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This is Us Storybook Love Review This is Us Storybook Love Review

This Is Us

This Is Us – Storybook Love (4×05)

THIS IS US -- "Storybook Love" Episode 405 -- Pictured: (l-r)Logan Shroyer as Kevin, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Niles Fitch as Randall, Rachel Wilson as Beth, Hannah Zeile as Kate -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

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A family dinner ties This Is Us “Storybook Love” together.

Family dinners can either bring people together or tear them apart.

Thankfully, in this case, they brought the Pearsons closer together despite a few hiccups.

But these two family dinners varied wildly from each other.

In the first, Rebecca and Jack were moving into their new house. She was pregnant with the triplets.

Instead of making the first dinner at their new home special, she burned the lasagna, Jack knocked it over while hilariously fighting a bird, and they embraced the night for what it was — a fond memory to look back on.

The second dinner found the family reuniting for the first time after Jack’s death.

Rebecca once again wanted everything to be perfect because this was the start of their “next chapter,” and just like before, everything went sideways.

She tried her hardest to keep her composure but seeing Kevin and Sophie’s “quickie” wedding wasn’t easy for her.

Beth and Randall didn’t present too many problems that night, although Beth’s housewarming gift, a bottle of hot sauce, stirred up emotions as Jack loved to eat hot sauce on everything. Has this always been a thing? Or did they just add that in now for emotional texture?

And Kate’s date, Marc, surprised everyone by arriving unannounced after looking up her address and showing up at the house. Again, nothing concerning until a scene later in the episode raises a few eyebrows.

The Big Three had a lot to say to each other, but Rebecca wasn’t interested in seeing any of them argue and made it very clear as she went off on them in the kitchen.

It was awesome.

We’ve never seen Rebecca’s composed exterior crack, but I’m kind of digging this side of her.

At least, when it’s necessary.

By the end, Rebecca admitted the night was a failure and salvaged it by ordering pizza and being present in the moment.

It helped that Miguel was there offering up some advice alongside a glass of wine: stay patient.

Admittedly, Miguel felt slightly out of place at dinner, but it’s a testament to the man always being there for the family.

Kate even mentioned that he’d been hanging around the house frequently.

Seeing him involved so early on defines his relationship and allows us to see how it naturally turned from being there for his best friend’s wife to something more romantic.

Miguel promised to take care of Rebecca and that’s what he did.

While nothing seemed too out of the ordinary about Kate’s boyfriend, it does seem like we have something to worry about.

The episode didn’t elaborate on what transpired between Kate and Marc, but it did allude to something horrific happening as Kate found pictures of that night in the piano that the Pearson men sent over (another grand gesture) and became visibly triggered.

Rebecca then made a comment about wanting so badly to believe the kids were happy that she ignored what was right in front of her.

Did Marc abuse Kate?

Did he take advantage of her?

Following this final scene, Kevin’s “bad feeling” about Marc and the fact that he was 23 suddenly worries me.

It’s possible Kate was so eager to fit in or have a significant other that she too ignored the signs that something was wrong.

But did anyone pick up on Marc being too pushy or weird?

I’m not entirely sure I like where this storyline is headed especially since it has never been brought up as something that happened to Kate or formed her character.

Randall’s anxiety was prevalent during the family dinner, which Beth used as a reference in the present day.

Making lists was just one of the ways he stayed in control and coped with the anxiety, the same anxiety that took a toll on him back in season 1, and the anxiety that was now affecting Tess.

Randall’s storyline feels the strongest simply because it’s been developed from the beginning.

It’s not being added in out of convenience — this has always been something he’s dealt with and suffered from.

Now, Tess is overwhelmed with her sexuality, her new school, and new friends and it’s manifesting in panic attacks that Randall is all too familiar with.

Surprisingly, Beth finds a solution by remembering a conversation she once had with William, who also suffered from anxiety.

Boy, was it nice to him again!

Just like Randall, William hated that the one thing he passed onto his child was the thing he liked least about himself.

Yet, Beth found a way to spin it into a positive. Her three favorite people in the world are all affected by anxiety and panic attacks. It doesn’t make them less than and it’s not something they should be ashamed about.

Instead, they have to just let the bubbles fizzle out. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I enjoyed that metaphor.

But while Randall was able to identify the problem in Tess, he believed he had it all under control despite Beth picking up on the warning signs that he was on a verge of another mental break.

If Randall doesn’t see someone soon, it’s not going to end well.

Many shows tackle mental health and mental health stigma in an exaggerated way for ratings but that isn’t the case with This Is Us. They broached the topic with sensitivity and with the intention of informing.

When storylines are handled with such care, they’re better and stronger.

In the present day, Kevin continued being a support system for Cassidy and his uncle Nicky.

He wasn’t as helpful as he wanted to be. Nicky was annoyed of him and didn’t want to stick around for the hockey game because there were too many triggers.

Meanwhile, he made the wrong assumption about Cassidy’s husband and when he called him out for looking down while she was being honored as a vet, Ryan checked him by saying that he couldn’t watch her get honored by the very thing that broke her.

So yeah, not a great day for Kevin, but his heart was in the right place.

Ryan even told him to “stay away” from his wife, which is highly unlikely since there’s a definite connection forming between Kevin and Cassidy though neither of them sees it just yet.

In fact, Kevin’s been the only support system for Cassidy. Ryan may “still like her,” but he hasn’t been there for her and alienating her is pushing her onto those darker vices.

I’m warming up to the idea of Kevin and Cassidy as a couple, which is exactly what they looked like when they met up with Ryan before the hockey game.

As for Nicky, he seems to be around to keep Jack’s memory alive as Kevin looks back on their upbringing and shares a slice of ice cream with his uncle.

There were plenty of generational callbacks that tied the whole episode together. Despite originating from a terrible Pearson (Jack and Nicky’s father), the men turned out okay.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?

Sound-off in the comments below!


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

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‘This Is Us’ to End After Season 6 at NBC

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This Is Us Season 4 Premiere Review

It’s time to say goodbye to the Pearson clan! 

NBC’s groundbreaking family drama This Is Us will end with a sixth and final season, per The Hollywood Reporter 

The series was renewed for three seasons — up until season 6 — back in 2019. 

NBC has not officially commented on the news. The network is expected to make the announcement on Friday when it unveils the upcoming 2021-22 fall schedule.

This Is Us Season 5 will air its finale on Tuesday, May 25 at 10/9c. 

Are you ready to say goodbye to the series and TV’s best family?

Read reviews of This Is Us right here

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This Is Us Review – Follow Your Passion (5×14)

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This Is Us Review The Music and the Mirror Season 5 Episode 14

After yet another brief hiatus, This Is Us returned to deliver some grounded, emotional storylines. 

As the coronavirus raged on, Beth was forced to close her dance studio as membership dwindled even through Zoom class. 

Watching her dream go down the drain for the second time was heartbreaking, but it’s hard to feel for her completely when we’ve seen the future and we know she eventually opens up a prestigious dance school. 

As they say, after the rain, there’s always a rainbow. Plus, Beth has overcome failure in the dance world before as we saw her dreams of becoming a dancer and getting cast in the production of Swan Lake dashed in flashbacks to when she was in college. 

In both the past and the present, Randall was there for Beth in the way she needed him to be. As Deja pointed out, he tends to be quite a lot, but there’s a beauty in just supporting someone and not always being the hero. 

Beth and Randall have always been couple goals (next to Rebecca and Jack), and they continued to give us relationship aspirations as they shared a romantic dance to “All My Life” by K-Ci and Jojo. I know I wasn’t the only one singing my heart out during that scene! 

Madison, Rebecca, and Kate went wedding dress shopping for the upcoming big day.

Madison found her dream dress, but found herself feeling slightly disappointed when her father informed her that he wouldn’t be making it to the wedding due to a “work emergency.”

What a lame excuse.

This Is Us Review The Music and the Mirror Season 5 Episode 14

THIS IS US — “The Music and the Mirror” Episode 514 — Pictured in this screengrab: Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth — (Photo by: NBC)

Thanks to Rebecca’s speech (that would make Jack Pearson proud), Madison felt like she was part of a family for the first time ever.

However, after Kevin ran into Zoey, she mentioned that he was a people pleaser, which made him think about whether or not he was getting married to Madison because he wanted to or because he convinced himself he wanted to. 

Zoe wasn’t wrong — Kevin is a bit of a “yes, man,” but in this case, it’s been a decision that has been great for his personal life. 

Madison is an awesome woman, a great mother, and she brings out the best in Kevin. This is the most put-together and levelheaded he’s been in quite some time, and it’s been some positive character development for him. 

Making Kevin question his whole future with his family based on something an ex-girlfriend said jeopardizes all the progress he’s made. I don’t want to see his storyline take a turn for the worse, again. 

From the upcoming promos, it looks like Kevin will start to fall into old habits and pine for Sophie, which is also annoying. We’ve been there, done that several times. Sophie was his one true love, but the timing never worked out. They had their shot, and it didn’t work. Let’s not try to go back to that over and over again. 

Madison deserves so much better; she deserves a man that’s going to fight for her and choose her, not someone who is going to question every decision in his life. 

After seeing how great Rebecca was with Madison, Kate thanked her for being such a good and supportive mom, even though she didn’t always deserve it. 

And there’s no denying that Kate was a difficult teenager. But she had her reasons, too. 

When Jack died, so did her passion for art school. It may have taken her a few decades to find something she was passionate about again, but I’m so glad she did and that she shared it with Rebecca.

Toby continues to struggle with being a stay-at-home dad. He’s embarrassed by the fact that he lost his job and even more embarrassed by the fact that he can’t help but feel jealous about Kate’s new gig. 

Instead of opening up about it, he’s bottled it all up inside. And you know that means he’s going to burst — just like the water pipe — eventually. 

Hopefully, hearing his dad acknowledge that he comes from a family that opens up about their problems will encourage Toby to speak up and share his troubles with Kate. It’s the only way to ensure a healthy relationship. 

And I hope that they find a way for Kate to continue working because, as I mentioned, she’s finally doing something she enjoys. You can see it based on how her face lights up. I just wish she could be able to share it with Toby.

What did you think of the episode?

Are you glad This Is Us is back? Will Toby confide in Kate or will this tension hurt their marriage?  Will Kevin go through with the wedding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! 


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This Is Us Review – Kevin and Randall Tackle the Ugly Stuff (5×13)

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This Is Us Brotherly Love Review Season 5 Episode 13

Kevin and Randall finally found “brotherly love” after all these years, but it didn’t come easily.

The duo tackled the elephant in the room — their explosive fight during which plenty of hurtful words were exchanged — on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 13. 

As the two worked towards making amends, they aired out all the “ugly stuff” and it got pretty heated in certain moments. 

The episode allowed audiences to see their different perspectives on the same situation with the key takeaway being: You just don’t see it the way I do. 

But that doesn’t necessarily mean either of their experiences was wrong, they’re just different.

Kevin kicked things off with a bit of a half-assed, scripted apology, which Randall compared to a “rehearsed monologue.” Throughout it, he barely took any of the blame for his role in how “othered” he made Randall feel throughout the years when all he wanted to do was blend in. 

While it was great that Kevin acknowledged that he should have done more to combat the racism Randall faced from people like his prom date’s father, he didn’t actually own up to his actions.

Throughout a series of flashbacks, which also included new actors playing the boys in the past (or at least I believe they’re new since I don’t recall seeing them before), we see Randall and Kevin’s relationship unfold through the years. 

As toddlers, Jack takes them on a “boys weekend” to a live-taping of Mr. Rogers where Kevin becomes jealous of Randall’s “special treatment.” During their teenage years, Kevin gives Randall a fake I.D. of a “Black man” and tells him it’ll work cause he’s Black. 

This Is Us Brotherly Love Review Season 5 Episode 13

THIS IS US — “Brotherly Love” Episode 513 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Justin Hartley as Kevin — (Photo by: NBC)

During the present, Randall recalls all of these moments, most of which were subconscious on Kevin’s part, to inform his brother that he always felt singled out because of his Blackness. Kevin would make fun of him for not knowing rap songs, call him Carlton, and make other racially charged comments that he thought were innocent and funny. 

As Randall put it, Kevin’s black blindspots showed how wilfully in the dark he was, which hurt more than someone doing it purposefully and with malice. 

Kevin doesn’t admit his fault initially, but eventually, he realizes that his jealousy of Randall was directly associated with his Blackness.

Kevin also called out Randall for being ungrateful about being adopted into a caring and loving family, but again, Randall didn’t harbor any resentment towards the Pearsons. 

Instead, he opened up about his internal struggle of always wanting to find his birth parents, making up his Ghost Kingdom where the Black weatherman was his dad and the mail carrier was his mom, and also appreciating the life he was handed thanks to Rebecca and Jack. 

It was a condensed glimpse of Randall’s journey that fans have been seeing unfold throughout the season.

There’s nothing wrong with Randall dreaming about what could have been if the events of his birth were slightly altered, while still being grateful for what could’ve been. 

It’s an inner turmoil Randall has dealt with his whole life. He even admitted to feeling so guilty about his Ghost Kingdoms because of how great his real family was, so it’s not surprising that he’s tired of people telling him how he should feel about it. 

Randall also apologized for always making Kevin feel “less than,” which included an apology for the cheap shot comment of Jack being ashamed of him. 

While both of the guys will continue to see things through their own lenses, they’ve at least dipped their toes into each other’s perspectives for a moment.

With everything laid out on the table, a once-fractured brotherly bond is starting to rebuild. 

There was nothing groundbreaking about the episode, but the breakthrough for Kevin and Randall was nice to see.

They’re finally starting to hold each other accountable for their actions that have spanned decades instead of bottling it up inside and resenting each other. 

It takes true love and respect to have conversations this real and raw. Despite their flaws and quibbles, Randall and Kevin have always had each other’s backs, so I’m glad they’re back on track!

Plus, it might be the most honest and transparent conversation Randall has ever had with anyone in the Pearson family! That’s progress. 

What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below! 


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