This Is Us: Flaws and All

Welcome to my weekly review of This Is Us. Today: Season 2, Episode 2, “A Manny-Splendored Thing.” (The reviews will include spoilers, so don’t read if you haven’t watched and don’t want to know what happens!)

The Good
1) T.O.B.Y. I’ve always liked Toby, but standing up to Kevin last week and momma Rebecca this week — like, hey insular family. Let this outsider in! He’ll never side with Mom, etc., because he’s “Team Kate. For eva,” he says. I LOVES me some Toby. (p.s. Kate, stop calling him Tobe.)

2) Kate! Damn, girl. Your sarcasm is, well, it’s breathtaking. Rebecca: something like “When I used to sing…” Kate: “Oh, wait, you used to sing?” … Rebecca, ya got burnt! And seriously, critical mom Rebecca should take a seat. Well, Kate will learn eventually, I hope, that critical people don’t like themselves and that’s why they criticize everyone else.

2a) Kate: “Why won’t this throw just throw?” I, too, dislike textiles that will not cooperate.

3) Cuteness all around — Sophie and Kevin (him trying to make her laugh, as a kid with his horrible Mr. T impersonation and as an adult as the manny in a man diaper), Kevin and Beth (Kevin helped Randall get Beth to go out with him a la Cyrano?!?), Beth and Randall (as he spins, and gets all anxious, she says he’s Randall-ing… bwahahaha). These are, like, real people!

4) The best, though, continues to be Jack, and, especially in this episode, Jack and Kate. Jack so didn’t want Kate to know he was but a person and not a superhero. Jack told Kate in this episode, after Rebecca agreed to help him with his alcoholism this time… for the FIRST time…, that he drinks, and that he never wanted to let her down. Kate loves him anyway, flaws and all… *sniff*

4a) We got a glimpse of Jack in Vietnam. I’m looking forward to more layers of this part of the story being revealed.

The Not So Good
1) Kevin going back to be on The Manny. After his epic season 1 meltdown on set, who would do that? Plot device! Got everyone in the same place — OK, This Is Us. You’re forgiven.

2) Less drama than the season premiere. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but after the emotion-packed hour last week, this week seemed like such a huge letdown in comparison. Guess they can’t all be an entire box of Kleenex eps.

I’m doling out 2.5 stars out of 4, because last week was so good. I give Jack, all the Kates and Jack, and Toby, 4 stars out of 4, though. And 4 stars to the crew who picks out the music. Landslide is *the* ultimate song for this show and hearing Kate sing it, as clips of Jack struggling, hitting a punching bag, landing out of a helicopter, went by… … … pass the tissues.

What about you?

Tune in here after the next episode for another This Is Us: Review for You. And follow me on Twitter @TaraDSF as I live tweet all the episodes from now on.

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I'm a writer who loves daisies, laughing, and smiling (hence the site name).

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