TV Reviews

Who I want to take home Emmy’s tonight

I haven’t posted much about TV, mainly because I haven’t been watching much, but I am super excited about the Emmy’s despite a) they are on a Monday night and b) they are head to head with my beloved Chicago Bears. My husband and I will be fighting over the TV tonight.

Anyway, the nominees are below, along with who I would love to see win.


“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – I want this show to win. It’s fresh, funny and filled with richly written characters and content.
“Silicon Valley”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”)
Ted Danson (“The Good Place”) – Ted Danson’s portrayal of Michael the angel is great. He was made for the role.
Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
Bill Hader (“Barry”)
William H. Macy (“Shameless”)

Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”)
Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)  – I don’t see how anyone else wins this category. Rachel was amazing in this role. She deserves this win.
Allison Janney (“Mom)
Issa Rae (“Insecure”)
Tracee Ellis Ross (“black-ish”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”)

Louie Anderson (“Baskets”)
Alec Baldwin (“Saturday Night Live”)
Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) – this is a tough category, because Baldwin as Trump is great, but I’m sticking with my show here.
Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)
Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Zazie Beetz (“Atlanta”)
Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) – Another great character from this show, Suzy was someone you wouldn’t typically root for, but here, you do.
Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”)
Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”)
Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”)
Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)
Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”)
Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”)

“Atlanta” (Episode: “FUBU”), directed by Donald Glover
“Atlanta” (Episode: “Teddy Perkins”), directed by Hiro Murai
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), directed by Bill Hader
“The Big Bang Theory” (Episode: “The Bow Tie Asymmetry”), directed by Mark Cendrowski
“GLOW” (Episode: “Pilot”), directed by Jesse Peretz
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: “Pilot”), directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino – Noticing a theme here???
“Silicon Valley” (Episode: “Initial Coin Offering”), directed by Mike Judge

“Atlanta” (Episode: “Alligator Man”), written by Donald Glover
“Atlanta” (Episode: “Barbershop”), written by Stefani Robinson
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter One: Make Your Mark”), written by Alec Berg and Bill Hader
“Barry” (Episode: “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”), written by Liz Sarnoff
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: “Pilot”), written by Amy Sherman-Palladino – again, sticking with my fave
“Silicon Valley” (Episode: “Fifty-One Percent”), written by Alec Berg


“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Game of Thrones” – I love 4 of the shows in this category, but I’m going with Game of Thrones, because it was edge of your seat good last season.
“This Is Us”
“The Crown”
“The Americans”
“Stranger Things”

Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) – Don’t see how anyone else can win but Sterling K. Milo has a shot, but SKB was so good last year.
Ed Harris (“Westworld”)
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)
Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”)

Claire Foy (“The Crown”)
Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”)
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) – picking her only because I know she’ll win. I don’t watch any of these shows besides the Crown and I didn’t love Foy’s performance this year.
Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
Keri Russell (“The Americans”)
Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”)
Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)
Joseph Fiennes (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) – Hopper all the way!!
Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”)
Matt Smith (“The Crown”)

Alexis Bledel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”) – I love her but Yvonne Strahovski will win
Ann Dowd (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”)
Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”)
Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)
Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

“The Crown” (Episode: “Paterfamilias”), directed by Stephen Daldry
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “Beyond the Wall”), directed by Alan Taylor – this was a great episode so this one
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), directed by Jeremy Podeswa
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “After”), directed by Kari Skogland
“Ozark” (Episode: “The Toll”), directed by Jason Bateman
“Ozark” (Episode: “Tonight We Improvise”), directed by Daniel Sackheim
“Stranger Things” (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), directed by the Duffer Brothers

“The Americans” (Episode: “START”), written by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg
“The Crown” (Episode: “Mystery Man”), written by Peter Morgan
“Game of Thrones” (Episode: “The Dragon and the Wolf”), written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Episode: “June”), written by Bruce Miller
“Killing Eve” (Episode: “Nice Face”), written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
“Stranger Things” (Episode: “Chapter Nine: The Gate”), written by the Duffer Brothers – great episode, so this one


“The Alienist”
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” – I watched some of this and it was good, so I’m going with this
“Genius: Picasso”
“Patrick Melrose”

Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”)
Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) – Darren Criss was really good in this role so him
Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)
Jeff Daniels (“The Looming Tower”)
John Legend (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)
Jesse Plemons (“USS Callister: Black Mirror”)

Laura Dern (“The Tale”)
Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”)
Michelle Dockery (“Godless”)
Edie Falco (“The Menendez Murders”) – I may be the only person who watched this mini, but Edie Falco was really great in her role, so her
Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)
Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story: Cult”)

Jeff Daniels (“Godless”)
Brandon Victor Dixon (“Jesus Christ Superstar”)
John Leguizamo (“Waco”)
Ricky Martin (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) – Ricky Martin was GREAT in this so him
Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
Michael Stuhlbarg (“The Looming Tower”)
Finn Wittrock (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)

Sara Bareilles (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”)
Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) – She was so creepily good, so her
Judith Light (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
Adina Porter (“American Horror Story: Cult”)
Merritt Wever (“Godless”)
Letitia Wright (“Black Museum: Black Mirror”)

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (Episode: “The Man Who Would Be Vogue”), directed by Ryan Murphy this one
“Godless,” directed by Scott Frank
“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” directed by David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski
“The Looming Tower” (Episode: “9/11”), directed by Craig Zisk
“Paterno,” directed by Barry Levinson
“Patrick Melrose,” directed by Edward Berger
“Twin Peaks,” directed by David Lynch

“American Vandal” (Episode: “Clean Up”), written by Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (Episode: “House by the Lake”), written by Tom Rob Smith this one
“Black Mirror: USS Callister,” written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker
“Godless,” written by Scott Frank
“Patrick Melrose,” written by David Nicholls
“Twin Peaks,” written by Mark Frost and David Lynch


The Amazing Race”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Project Runway”
“RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”  – LOVE the Voice

“At Home with Amy Sedaris”
“Drunk History”
“I Love You, America”
“Saturday Night Live” – SNL has been pretty good
“Tracey Ullman’s Show”

“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – LOVE this show
“Late Late Show with James Corden Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

“Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” directed by Stan Lathan
“Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld,” directed by Michael Bonfiglio
“Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life,” directed by Marcus Raboy – this was an enjoyable show so this
“Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake,” directed by Hamish Hamilton
“The Oscars,” directed by Glenn Weiss

“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated),” written by Samantha Bee, Pat Cassels, Mike Drucker, Eric Drysdale, Mathan Erhardt, Miles Kahn and Nicole Silverberg
“John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous” at Radio City, written by John Mulaney
“Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady,” written by Michelle Wolf
“Patton Oswalt: Annihilation,” written by Patton Oswalt
“Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” written by Steve Martin and Martin Short – this one

TV Reviews

The Evolution of Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of the Big Bang Theory. I’ve seen every episode many times.

One of the things I love about this show is character growth, and no two characters have grown more than Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler, who tonight will finally wed!

Image result for sheldon and amy gifs

Amy joined the show in the finale of Season 3, when Howard and Raj added Sheldon to a dating site as an experiment. Sheldon didn’t believe that it would be possible to find a perfect match for him – but he was so wrong.

Amy is a neurobiologist and incredibly smart (like her real life portrayer). When she first joins the cast, she’s incredibly anti-social (like Sheldon) and pretty robotic. Once she started hanging out with Penny and Bernadette, she lightened up a little, but it took a long time for her full transformation.Image result for sheldon and amy gifs

Once Sheldon and Amy started dating, they both started to change. Sheldon was still annoying and dependent on his friends, but he tried to change. Amy encouraged him to be more empathetic towards others, and again, while it took a LONG time, he’s gotten much better. He’s still mean to Howard sometimes and can be thoughtless, but he’s a much better character than he was before Amy joined the show.

Image result for sheldon and amy gifs

Sheldon and Amy broke up at the end of season 8, and it devastated Sheldon. He didn’t realize it right away, but he was very much in love with Amy and took their break up very hard. Amy attempted to move on, but she was still in love with Sheldon. The episode when they get back together is one of my favorites.

Image result for sheldon and amy gifs

This season in particular has been a good one for Sheldon. He really loves and appreciates Amy, and seems genuinely excited to be marrying her.

I am so excited to see Shamy’s wedding. I’m sure it will be odd and full of Klingon, but I’m so happy that one of my favorite TV couples is finally tying the knot!

Tune in tonight at 7 pm central on CBS to see the wedding of Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler and Dr. Sheldon Cooper!

Happy watching.

new signature

TV Reviews

Why you should be watching Showtime’s The Chi

I’ve lived in the Chicago area my entire life, and I’ll admit I live in a cozy suburban bubble. So imagine my shock when I turned on the Chi, and saw a depiction of how life is a mere 15 miles away from me. To say it was shocking is an understatement.

The Chi takes place on Chicago’s South Side. For those of you not from Chicago, it’s a tough part of town.  Brutally tough. Obviously I don’t know how accurate the depiction of life there is, but I have to tell you that the storytelling and cinematography from this show paint quite a picture.

The story follows four very different people.

Brandon is a line cook at a restaurant in the city (or downtown to those not from the Chi) who came out of the south side with a good head on his shoulders. His younger brother, Coogie, lives with his and Brandon’s alcoholic mother and pretty much runs the streets all day and night.  Brandon has a nice apartment with his girlfriend, Jerrika, who is a real estate agent.

Image result for the chi showtime gifs

Kevin is an tween dealing with school and crushes. Kevin witnesses something that sends his life into a paranoid mess. But man do I love this kid – he has incredible street smarts for a kid his age.

Image result for the chi showtime

Emmett is a man probably in his late teens who sells stolen tennis shoes and works at a restaurant. Emmett likes to screw without protection and has fathered three children. When the youngest baby mama gets pissed and dumps the baby on Emmett’s lap, he’s forced to quickly grow up, and without his mother’s help.

Image result for the chi showtime gifs

Ronnie is an older gentleman, in his 50’s likely. He doesn’t work and sits in his front yard with two of his friends most of the day. His grandmother tells him he’s worthless and should get a job. Ronnie was married to Tracy and was a stepfather to Jason, who is murdered in the first episode. Jason’s murder is the key that brings these four characters together in an incredibly interesting way.

Image result for the chi showtime gifs

What’s so interesting about this show is how believable it is. I was watching last night and the 45 minutes it took for the episode flew by. There is an incredible supporting cast, especially the younger kids who are Kevin’s age. The biggest thing that compels me to this show is that I care for the characters – even Ronnie, who is kind of a loser, and Emmett, who is kind of lost. Brandon seems put together, but is dealing with some issues from his past. It’s so good.

I would highly recommend this show. It’s airs at 9 pm central on Showtime and is available on demand.

new signature


TV Reviews

The Big Bang Theory has lost its mojo

I am a huge fan of the Big Bang Theory (“BBT”). I watch it on my local Fox and TBS channel when it’s on, almost every day. We recently re-watched Season 7, which I think is the best season of the entire series, and it made me realize that Season 11 is really not that funny.

Here are some thoughts as to why:

Penny and Leonard.  Penard is finally living on their own, in the big apartment and seem to be happily married. That’s great, except that’s all there is. They aren’t planning a future (like buying a house, or having a kid). They are like me and my husband (except we don’t eat take out as much as they do). They hang out. Nothing exciting about that.

Image result for big bang theory season 11 gifs

Amy and Sheldon. Shamy are happily engaged and planning their wedding. A few of the episodes have focused on them planning (and testing their friends to see who would be the better maid of honor and best man). Plus, I think it’s weird they have lived in Penny’s apartment for as long as they have and haven’t changed out the furniture. Strange.

Image result for big bang theory season 11 gifs

Howard and Bernadette. You may know that Melissa Rauch, who plays Bernadette, had a baby herself and is maternity leave. The timing of Bernie being on bed rest with their second baby is perfect, but it’s making for a very boring storyline for them. We see Bernie laying in bed talking to Raj or Sheldon and that’s it. Howard spends a lot of time out of the house without Halley, so you have to wonder who is taking care of her.

Image result for big bang theory season 11 gifs

Raj. Raj is my least favorite character on the show, and it’s not the actors fault. The writers have made Raj so incredibly pathetic that it’s hard to pull for him. Last night’s episode was so bad and focused on Raj. The writers need to decide what to do with Raj and fast. Find him a potential wife or admit he’s gay.

Image result for big bang theory season 11 gifs

Overall, the show is just boring and not that funny.  As much as I would hate to see this show end, maybe it has just run its course.

Just my thoughts. Do you agree?

new signature

TV Reviews

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselImage result
Starring: Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub, Alex Bornstein
Airs on: Amazon
8 episodes, duration of approx. 45-60 minutes


It’s the late 1950s and Miriam “Midge” Maisel has everything she has ever wanted — the perfect husband, two kids and an elegant apartment on New York’s Upper West Side. Her seemingly idyllic life takes a surprising turn when she discovers a hidden talent she didn’t previously know she had — stand-up comedy. This revelation changes her life forever as she begins a journey that takes her from her comfortable life on the Upper West Side through the cafes and nightclubs of Greenwich Village as she makes her way through the city’s comedy industry on a path that could ultimately lead her to a spot on the “Tonight Show” couch.


Have you watched this show yet? If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Midge Maisel is a wife and mother in late 1950’s New York. She comes from money and her husband comes from money. They live in luxury on the Upper West Side and dress to the nines.

Midge’s husband, Joel, has dreams of being the next Bob Hope. He goes to the Gaslight theater (in Soho I believe) to a club where you can showcase your act. Midge makes her famous brisket to help her husband get prime time slots. The only problem – Joel’s not really that funny.

After a big fight and a lot of alcohol, Midge herself ends up at the Gaslight on stage and starts her “act”. She’s really just venting about her life, but the audience loves her. She swears on stage (women apparently weren’t allowed to swear in the late 1950’s [thank god that law changed]) and Midge gets in trouble.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel GIF

Midge catches the eye of Susie, the manager of the Gaslight (played brilliantly by Alex Bornstein). Susie is convinced Midge has a gift and wants to represent her. Susie works to get Midge gigs at both the Gaslight and other locations around the city.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel GIF

In addition to the stand-up comedy aspect, there is also a family dramedy included here as well. Midge’s parents are very strict Jewish parents, as are her in-laws. There are back stories with her parents, Joel and Susie.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel GIF

What’s really brilliant about this show, however, is the writing. Rachel Brosnahan as Midge is amazing and she was very deserving of her Golden Globe. She’s so likable as this character and you pull for her from the beginning. She’s also incredibly funny.

This show is just incredibly amazing and I would recommend any watch it.

new signature

TV Reviews

Why you should subscribe to HBO

My cable bill is stupid high, thanks to a bundle deal I have through AT&T.  But one thing I pay for, and pay for gladly, is my subscription to HBO.

I pay $16 each month for the service, and let me tell you, it’s totally worth it.  Yes, there have been amazing shows that have been on HBO, like The Sopranos and Sex in the City, but now, they have even better shows, and their HBO Go app is amazing.  Here are a few of the things you should watch on HBO (in my opinion):

Game of Thrones.  If you have read my blog, you know I love GOT.  Season 7 releases in a month and 4 days (not that I’m counting).  I am so excited for this show to return, even for an abbreviated season (with longer episodes).  This show is so well written and beautifully acted, if not confusing, given the sheer number of characters and storylines to remember.  There is even an aftershow now, which helps with that.  If you haven’t watched seasons 1-6, get started.  You have a month and 4 days to catch up.

Image result for game of thrones gif

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  I look forward to this show every week, and not just because I am not a fan of our President, but honestly, I learn about things I didn’t know.  Oliver does a story each week, and talks about it.  A few weeks back, he talked about the French election and he talked about Brexit this week and it’s possible consequences.  While he is vulgar, he is very funny and has a refreshingly strong sense of what’s going on in our country.

Image result for last week tonight gif

The Wire.  Yes, The Wire is a very old show (from the early 2000’s), but it is still very relevant and worth watching.  It focuses on a group of detectives from Baltimore, and Baltimore’s drug lords in the first season.  It deals with shipping issues in the second season, back to drugs for the third, the public school system in Baltimore for the fourth (and in my opinion best season) and politics in the 5th.  Incredibly well written and acted.  Worth watching. Oh yeah, Idris Elba is one of the stars.  Yummy.

Image result for the wire gif

Documentaries.  HBO has put out some incredibly good documentaries.  Most recently was Mommy Dead and Dearest, about a woman with Munchausen by Proxy and the consequences of that on her daughter.  There was also There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane, about a woman who was killed in an auto accident with her children and nieces in the car.  And the best was The Jinx, the story of Robert Durst.  You have to watch that one.  It’s so unbelievably good.  It has an ending you’ll never see coming.

Image result for the jinx gif

There are also the movies, and other shows like Veep that are worth watching.  But I look forward to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Game of Thrones the most.

Happy watching.


TV Reviews

This is Us Episode 12 – The Big Day

PLEASE NOTE:   This post will contain spoilers about last night’s episode of This is Us.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’ve watched last night’s episode.  If you haven’t, you may want to come back and read it later.  You’ve been forewarned:)

So, instead of typing up a lengthy post about the content of last night’s episode, titled The Big Day, I’m going to briefly reflect on my thoughts on said episode.

This episode, set entirely in 1980, focuses on Jack and Rebecca, who are awaiting their triplets.   It’s Jack’s birthday, but Rebecca is on a rampage about everything and anything.  And being an uber bitch about it.

As a mother, I can totally understand hormones – and I only carried one child at a time.  How she acted didn’t bother me – it’s typical.  You also get “pregnancy brain”, where you forget stuff.  Been there, done that.

Jack continues to amaze me as a character.  After Rebecca kicks him out of the house, Jack meets Miguel at a golf course, where Miguel offers to buy Jack golf clubs.  Some of the other dads talk about using golf as an excuse to get away from their families.  Jack will have none of that.  He gushes about how much he loves his wife, and promptly leaves to go home to her.

I’m still not sure what to make of Miguel.  The fact that he and Rebecca are together is pretty creepy.  Assuming Jack has been dead for around 10 years (Kate mentioned the 2006 AFC Championship game was the last game she watched with her dad), that’s pretty fast for someone to have remarried.  Or maybe I just don’t like Miguel and I’m looking for reasons to dislike him.  Could Miguel be a reason that Jack and Rebecca had marital problems?  Did they get together after he died?  So. Many. Questions.

We also got to see more of the amazing Dr. K, played brilliantly by Gerald McCraney.  Dr. K is struggling with the loss of his wife a year earlier.  He hasn’t gotten rid of her clothes or things.  He talks to her like she’s there.  His son visits, urging him to “move on.”  Dr. K lays into him, telling him there is no time table for grief.  He runs into a friend at the grocery store who offers to cook dinner for him (herself a widow).  Then there is the scene at the cemetery, where it looks like Dr. K might be giving up.  Until he gets the page about the Big Three.  That entire scene had me in tears.  So beautifully acted.


We also got a look into the life of firefighter Joe, the man who brought Randall to the hospital.  It turns out he didn’t bring the baby straight there – he brought him home to try to make a family with his wife, whom he can’t conceive children with.  His wife insisted that Joe take the baby to the hospital immediately.  But their story ended happily.

joe-firemanMy favorite scene, though, was when Rebecca talked to the babies, telling them that she loves them very much and apologizes for the mistakes she knows she’s going to make.  Jack comes in at the end with a video camera, which he brought himself for his birthday.


Overall, this is probably my favorite episode yet.  This show is so beautifully written and acted.  It’s a shame it didn’t win any Golden Globes.

Happy watching.


TV Reviews

This is Up Episode 9 – The Trip

PLEASE NOTE:   This post will contain spoilers about last night’s episode of This is Us.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’ve watched last night’s episode.  If you haven’t, you may want to come back and read it later.  You’ve been forewarned:)

This week’s episode picks up where last week’s left off. Randall is still devastated over the revelation that Rebecca has known about Randall her whole life.  Randall keeps pacing the floor, and pausing to write down reasons he’s angry with Rebecca.  He’s at 22 reasons.  He also tells Beth and William that he’s angry with them, but not as angry as he is at Rebecca.

Randall mentions to Kate and Kevin that Rebecca is planning on selling their family cabin. Kate is upset by this news, and suggests to her brothers that they take a trip to the cabin for old times’ sake.  They arrive at the cabin, and Randall immediately starts packing stuff up.


Unbeknownst to Randall and Kate, Kevin has invited Olivia to the cabin. Olivia doesn’t arrive alone.  She brings Asher, her ex-boyfriend, and Sloane, the playwright (better known as Lilly from the AT&T commercials).  Kate is none to pleased with the situation.  She chastises Kevin for inviting Olivia; he in turn tells her he had no idea she wouldn’t be alone.

In the past, Randall is 9 and starting to ask questions about his biological parents. He asks random African Americans if they can roll their tongue like he can, hoping to find his birth parents.  Jack mentions to Yvette that Randall is getting curious – he’s been talking to the mail man, the janitor – jobs an African American may have.  Yvette suggests to them that they take Randall to an all black karate class.

Rebecca is very opposed to finding Randall’s birth parents. Jack (shirtless, yum) asks her why she’s opposed.  She admits that she’s worried they may be better than them.  She’s terrified of losing her son.

Back to the present, at the cabin, Asher asks who drank his mushroom smoothie. Turns out it was Randall, and he’s stoned.  Hysterically.  Randall goes outside, and sees Jack on a ladder cleaning off the roof of the cabin.


Randall starts going off to Jack about how upset he is with Rebecca. He asks Jack if he knew about William.  Jack says no (and I believe that).  Jack jumps to Rebecca’s defense, saying she was trying to protect her family.

Meanwhile, Kate, Kevin and the play bunch are playing a game and Kevin is acting like a different person in front of Olivia. Kate confronts Olivia, telling her she knows “girls like her.”  Olivia asks Kate point blank – what if you get the surgery and nothing changes?  This clearly freaks Kate out.

Kate then confronts Kevin about his behavior, and he ponders if she is deflecting due to her breakup with Toby and upcoming surgery. Kate informs Kevin that she “almost died”. Kevin disagrees, saying she “hit turbulence and spilled her peanuts.”  Kate gets mad and goes for a walk, on which she calls Toby.  Toby answers, and sounds very upset.  Kate starts telling him about Randall, and Kevin’s behavior.  Toby asks if they are still broken up.  Kate says yes, and Toby politely ends the call.

Meanwhile, stoned Randall is having a talk with Jack. Randall tells Jack that he was “only a replacement for the baby they lost.”  Going to be honest – that was a real dick thing for Randall to say and completely not true.  I get that Randall is pissed off, but he had a great life, and Jack was an amazing father, so this comment really pissed me off.  Jack informs Randall that he was no replacement, and reminds him that he was very loved.


In the past, Rebecca goes to William’s apartment, hoping he still lives there. He does.  He informs Rebecca that he has been sober for 5 years, and has a good job in a bookstore.  Rebecca informs William that Randall has been asking about his birth parents.  William gets very excited, and suggests that Rebecca could bring him into the store.  William gets up to look for something, and while he’s doing that, Rebecca disappears.  Poor William doesn’t even know her last name.

Later, Jack and Rebecca attend Randall’s karate class. The sensei asks Jack to come lay on the ground, acting as a foundation, and has Randall get on his back.  Jack then does pushups with Randall on his back, acting as his rock.  Even after being told to stop, Jack keeps going, again proving what a freaking amazing father he is.

Back to the present, Kevin is in the cabin with Asher and Olivia watching a video of Kate and Kevin singing as kids. Asher and Olivia are snuggled on the coach, and Kevin flips his lid.  He calls Olivia out, telling her she has likely never experienced anything real in her entire life.  She and Asher then leave in Sloane’s car, stranding her in the woods.

Meanwhile, Randall sees a vision of his family in the past, playing games at the cabin. He sees how happy they were.  He then has a vision of Rebecca having a freak out in the cabin, locking all the doors and looking frantically for the kids.  It appeared to symbolize her fear of someday losing Randall.

In the past, we see William receive the now famous letter from Rebecca. William starts crying and drops the letter on a book of poems he had written, called “Poems for My Son.” That was a really heartbreaking scene.

The next morning, Kate goes to wake Kevin up and finds Sloane in his bed (big shocker). The Big Three (and Sloane) then leave the cabin and head to Rebecca’s house.  Randall goes to the door by himself, with Kate and Kevin waiting by the car.

Randall tells Rebecca how lonely it must have been, keeping that secret for so many years. Rebecca starts crying, and goes to reach for Randall.  He backs away, saying “not yet”, but tells Rebecca that he’ll see her at Christmas.

This was a great episode. I loved Randall’s mushroom trip.  I found the entire scene hilarious.  Sterling K. Brown should really get an Emmy for his performance as Randall.

On a side note, next week is the “fall finale” and I’m so sad that this show will be going on a break. I’m looking forward to the Christmas episode next week.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Happy watching.


TV Reviews

This Is Us Episode 8 Recap – “Pilgrim Rick”

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.

Episode synopsis:  As Jack, Rebecca and the three kids make their way to Rebecca’s parents’ house for their traditional Thanksgiving holiday, an unforeseen detour occurs. Kate makes two drastic life-changing decisions. Kevin brings Olivia to Randall’s house for Thanksgiving. Randall’s heart is broken when he learns about a lifelong secret his mother has kept from him.

We all knew this was going to be a powerful episode, but what it turned into was something even more than I could have expected.

Due to the way the story is told this week, I have to tell it in order.  I’m going to focus on Randall, Rebecca and Jack for most of this, but will cover Kate and Kevin later.

It’s 1988 or 1989, and Jack and Rebecca are preparing for Thanksgiving at Rebecca’s parents house.  Rebecca is trying to make the perfect cranberry sauce, because her sister makes the perfect pie and her mother makes the perfect dinner.

The boys end up ruining her cranberry sauce, and they had to stop at several stores to buy more.  As they are going to the grandma’s house, the blow out a tire in the middle of nowhere.  There’s a sign that states 3.4 miles to a gas station, and the family has no choice but to walk to the gas station.

Present Day – It’s Thanksgiving morning, and nobody is more excited than Randall.  He wakes he whole family up at 6:30 am to help prepare for dinner.  Once everyone arrives (Kevin, Olivia [we’ll get to that later], Rebecca and Miguel), Randall tells everyone it’s time for the annual Pearson family hike.  How long is the hike?  3.4 miles.

Back to the past – once the family reaches the gas station, Rebecca calls her mother and gets chewed out for not showing up.  On the way to the gas station, Randall noted that he hated going to her parents house because they always made him feel like an outsider.  There happens to be a lodge across the street and the family gets a room for the night.  Unfortunately, the only food the gas station had was hot dogs, cheese and crackers.

Once they get to the lodge, they are greeted by a strange man who calls himself “Pilgrim Rick”.  The family goes to their room, which is eclectic to say the least, and Jack goes out in search of food.  A while later, there is a knock on the door and it’s “Pilgrim Rick”.  It’s really Jack, who has food and the movie “Police Academy 3”.  They cook their hot dogs covered in crackers and cheese in the heater in the room.


Back to the present, everyone comes back from the hike in time to watch the traditional movie (Police Academy 3).  While on the hike, William tells Randall about his music tapes that he would listen to every Thanksgiving.  Randall, fearing that this may be William’s last Thanksgiving, drives to William’s house to get his music tapes for him.

While at William’s apartment, Randall finds a letter written to William and recognizes the handwriting.  At this point, he realizes that Rebecca has known about William his entire life.  To say he’s angry would be an understatement.

Back to the past, The Pearson’s are in their hotel, just finished the movie and Rebecca suggests that each member of the family say something they are thankful for.  They do this while unraveling a sweater that Rebecca’s mom made for Kate.


Back to the present, Randall returns home and is clearly pissed off.  They start the family tradition of saying what they are thankful for with a ball of twine.  Rebecca says her thanks and one of the girls comments that “grandma always says the same thing.”  Randall agrees and then tells Rebecca what he found at William’s house.  A letter, with a photo of Randall, telling him it was great to see him looking so well after “all these years”.  Randall loses his mind.  Rebecca tries to explain, but Randall screams at her to stop and tells her he can’t even look at her.  He then storms out of the house.

In the past, Randall tells Kate that he wants all his Thanksgiving’s to be just like the one that year.  He has carried all the traditions from that year forward; the hike, Pilgrim Rick, the movie, the twine.    Clearly family is the most important thing to Randall, and this news that Rebecca has known about William his whole life is devastating for him.

It was a very realistic scene, and I hope that Sterling K. Brown uses it for his Emmy nomination (which he should totally get).  The pain on both Randall and Rebecca’s face was heartbreaking.   While I understand Randall’s anger, William was an addict back then and I can understand why Rebecca wouldn’t want her son around an addict.

The Present – Kate and Kevin

Kate and Toby go to dinner, where Toby devours a plate of spaghetti; while Kate eats a salad.  She tells Toby that she thinks they should take a break.  She’s very serious about her weight loss and being with Toby, who is not taking his diet seriously, is not helping her.  She cries when telling him this, and Toby is none to happy.  Kate tells him she doesn’t want him to accompany him to New Jersey for Thanksgiving.

Kevin’s play wraps for Thanksgiving weekend, and Olivia tells him she has no plans for the holiday.  Kevin invites her to Randall’s house.  Olivia goes on the hike with the family, where she tells Kevin about her sob story; absent father, drunk mother.  She gets to the point where she can’t take it anymore, and she leaves.  She’s in the front, waiting for her Uber, and William is outside, getting some fresh air. Olivia asks William what it’s like to die.    William explains what he’s going to miss; stroking his granddaughters hair, making Randall laugh.  William tells Olivia that she should stop pushing Kevin, someone who is clearly smitten with her, away.  Olivia goes back in the house and kisses Kevin.  She and Kevin then go and watch Police Academy 3.


Kate is on an airplane to New Jersey when she hits some severe turbulence.  She makes a big decision after that – to have gastric bypass surgery.  Which she announces to the family right after Randall storms out.  Olivia then tells Kevin that her family is amazing.

On a side note, Miguel asked Kevin if he could wear “the hat”.  Kevin told him no.  That only he and Randall wear it.  Kevin clearly has an issue with Miguel (his dead father’s best friend who is married to his mother, as he told Olivia).  Kevin decides to let Miguel do the honors.  Watching Kevin blossom during this show has been one of my favorite storylines.  When the show started, he was a spoiled brat and now he’s a man you can respect.  A man who learns from his mistakes.  A man who wants to right his wrongs.  I’m enjoying watching the man he is becoming.


Kate’s storyline, however, is annoying to me.  You finally meet a great guy, and you push him away because he doesn’t want to diet.  That doesn’t make any sense to me.  I hope she quickly realizes her mistake and she and Toby reconcile soon.

I’m very curious to see how things are going to play out with Randall and Rebecca.  I don’t think that Randall is going to forgive her anytime soon.  It appears Rebecca has fractured relationships with Kevin and Kate, which is interesting to me.    I hope that William tells Randall about how his life was back then.

Another fantastic episode.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.



TV Reviews

This Is Us Episode 7 Recap

ALERT – If you’re reading this – I’m assuming that you’ve watched the episode and love this show as much as me.  If you haven’t watched, this will contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.

Episode synopsis:  William unexpectedly reveals a secret to Beth when they are together; Rebecca and Jack admit there’s a distance between them; Toby strays from his diet.

Ok, I was worried that Toby was cheating on Kate.  Thank god I was wrong.

Here’s my weekly recap.

The Past – Jack and Rebecca

It’s 1990 something, and the kids are in high school.  Kevin is the quarterback of the football team, and Randall plays defense for his school.  Kevin and Randall share a room, and Kevin loses his shit when he wakes up at 2 am and Randall is still up doing homework.  Rebecca comes in and jokingly asks Kevin if he wants to move to the basement.  Kevin is all over that.

We realize what an asshole Kevin was to Randall.  More on that later.  The big game comes up, where Kevin’s school is playing against Randall’s.  Jack is busy with work; so busy that he leaves the house without kissing her goodbye.  Rebecca auditions for a band and she and Jack can’t even take 5 minutes to talk about that.  We are starting to see some cracks in their relationship.  That makes me sad.  But as the mother to two busy kids, I can certainly see it happening.

This Is Us - Season 1

Kate & Toby

We first see Kate working very hard on her diet.  She’s working out, counting calories and portioning her food.  She and Toby go to their weight loss support group and Kate has lost only 1 pound, while Toby loses 8.  Kate walks out upset.  She later calls Toby, who is not responding to her.

She goes to his house to find that Toby is cheating on his diet.  He then tells Kate that he’s done dieting; he is tired of depriving himself.  Kate questions how their relationship is going to work with her trying to lose weight and Toby not.  Toby assures her it can work.  They go to dinner and Toby orders a huge dessert at Kate’s urging.  On her way home, she stops for gas and buys some powdered donuts.

PERSONAL SIDEBAR.  As a person who has struggled with my weight my entire life, I can completely understand Kate’s POV here.  I also feel her pain in Toby losing weight faster.  It’s so hard to be a woman.  Sidebar over.


Randall, Kevin, Beth and William

This was the biggest story of the episode.  Kevin and Randall make dinner plans with Rebecca in the city, but at the last minute, Rebecca cancels, leaving Kevin and Randall to have dinner on their own.  Since their relationship has always been strained, and they don’t have much to talk about, Kevin chooses a loud, posh restaurant where everyone will know who he is.

Meanwhile, William is dealing with chemo and the side effects.  Beth tells him that marijuana is good for helping and makes “special brownies” for them to help with the pain.  While high, William and Beth move all of Kevin’s belongings to the basement.  Lol.

Back to NYC, Kevin is greeted by a man and Randall asks who the man was. Kevin looks shocked; turns out, the man was Kevin’s best friend on The Manny.  It turns out that Randall has never watched the Manny.  Kevin gets pissed and storms out of the restaurant.

Back to Jersey, William and Beth are sitting outside under the stars and they quote a poem and Beth notes that it’s from a book of poetry Randall has had for ever.  William says “oh yeah, the one I gave Rebecca years ago.”  Uh-oh.  Yep, William just told Beth that Rebecca has known about him Randall’s whole life.  Beth is furious with Rebecca and calls and leaves her a voicemail to call her.

Back to NYC.  Randall finally confronts Kevin about why he hates him so much.  Kevin admits that he was always jealous of the attention Rebecca showed to Randall.  Randall says it’s because he didn’t get the love and attention from the only person he wanted it from – Kevin.  They start shoving each up and end up on the ground.  Of course, the people around grab their phones to record the scuffle, and Seth Meyers (playing himself) stumbles upon them and asks Kevin if he should call for help.  Kevin tells him that Randall is his brother and that everything is good.

Back in Jersey, Beth is seething with the news about Rebecca (and it’s going to come to a head next week, according to the previews).  William begs her to not to say anything to Randall.

Randall and Kevin pull up outside of the house, and Randall informs Kevin that “back there” was the first time in 36 years that Kevin has ever call Randall his brother.  Kevin says “that sucks”.  They go in the house, and Kevin says “someone’s high”.  He could tell immediately (which I found hilarious). Randall asks William if he got his wife high, and then says “that’s cool.”   William then informs Kevin that all his stuff has been moved to the basement.

Kevin goes down to the basement, and Randall comes down to make sure he’s ok.  Kevin asks him to hang out for a while, and they sit on the couch, watching the Manny together.

The whole Kevin/Randall story was told so beautifully in this episode.  Hopefully a change will happen in their relationship (especially since Kevin is living at his house).  But I like this storyline.


This was a good episode.  I’m really excited for next week.

Happy watching.