This is Us 2×08 “Number One”

Big Three Moments of the Week

There will come a time in every human being’s life where they will need the guidance of another. Those moments come differently to all, in some scenarios, it happens gradually without any sort of spiral. In others, it’s darker, bleaker, lonelier, and when the spiral comes, help isn’t always around. And while that moment of loneliness may be man’s most vulnerable time, it’s also his bravest. The choice to admit that there’s pain residing within a person awakens the kind of courage that showcases the magnitude of their heart. If they’re still aware of their emotions, then they haven’t shut their heart off to the world — they haven’t accepted the cold, overwhelming darkness that leads to far more treacherous roads. This trilogy surrounding the kids starting with Kevin is an interesting touch to the series, which is making it far more exciting than the usual flashback/present day episodes. I for one, am definitely here for this mini trilogy.

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This is Us 2×06 “The 20’s”

Big Three Moments of the Week

“The 20’s” gave us some of the most beautiful scenes with Rebecca that simultaneously showcased what an absolute star Mandy Moore is. We’ve had a number of episodes giving Jack the platform to shine as a parent, and we’ve had each of the kids given similar opportunities, but with Rebecca it’s always been limited to moments that forced audiences not to side with her, and that’s probably been the most frustrating aspect of the series because I’ve hated having to justify how incredibly human her behavior is when fans began disliking her. But this episode gave her the perfect situations to expose just how much love fuels her, and how hard she tries to be the kind of parent who’s helping her kids grow. Through her struggles and mistakes, Rebecca is the kind of character who’s ceaselessly learning thereby, allowing the audience to understand that perfection is unachievable while flaws are inevitable. (Mostly, I just want to gush about the spectacular performance Mandy Moore put on that made me ugly cry more than once.)

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This is Us 2×04 “Still There”

Big Three Moments of the Week

When human beings are put into uncomfortable situations we are forced one of two things. Either we fight for our happiness, better ourselves, and move forward or we allow the uncomfortable situations to consume us. It is harder to fight than to merely accept things for what they are. This Is Us has reached the pinnacle of all the shows I am currently watching because of its constant promotion of self encouragement. Throughout the show, we have seen these characters fight for themselves and for those they love. Whether it was Jack fighting his addition to alcohol, Randall fighting his anxiety, Kate fighting her insecurities, or Kevin fighting his grief, this show has shown its viewers the beauty of humility and courage. The courage to fight for one another is beautiful because it shows the stubbornness that people have within when it comes to giving up on those they love. But to fight for oneself is empowering.

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This is Us 2×03 “Highs and Lows”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Human beings have a tendency to repress pain — pain that’s so vivid, so heart wrenching that when it’s felt, there’s no escape. And that kind of pain has only one solution, it demands to be felt. This is Us is a show that forces its characters to feel these emotions by pulling through roller coasters they’ve never wanted to be on. In “Highs and Lows” we saw just that, moments between the siblings, parents, and new family members adjusting.

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This is Us 2×02 “A Manny-Splendored Thing”

Big Three Moments of the Week

As human beings, the one thing we need to embed in ourselves is the fact that we’ll never be perfect — none of us. No matter how faultless a person seems to be, there’s darkness in them that neither of us can imagine. We are only ever capable of knowing our own best. And in “A Manny-Splendored Thing”, we finally brought light to the darkness within Jack — for the kids at least. There’s no picking sides on this show, and there shouldn’t be, for there isn’t a single character that’s capable of reaching some sort of unimaginable perfection. There’s no character who’s capable of fighting off darkness and negativity entirely, but these are human being that clearly try, so where credit is due, it should be given. And this episode’s means of dealing with the tainted relationships verses the seemingly perfect ones was enamoring. Who would’ve imagined that Kevin returning to The Manny would result in an incredibly emotional rollercoaster.

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This is Us 2×01 “A Father’s Advice”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Welcome back, darlings — I hope you’ve had a lovely Summer/Winter. As far as season premieres go, This is Us has just set the bar ridiculously high. Did anyone else have penultimate episode vibes? This show. This show, friends. It’s too good. And I’m waiting for the season two curse to hit, but something tells me that’s not going to happen with This is Us. “A Father’s Advice” was the gorgeous showcase of how flawed these characters are, but mostly how influential paternal advice can be — both from fathers and mothers.

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This is Us 1×18 “Moonshadow”

Big Three Moments of the Week

I’m pleasantly surprised with the fact that the finale was nothing as I’d expected. And although it didn’t end in the happily ever after I would have preferred, from beginning to end, it did a remarkable job of leaving me mesmerized. This is a series about unity. It’s a series that focuses on raw, complex emotions without glossing over them. It forces us to feel beyond what we can understand. And whether the emotions are positive or negative, its success comes from the profoundly layered characters that tirelessly tug on our heartstrings.

I was under the impression that this separation was meant to leave us heartbroken, but instead, I was left with melancholic hope. A feeling that may not exactly be ideal, but it’s real. And I’m okay with it.

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This is Us 1×17 “What Now?”

Big Three Moments of the Week

This is Us is a great at number of things, but thus far, its means of dealing with real, human emotions has been done so organically, it’s an incredible treat on Tuesday nights. And “What Now?” was no exception. Not only did the episode pay homage to the late William, but it did so remarkably.

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This is Us 1×15 “Jack Pearson’s Son”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

This is Us continues to outshine everything and make us ugly cry more than once. After last week’s episode, it’s nice to cry again, and while that’s strange to say, with this show, tears seem to be the best sign. “Jack Pearson’s Son” encapsulated some of life’s toughest battles so effortlessly into one hour, it almost feels like it was longer. And that is quality television, world. “Jack Pearson’s Son” took its viewers down dark, hasty, unwinding roads showcasing the horrors of stress and the pangs of miscommunication. Concurrently exhibiting the significance of kindness and choice. I say this every week, but a large part of this show’s gift comes from its realistically written characters — no one on this show is perfect, and things get as ugly as possible. And sometimes, unless the show’s on cable, writers shy away from going too deep, but thus far, that’s never been the case with This is Us.

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