with this role has stunned me in ways I have yet to experience as a TV viewer. Brown’s performances have left me numb, heartbroken, and consistently amazed. Whatever emotion Randall’s gone through Brown has embodied him in such a way that at times felt so realistic, it’s been difficult to watch. And if that’s not proof of the fact that he’s talented beyond measure, then I don’t know what is. I know that Brown is in good company for the upcoming Emmys, but he is without a doubt, the winner. What Brown has done layering this character within one season is the masterful display of a man whose gifts are unparalleled. And it’s only season one, let’s have that sink in for a moment.
Life is filled with ongoing challenges, and if there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s the fact that Randall Pearson will never be alone through them. Because of the profound impact he’s made in the lives of those around him, they’d undoubtedly jump if he needs them to. And thus far, This is Us has proven that they care about these characters enough to give them the kind of raw, heartfelt, storylines they deserve. From this moment on, we can be certain of the fact that Randall Pearson’s journey is only beginning. I cannot wait to see him drive around with the music blaring, I cannot wait to see someone make the bed for him, and I cannot wait to see his world light up as he’s reminded of just how he adored he is. As an exceptional husband and father, a remarkable irreplaceable son and brother, Randall is a gift in everyone’s lives. He has paved a gorgeous, honorable road for himself and it’s now time to stand back and live the kind of life he deserves without the pressure of perfection. It’ll be challenging in certain areas, there may be moments where it’s tough to breathe again, tough to cope, but it’ll continue to strengthen him. It’ll continue to make him inimitable.