SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE – ALEC BALDWIN / ED SHEERAN

Recap, Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: The best and most talked about part of last week’s show is back again; Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer is in the building. Possibly the only person who is capable of upstaging the host of the evening, Alex Baldwin. The sketch has Spicer commenting on various topics like the federal court’s ruling on President Trump’s Muslim ban and Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s line, with him doing a mini QVC-like commercial for the fashion line. We get a mini Kate McKinnon cameo with her doing a impression of the newly appointed attorney general Jeff Sessions. If President Trump had a problem with a woman impersonating Spicer, he probably won’t like this. The sketch concluded with Spicer showing off his upgraded podium from being moveable to being on wheels. Oh, and he finally got the timing right on the “Live from New York…” line.

MONOLOGUE: Here for the millionth seventeenth time as host Alec Baldwin is here tonight. Best known of recent months as being the SNL in house Donald Trump, he gets the opportunity to be on the whole night. He’s here to promote his new movie The Boss Baby, which is an animated movie that probably nobody is going to see. Joined by the youngest cast member Pete Davidson, they go through the history of Baldwin’s hosting gigs, the first of which Davidson wasn’t even alive to see. All in all, an okay monologue, but we all know what we’re here to watch.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The People’s Court) After having to wait until after Weekend Update to see Baldwin’s Trump we were ready for this. Inspired by President Trump’s tweet after the federal court denied his travel ban, insisting he will see them in court, SNL made it possible by setting the interaction in The People’s Court. The perfect setting for his preposterous idea, as the sketch said “a TV court for a TV President.” The sketch also included Vladimir Putin as a character witness for Trump. All in all it was not the best Baldwin impression of the season, but it was definitely one of the better sketches of the night.

(Beyonce Ultrasound) On the week it was announced that Beyonce will be having twins, SNL ran with this and set this skit in her ultrasound. With Baldwin as the OB/GYN we witness the unborn babies of Beyonce being none other than Tracy Morgan and Keenan Thompson. It was awesome to see Morgan back on the SNL stage, and with a Destiny’s Child burn included a solid sketch for tonight’s show

(Leslie as Donald Trump) Poking fun of the idea that Baldwin will be doing Donald Trump impressions for the next four years, Leslie Jones wants in on the action. This pre-filmed sketch has Jones inspired by Melissa McCarthy’s impression of the male Sean Spicer that she wants to do a Donald Trump impression of the show. This idea kind of backfires, but you should definitely YouTube it.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Honestly after the monologue the show was kind of slow until the first musical performance, but Weekend Update is here to save the day, hopefully. Jost and Che start off with a recap of the past week of President Trump’s antics, which could really be a whole segment but they cannot spend the whole night bashing the President and his cabinet. Kate McKinnon made an appearance as Elizabeth Warren. They also introduced a new character “The Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” that was just cringy. And for it being the ‘Valentines Day’ episode of the season I’m quite disappointed that Leslie Jones is not there as the relationship expert of the night. A missed opportunity in my opinion, but she was there as one half of a couple who newly tried BDSM a la “Fifty Shades Darker” in which she had major Jimmy Fallon character break moments.

MUSICAL GUEST: This week’s musical guest is Ed Sheeran. Set to release his third studio album ÷ in March tonight he’s here to perform his first two singles off the album live. The first performance “Shape of You” is definitely the more upbeat of the two. Showing off his impressive guitar playing skills, it was a great performance. The second and final song of the evening was “Castle on the Hill.” He played this slower paced song with a faster tempo than the recording, which made the performance more uplifting. The band that accompanied him for the evening was a great addition to this singer-songwriter that usually performs alone. Both of these songs and their performances on tonight’s show just makes us greedy for more songs from him.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me” – Cecily Strong

 

March 4

Host – Octavia Spencer

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SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: EMMA STONE / SHAWN MENDES

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Because the attempt of a recount had not come to fruition yet, Donald Trump is still the president-elect of the United States. Which for us means that Alec Baldwin will have a steady appearance on the show (she writes hopefully, fingers crossed). Tonight, the show uses its cold open to poke fun of the recent actions of the president-elect, more specifically, how much time he’s been spending on Twitter. Set during a security briefing, Trump just can’t stop himself from re-tweeting the most average people in America, with Kate McKinnon playing Kellyanne Conway is just icing on the cake. Also poking fun on his recent dinner with Mitt Romney. With the sketch highly suggesting that there has been a lot of focus on the tweets Trump has been sending out instead of his actions.

MONOLOGUE: Emma Stone is hosting tonight, promoting her new film La La Land that comes out December 16. The three time host acknowledges that some time has past since her last hosting gig, so she compares coming back to Studio 8H similar to coming back to high-school. Sure, we’ll try to be convinced that they’re the exact same. Although it was nice to see a non-singing monologue, in this case it might have been fun to see, just because Emma Stone can actually carry a tune. But a solid monologue none the less.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (The Paley Centre) At a panel made up of Leslie Jones, Emma Stone, Jennifer Aniston (yes Jennifer Aniston), and Debette Goldby (the brilliant Kate McKinnon), each actress describes their process of making a movie and experiences on and off set. It does take long to realize that the veteran actress Debette has had some different experiences then the other actresses. This sketch is hilarious; though it is very similar to the alien abduction sketch the show has done a couples of times. Both in format and also in how the other people in the sketch can not hold it together when McKinnon is hitting it out of the park.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Based on the format of the past few ‘Weekend Update’ it looks like a good portion of every ‘Update’ segment will be reserved to point out all of the ridiculousness that Trump seems to radiate. You can’t be mad at it though the jokes literally write themselves. We also are blessed with relationship expert Leslie Jones, who gives a great pep talk to men about their penises. I personally enjoyed tonight’s jokes because on two instances they mentioned news that actually happened where I live, so that was entertaining. To top it all off Vanessa Bayer came out and did her spot-on impression of Rachel from ‘Friends” and while we’re enjoying this wonderful gift from the SNL gods we are just get spoiled by them because they decided to deliver to us the ACTUAL JENNIFER ANISTON!!!! (Make note that Aniston stars in Office Christmas Party with Bayer but I don’t even care at this point, I will withstand any promotional bullsh*t to see this interaction) Also I mentioned this last

MUSICAL GUEST: Making his musical guest debt on the show, Shawn Mendes performs “Mercy” for his first song of the evening. Starting off solo at the piano before transferring to the microphone stand was a refreshing take on performing this song. Especially since this was the song he chose to sing during his recent late-night show circuit, plus the AMAs last Sunday night. For his second performance he chooses “Treat You Better” which was the first single off his sophomore album Illuminate. This performance was definitely more spirited with the lights and his guitar playing, and also because of his constant smiling through the whole song. It made me think he was just like us and could not stop laughing during the “Actresses Panel’ sketch. Overall, it was a great SNL debut for the guy.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“You’re not going to believe this Jost, but the media is starting to question whether Donald trump knows what he’s doing.”

– Michael Che

NEXT WEEK:

Host – John Cena

Musical Guest – Maren Morris

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Trip)

Television

Season 1, Episode 9 “The Trip”

Airdate: November 29, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

The time after Thanksgiving is a time spent to reflect on the pounds of food you just ate, or counting down the days till Christmas. Or in the case with the Pearson’s, letting the dust from your family fights settle. After Randall has discovered that his mother Rebecca had been in contact with his birth father William, he is fuming. Knowing that their mother is going to be selling the family cabin, Kate suggests that the ‘big three’ go up there one last time. While at the cabin Randall is confronted by a familiar face, Kevin beings to questions the people he has been spending his time with, and Kate admits her fears about her weight loss.

 The “That Is Us” Moment: Out of all the relationships the This Is Us has gotten us attached to, the one that stands out is that of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and her son Randall (Sterling K. Brown). Mostly due to the amazing flashback scenes with her and younger Randall (Lonnie Chavis) over the season, we see the strong relationship between a mother and her adoptive son. So it only hurts us that much more when we see how angry Randall is at Rebecca after he found the letter she sent William (Ron Cephas Jones) all those years go. In this episode we flash back to a time where a younger Randall is starting to question where he came from and who is biological parents are. Both Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca, but mostly Jack, wants Randall to see himself has part of their family while also surround him with men that he can identify and see himself in. This prompts Rebecca to visit William (Jermel Nakia), who at the time is five-years sober and works at a music shop. She tells him that Randall is beginning to wonder about his biological parents, which launches William into an exciting dialogue about how his son could visit him and come by the music shop. It’s all too much for Rebecca, who slips out of the apartment while William is trying to find something. The exchange is also what motivates her to write the letter Randall found at Thanksgiving:

 “Dear William, I’m sorry for the pain it may cause, but you cannot meet Randall. This is for the best for him because he has an extraordinary father who gives him everything he needs. I hope you take comfort in knowing just how loved Randall is.”

 This is emotional in two parts. One, because as the letter is read out in voiceover we see Jack with young Randall literally on his back, doing push-ups with him in a karate initiation to demonstrate how he will always be there to support his son. But on the other hand we also see William getting the letter and putting it and the picture of Randall within a collection of papers labelled “Poems for my Son.” Realizing that William never forgot about his son and cared about him. It’s a hard pill to swallow; Rebecca wanted to honour her husband’s dedication to their son while at the same time deciding to not let him meet his biological father, another man who cared for him.

 

What do you think? What was your favourite part of last night’s episode? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Pilgrim Rick)

Television

Season 1, Episode 8 “Pilgrim Rick”

Airdate: November 22, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers from this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

 

Everyone’s come together for Thanksgiving! This week This Is Us invites us to spend the holidays with the “Big Three” and family. In the past we witness how one particular Thanksgiving ends up being the root cause in being a favourite holiday for one of the triplets. In present day we see Kate make the difficult decision to break off her relationship with Toby, and makes a big announcement in regards to her weight loss journey.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: Kevin (Justin Harley) makes the genius decision to bring his girlfriend (?), cast mate Olivia (Janet Montgomery), to Thanksgiving diner with his family. Upon realizing what she has gotten herself into, she decides to bail from the feast. But before her Uber driver can come and get her she decides to ask William (Ron Cephas Jones) the ever-tactful question of what it is like to die? Whether she asks this because of her profession as an actress or her general curiosity has a human being we will never know. But I am sure that his answer to her question was one she was not expecting.

William: “It feels like all these beautiful pieces of life are flying around me and I’m trying to catch them. When my granddaughter falls asleep on my lap, I try to catch the feeling of her breathing against me. When I make my son laugh, I try to catch the sound of him laughing. How it rolls up from his chest… But the pieces are moving faster now and I can’t catch them all. I can feel them slipping through my finger tips and soon where they used to be; my granddaughter breathing and my son laughing there will be… nothing. I know if feels like you have all the time in the world, but you don’t. So stop playing it so cool. Catch the moments of your life. Catch them while you’re young and quick, because sooner than you know it, you’ll be old and slow. And there will be no more of them to catch.”

This is an extremely powerful and emotional scene for two reasons. One, you see how William’s relationship with his son has affected his life, how it made it one that he enjoys living and also how much more difficult it is going to be to say goodbye to it when his time comes. And second, he sees how Olivia is throwing her moments away, moments that he would surely give the world just to have a bit more of. But William is never patronizing in this exchange, he’s just being completely honest. And whether Olivia wants to follow is advice is her choice.

 

What do you think? What was you’re favourite part of this week’s episode? Comment below!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Best Washing Machine in the World)

Television

Season 1, Episode 7 “The Best Washing Machine in the World”

Airdate: November 15, 2016

 

*** warning, contains spoilers for this week’s episode of the show This Is Us ***

In this week’s episode of This Is Us, we see Jack and Rebecca raising the “big three” through their teenage years. The fighting between Randall and Kevin has reached a breaking point, which results in Kevin moving out of their shared bedroom and into the basement. After a failed attempt at to reconnect with his brother, Randall takes his aggression towards his brother out on him during their football game. We also witness how Jack and Rebecca’s marriage begins to fray. And we see how a beat down old washing machine (what the episode was titled after) brought together a family, and also how a new one caused them to drift apart. In present day, Kate is shocked to see Toby fall off the wagon with his weight loss which also starts to affect her own. Randall’s wife Beth, after one of William’s chemotherapy treatments, attempts to make him feel better with a pan of weed-brownies. While bonding over their illicit desserts, William lets his secret slip to Beth about his relationship with Rebecca.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: After dinner plans with their mother falls through, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) are left going alone. This turns out to be an absolute disaster with both of them arguing how the other knows nothing about their lives. This only escalates when they leave the restaurant and their unresolved problems from childhoods resurfaces.

Kevin: (Upon seeing he has been re-cast in his show by a black actor) “That’s great. Replaced by another black man.”

This comment sends Randall over the edge, launching him into a monologue about how Kevin treated him growing up. Your family are the people that know you the best, which also means they know how to hurt you the most. Kevin knew saying this would set Randall off. Having to defend his position in the family as well as his title as Kevin’s brother. There was a sense of competition between the two brothers growing up, and Kevin always felt like he played second fiddle to his adopted brother. This explosion of repressed feeling ends in a physical altercation that results in a cameo from Seth Meyers (what’s going on Meyers?).

 

What do you think? What was the moment of this week’s episode that you connected to the most? Let me know!

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: KRISTEN WIIG / THE xx

Review, Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Last week we were still in shock, now we have to deal the current predicament. And so does SNL. When Alec Baldwin was offered to play the presidential nominee, and now president-elect Donald Trump, he probably didn’t think it would last past the election. But now Trump won the election, and Baldwin has a steady gig now. As life imitates art, we see the newly elected President in complete shock as his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) ushers in people who are determined to have Trump come through on the promises he made on the campaign trail, including ISIS and locking up Hilary Clinton. The sketch involved a meeting with Mitt Romney (sup Jason Sudakis?). Only to result in him not wanting to change anything, a la the revolutions that were discovered during the recent 60 Minute interview.

OPENING MONLOGUE: She’s back; former SNL cast member Kristen Wiig is hosting this week. And it doesn’t seem like there is anything she’s here to plug so here’s no awkward “I’m in the movie [blank]” line to look forward to. Wiig decides to fall back onto the ole faithful singing monologue, she launches into some song about Thanksgiving or something. Some pluses to having a former cast member host the show is the hopes that they might do some favourite characters or sketches from their time on the show, or even the possibility of them bringing along other past alums (like formerly mentioned Jason Sudakis)…. And oh my goodness it’s STEVE MARTIN AND WILL FORTE!!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, and they’re back to singing…

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Secret Word) As I said, one of the upsides of having an old cast member is the possibility that they’ll break out some old characters or sketches. And Wiig did just that with “Secret Word” and her character of Mindy Elise Grayson. You know, the washed up Broadway actress who never seems to understand the concept of a ‘secret’ word. Classic Wiig, and Cicily Strong was great in this sketch too.

Honourable mention to Anderson Cooper 360, set in Westworld. Too realistic!

And surprise party Sue, obviously!

WEEKEND UPDATE: CHE! JOST! I’ve been looking forward to see you all week. The duo behind the news desk reported on, you guessed it, Trump. More specifically, his recent appointments. To make it seem like the didn’t spend the whole segment bashing Trump, they bring on Pete Davidson (yay!) to talk about his concerns, and those of young people, about the recent president-elect. His comments on Trump are hilarious, especially since last season he compared a Trump victory to how former American Idol contestant Sanjaya. How people kept voting for him for laughs instead of talent, so yeah, he definitely saw this coming. They also brought on Che’s neighbour Willie, but I’m not the biggest fan of that character. (SIDENOTE: Micheal Che’s comedy special “Micheal Che Matters” comes out on Netflix this Friday, in case you need a Gilmore Girls break or something 😉 )

MUSICAL GUEST: Musical guest this week is indie pop band The xx (and yes, it’s supposed to be 2 lower cases ‘x’s, I Googled it). Their first song of the night was “Hold On” which is a new song that will be on their upcoming new album I See You, which comes out in the new year. It’s a cool song, and the performance wasn’t bad, maybe not one that the audience can really jam too but that’s not always the point.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW:

“How was Hamilton?” – Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin)

“It was good, I got a free lecture.” – Mike Pence (Beck Bennett)

 

NEXT SHOW:

December 3

Host: Emma Stone

Musical Guest: Shawn Mendes

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: DAVE CHAPPELLE / A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: Some say the tragedy lies in the fact that Trump is now the President elect, I would like to argue that the next real tragedy in this whole thing is the fact we may no longer see Kate McKinnon as Hilary Clinton. Sitting solo at a piano McKinnon launches into her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” who recently passed this week. I would also put this cold open as the Have to YouTube moment from the show. With McKinnon has Clinton, hopefully not the last time, telling us that she is not giving up and neither should we.

OPENING MONOLOGUE: Dave Chappelle is hosting this week. The first time host (yes you read that right) did something I have not seen in a long time in an opening monologue. Do an opening monologue. No song, no dance, just jokes. Sure he’s Dave Chappelle, so he’s used to being on stage and telling jokes (obviously), which gives him an advantage over other first time hosts. It’s so refreshing seeing someone on that stage and just tell jokes, especially during a time when it seems like people just need to laugh.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Election Viewing Party) In an attempt to capture what you would think was going on during many household election viewing parties this past Tuesday evening, we see people try to come to grasp with the results of the night. Although most viewing parties didn’t have Chris Rock gate crash. While the white guests of the party are trying to understand how their country could refuse to elect someone like Hilary Clinton, Chappelle and Rock are amused in witnessing their friends revelation of their countries prejudice tendencies.

(The Walking Dead) Introduced by Chappelle live on air, this pre-taped bit was inspired by last week events during the latest episode of The Walking Dead. It was pretty much a cornucopia of many favourite Chappelle’s Show characters. Definitely YouTubable.

*** look, all the sketches were hilarious, just watch the whole show if you can ***

WEEKEND UPDATE: From the outset it was Trump jokes left, right, and centre. Throw in the brilliant Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and you have a fantastic Weekend Update.

MUSICAL GUEST: Also a first timer on the show tonight, A Tribe Called Quest is here, and promoting their new album We Got It From Here, Thank You for Your Service. And do they know how to make a first impression on SNL, starting with their song “We the People,” they got the show going. Their second song of the evening, “The Space Program,” was also a strong performance. Surprised that they have never been on the show before, but then again, it’s taken 42 seasons for Chappelle to host so…

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW: “Donald Trump is now the President of the United States. Ha… ‘United!’”

Michael Che

 

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Kristen Wiig

Musical Guest – The XX

SUNDAY MORNING REVIEW OF SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / SOLANGE

Saturday Night Live, Television

COLD OPEN: With the election only days away, did you really think there wouldn’t be an election related cold-open? Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump are back, in a last minute opportunity to address the country. And this could also mean it is one of the last times we get to see Alec Baldwin put on the ridiculous wig and do one of the best impressions to be seen on the show. The cold-open is used as an chance to address the email frenzy that has taken over the country the past couple of weeks, which has caused Clinton to have less of a lead in the polls. Honestly, if this is one of the last opportunities we see Baldwin and Kate McKinnon together, then yes this cold-open is a tad disappointing. But at the same time, the election has served as a punching bag for SNL for so long, that it needed the time off.

OPENING MONOLOGUE: Benedict Cumberbatch is here and as a first time host, plugging his new movie Doctor Strange. As if anyone in apart of the Marvel franchise has to go SNL in order to get people to go see the film, but if that means we get actors like Cumberbatch to host, I’m not going to stop them. And in typical SNL-newbie fashion, it’s a singing monologue. He goes into song and dance to introduce himself to the American audience of SNL. Unfortunately, he’s not that unknown to pull this off genuinely. Oh well, I’m still invested in this episode.

HAVE TO YOUTUBE: (Granny Bachelorette Party) Granny comes home to find there to be a surprise bachelorette party being thrown for her, causing her to go into shock and die. As she lies there dead without anyone knowing, two construction worker stripers come in to perform a routine for her and her friends. Although it was funny to see the posh and put together Cumberbatch in a blonde wig donning plaid, the real MVP of the sketch is Aidy Bryant. Having to play dead while one of the most attractive actors in Hollywood plus player of the Chicago Cubs gyrate all-over you. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it girl!

WEEKEND UPDATE: Election filled jokes, what else do you expect with THREE DAYS till the election? The jokes were funny; again do you expect anything other than election jokes THREE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION? Well, how about Church Lady? And boy, does she have things to say about the election. Commenting on the presidential candidates, and the amount of gay actors of TV… Or even better, how about we get another appearance of the Cubs players plus Billy Murray. Yes, I repeat BILL MURREY. Really you’re better off YouTubing it rather than reading this weak recap 🙂 GO CUBS GO!!!

MUSICAL GUEST: *** let it be known that I went to bed after Weekend Update because I was tired and not even Benedict Cumberbatch could keep me away from sleep *** This week’s musical guest is Solange who, while wearing a halo-like head piece, sang her song “Cranes in the Sky” for her first song. There was nothing bad about the performance; although the surprise cameo by Bill Murray and the Chicago Cubs singing whatever the Cubs’ song is called is a tough act to follow for her second and final song of the evening.

BEST LINE FROM THE SHOW: “Jesus likes a good joke, so that would leave you out of the equation wouldn’t it?” – Church Lady (Dana Carvey)

NEXT WEEK:

Host – Dave Chappelle

Musical Guest – A Tribe Called Quest

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (Career Days)

Television

Season 1, Episode 6 “Career Days”

Air date: November 1, 2016

*** warning the following contains spoilers for this week’s episode of This Is Us ***

Jack and Rebecca receive the report cards of their three children, the comments on Randall’s begin the journey of him becoming the working professional he is in present day. Still unable to connect with his character in his play, Kevin’s co-worker takes him on an unconventional first date. Kate has a new job as an assistant, but it’s the relationship her boss’ daughter has with her mother that reveals a surprisingly confession about Kate’s relationship with her own mother. And a grown up Randall has volunteered for career day at his daughters’ school, which causes him to question how his family sees his work.

 

The “That Is Us” Moment: There is nothing as emotional as the days and weeks following the death of someone you love. You struggle with the accepting that that person is no longer there while at the same time having to put on a seemingly strong face to those around you. But there are moments when it’s just not possible. In a hidden exchange Justin (Justin Hartley) and the newly widowed Grace (guest star Molly Hagan) observe the contents of the fridge. Grace trying to figure out where to put the surplus of petty-casseroles among the food that her late husband you’d to eat.

Grace: “He loves them, he eats them in bed. Ate. He is now past tense. He use to be is. Now he is was.

This exchange is just too relatable. In the moments after the death of someone who was such a permanent element of your life, you fight for the correct verb tense. Because they were just there; eating, or sleeping, or taking out the trash. And now they’re not.

The “That Is Us” Moment (#2): Like I said, this episode just had too many great scenes to not relate to more than one of them. In this scene we see Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) confront his son Randall (Lonnie Chavis) about his grades and recent IQ test. Only for it to be revealed that the young Randall fears that his intelligence level will only cause there to be more differences between him and his other siblings. Seeing his panic in his child’s eyes, Jack comforts him and explains how in his attempt to treat all his children the same, he may have also failed in acknowledging that they’re not.

Jack: “Can I be honest with you? Man to man. Your mom and me, we always try to treat you kids the same. Always have, hasn’t always worked because you’re not all the same. You’re adopted and we don’t talk about that enough. Cause to me you are every part my son. Maybe I don’t want you to feel like you stand out. But I need you to know something; I want you to stand out. I want all of you to as different as you can possible be. In all the best ways. I love as much as a human heart can kiddo. You are an exceptional young man. So don’t let you dad’s poor choices let you be afraid to be different. Okay?”

This scene is the catalyst in the type of person Randall grows up to be. A person who puts on a suit and tie every day for his desk job; and loves every moment about it.

 

What do you think? What was the moment of this week’s episode that you connected to the most? Let me know!

TV: This Is Us – “That Is Us” Moment (The Game Plan)

Television

Season 1, Episode 5 “The Game Plan”

Air date: October 25, 2016

*** warning this contains spoilers for the fifth episode of This Is Us ***

This episode sheds a light on Jack and Rebecca’s lives before the ‘big three’ arrive, and maybe just as important, how the Pittsburgh Steelers became such an essential part of their story. Jack and Rebecca are struggling with the next step in their relationship, Jack wants kids and Rebecca doesn’t. Afraid of how their lives will change once kids are in the picture. In present day, Toby feels a tad reject by Kate when she insists on watching the Steelers game by herself. Feeling a little crowded with both his brother Kevin and father William living in his home, Randall and his wife Beth take Kevin’s fancy NYC hotel room for the night. Using it as a moment for them to unwind, but a possible pregnancy causes them to think about the future of their relationship.

The “That Is Us” Moment: With Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) out of the house, Kevin (Justin Hartley) and William (Ron Cephas Jones) are in charge of watching over the girls. In an attempt to keep them preoccupied, Kevin enlists the girls and William in helping him read lines for his new play. Unfortunately, he didn’t consider that his nieces would question him on what the plays means. Which leads to an awkward discussion on the subject of death with two children. Feeling like he completely failed in comforting his nieces on the complex element of life he turns to William for guidance on how to approach the distraught kids. The product of that discussion has Kevin upstairs in the girls’ room showing them a painting he did after he read the play for the first time. Explaining the ritual of painting as a way for him to understand the feelings and emotions of a play. This specific painting is his visual representation of what life and ultimately death means in the grand scheme of the universe.

Kevin: “I painted this because I felt like the play was about life. Life is full of colour, and we each get to come along and we add our own our own colour to the painting. And even though it’s not very big, the painting, we have to figure that it goes on forever in each direction, to infinity. Cause that’s kinda like life. It’s really crazy if you think about it isn’t it, that a hundred years ago some guy that I never met came to this country with a suitcase. He has a son, who has a son, who has me. So at first when I was painting I was thinking maybe up here was that guy’s part of the painting, and down here that’s my part of the painting. And then I started thinking what if we’re all in the painting everywhere. What if we’re in the painting before we’re born, what if we’re in it after we die? And these colours that we keep adding, what if they keep on getting added on top of one another until eventually we’re not even different colours any more? We’re just one thing, one painting. My dad, he’s not with us anymore, he’s not alive but he’s with us. He’s with me everyday. It all sort of fits somehow, even if you don’t understand how yet. People will die in our lives, people that we love. In the future, maybe tomorrow, maybe years from now. It’s kinda beautiful if you think about it, the fact that just because someone dies and you can’t see them or talk to them anymore, doesn’t mean they’re not in the painting. I think that maybe that’s the point of the whole thing. There is no dying, there’s no you or me or them. There’s just us.

This monologue not only makes us relate to our own apprehensions about talking about our dealing with death, but it also gives us some insight into what has happened and what is also to come. We learn that the beloved patriarch, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), of the ‘big three’ has died. What caused it and how long he’s been gone remains unanswered still, but it doesn’t make the revelation any less sad. We also get a brief flash-forward of Randall packing up William’s belonging into a box, knowing that he will in fact die. Leaving us wondering how much of an impact he will continue to have on Randall’s life before he does.

What do you think? What was the moment you connected to most in this week’s episode? Comment below!