This Is Us Episodes 2 & 3: Call Your Dad

By: M.K. Killen

Episode 2 of This Is Us explores the emotional trauma of alcoholism and the vulnerability people feel when they know someone is looking up to them.  Episode 3 followed up with unresolved trauma from the death of a loved one, particularly a father figure.

This Is Us has consistently done a great job at validating nontraditional families, sticking to the theme that no one is perfect—even the people who seem like it.  The past two weeks they tackled the father figure.

As they delved into the depths of Jack’s alcoholism and the strain it put on his familial relationship, the writers also managed to build up a stronger sense of family.  Jack says he can’t do it on his own, and in one of the most touching moments of the season thus far, admits his failures to his daughter Kate.

A man who in all ways seems perfect, who is immortalized in his children’s memories, this moment of weakness in Jack was powerful.  A father never wants to disappoint his children, to show them he’s not the perfect role model, but that’s not how life works: people make mistakes, people have personal struggles.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Randall tries to account for and calculate everything in life.  His ridiculously type A personality that pushed him into a breakdown last season, is driving him to make changes this season.  Randall’s new role as Mr. Mom, paired with his excitement about bringing a new child into the house is adorable.

His fear for his own family by changing the dynamic—and his own thoroughly considered plans—when Beth suggests fostering an older child is equally moving.

Viewers can see how growing up with a Jack as a father, truly shaped Randall as both a father and a husband.

In episode 3, we get a glimpse into Kate and Kevin’s opposing methods of coping with their father’s death—Kate speaks about him all the time, and Kevin avoids the subject at all costs.  We also see how Randall’s biological father, Walter, influenced his grandchildren and will leave a lasting impact on their new foster daughter, Deja, even after his death.

While the This Is Us cast continues to grow, the looming reveal of Jack’s death casts a shadow over new characters.  With Kevin’s emotional breakdown after the realization he repressed all emotions after his father’s death, viewers can tell discussion of Jack’s death is imminent.

The lesson we can take away is, dead or alive, perfect or perfectly imperfect, if your memories are overall good or bad, you owe a lot to your dad.

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This Is Us: New Season, Same Problems

[Photo Courtesy of NBC]

By: M.K. Killen

Season two of “This Is Us” premiered Sept. 26, and began in the same fashion as last season: the triplets’ birthday.  Watching each character grow over the past year left fans with a lot of questions and the season premiere did more to pique their curiosity than satisfy it.

The opening sequence was quite powerful.  A poem by William, Randall’s biological father, is punctuated by scenes from both past and present.

The triplets struggle to come to terms with their parents’ decision to take time apart.

Randall, exuding his self-proclaimed baby fever, is thriving in his new role as Mr. Mom, while Beth seems to struggle in silence.

Kate prepares for a musical audition with her biggest fan Toby there to give her encouragement.

Kevin lives the glamorous, albeit lonely, life of an LA actor while his ex-wife turned girlfriend waits back in New York.

Randall’s struggle with adoption and self-identity, while relevant, is recurring and takes a back burner to some of the other developments this episode made.

Continue reading “This Is Us: New Season, Same Problems”

I’m Gonna Leave You Anyway…

Photo courtesy of FX.com

By: M.K. Killen

Season four of FXX’s “You’re The Worst” kicked off Sept. 6, 2017, 10 months after the season three finale which dropped two consecutive bombshells on fans.  The first three seasons of the anti-romantic romantic comedy follow the budding relationship of two unlucky-in-love and all around terrible people Jimmy and Gretchen.

The seemingly self-aware narrative deals with the sordid lives of millennials in Los Angeles, who often serve as their own antagonists.

Covering themes like monogamy, domestic abuse, PTSD, clinical depression and the mystery of the human condition, the show makes use of the dark comedy popularized on the network by “Louie” and “Fargo.”  Though “You’re The Worst” is arguably more tame, it still contains scenes that cross the line from black comedy into just plain morose and bizarre.

Continue reading “I’m Gonna Leave You Anyway…”

The Heart Wants What It Wants

By Amber Williams

Selena Gomez released her new video “The Heart Wants What It Wants” last Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. What’s not surprising about the video is that it is about Justin Bieber and the vulnerable state she is now in after their most recent falling out. Gomez and Bieber’s on-and-off relationship has been happening for about four years, and there’s no question that it is time for Gomez to let go of what they had in the past.

The video starts with a dramatic monologue confessing how their relationship does have ups and downs that are uncontrollable. “But then you make me feel crazy because you make me feel like it’s my fault. I was in pain,” cries the heartbroken singer. The signs are there through the lyrics. Gomez knows that Bieber messes with her head and that there are times where she wants to leave, but her feelings for him are overbearing. As she tried to justify this “relationship,” it is clear that she doesn’t plan to let go of the Biebs anytime soon. There are too many good memories, and bad, for her to say goodbye. But, sometimes, goodbye can be what is best.

One noticeable aspect of the video is the filter and the shots of the scenes. The black and white is no coincidence, as they are comparing to the Jelena pictures on Gomez’s Instagram. For example, the club scenes and cuddle sessions have been posted a few times on both accounts. Therefore, it will be assume that this video is a way for Gomez to reach out to Bieber to show him either the good memories he’ll miss with her; or to show him that he has shatter her into pieces.

To watch the video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij_0p_6qTssb and be the judge on what do you think will happen next with these love birds.