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 1×16 “Memphis”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

Death is singlehandedly the most tragic part of life that leaves us with a pain we can never truly heal from. And no matter how expected the death is, it doesn’t make it any easier. It’s the one hardship that has the effortless power to affect everyone. It’s a time in life where we forget about all the heartache in our hearts, the anger towards people, and look at life for all that it really is — short. We knew William’s death was coming, and we knew it’d leave a mark in our hearts, but This is Us delivered one of the most poignantly potent TV episodes of the year. It has delivered raw, heartrending emotions so evocatively; critics everywhere are calling it the saddest episode to date. And while death leaves a heartache nothing can cure, the memories we make leave us with a sense of gratification nothing else can induce.

We took a different turn with flashbacks in “Memphis”, and it allowed the audience to understand just how and why William turned to drugs for comfort. And the contrast between who he was before his mother died side by side with who he was as he died looking up at his son was breathtaking.

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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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This is Us 1×14 “I Call Marriage”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

This is Us is special for a number of reasons, but its realistic portrayal of relationships and characters is undoubtedly one of the bigger reasons why people have gravitated towards it. And sometimes that realistic portrayal means that it’ll evoke emotions we don’t want to feel. “I Call Marriage” was the first episode that didn’t make me cry, but instead I found myself getting angry. I found myself getting frustrated and in doing so, it reminded me of the fact that life can get ridiculously ugly sometimes. And it’s in the midst of that ugliness where a person must decide what they want to do next, continue down the dark road, or strive towards improvement.

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This is Us 1×13 “Three Sentences”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

Birthday parties are unbelievably special when we’re kids. I’ve had a number of memorable ones as an adult, but if you ask me, the ones my parents threw for me were unbeatable. There’s an undeniable sense of security present in our lives at that time — whatever goes wrong will be made right. This is Us’ 13th episode was as strong as ever making me ugly cry more than once at the marvel that’s been created through the eyes of the Pearson family. And after an episode like this, how does one possibly choose only three scenes?

“Three Sentences” was riveting. Jack and Rebecca’s solid teamwork continues to stand out as a masterful representation of a healthy married couple. This is Us’ means of storytelling through the flashback/present day format is perhaps one of the reasons why the show is so special — it allows the audience to see things in a way we would have otherwise not been able to understand and “Three Sentences” was perfect in the category. I especially adored how perfectly the final scene showcased the family’s closeness — the fact that wherever they go, they’ll always come home to each other.

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This is Us 1×12 “The Big Day”

Big Three Moments of the Week

Spoilers Ahead

Welcome welcome welcome to our very first This is Us dedicated segment, “The Big Three Moments of the Week”! If you aren’t already watching the critically acclaimed network drama, stop what you’re doing, grab some tissues, and watch. You’ll be hooked from the very first episode — so far, every person I’ve suggested it to has caught up and is now obsessed. Do it. And what better way to begin these reviews then after the episode that was essentially a different version of the exquisite Pilot. “The Big Day” took what we already knew about the initial big day and made it even more special, raw and complex showcasing sides of the story we never even imagined.

Sometimes these moments will feature a favorite scene based on each of the kids, sometimes it’ll be about one, sometimes it’ll be about the parents, sometimes it’ll be about the flashbacks. Three is a sacred number in this show and that’s why I’ve chosen to honor it.

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