‘This Is Us’ To That Was Us

I remember watching the pilot for This Is Us. I thought it was fantastic. Six years later, I still think the show is fantastic. It’s ending next week on the 24th, and I just wanted to write about how great this show was. I do believe it will go down in history in many ways. I wrote about it years ago after three episodes were out, and here we are now, days away from it being over.

This Is Us Sad Randall gif.
Me thinking about this show ending

On top of being a quality show (more on that in a second), it had the unique ability to tell an intergenerational story. Episodes constantly were jumping around timelines showing parallels between family members and how life changes over time. It was so cool. It was so well done. Usually when shows try to do flashbacks or something, the result is crappy wigs and plot holes. But not This Is Us. They managed to flawlessly show characters from babies to old age. The casting was phenomenal (like, freaky good) and it made the jumps in time so smooth so you stayed invested in the story.

And the story, by the way, was great. The creator had said years ago that he had a six season plan, and that’s what we got. No forcing storylines out past its prime, no cast members leaving because they got sick of it, no dips in quality. I have to respect NBC and the showrunners for delivering the show this way even through popularity. It would have been so easy for the show to lean into more drama and make it cheesier, but they didn’t. They kept it honest and real and emotional all the way through. I can’t think of a single plotline that got forgotten or story that didn’t pay off. Even when they touched on more sensitive or timely topics, they did it in a way that didn’t feel forced or fake. It all worked organically. I’ll admit, in the later seasons, I wasn’t tearing up every episode the way I was in S2 or S3, but I still thought the episodes were solid.

This Is Us Happy gif.

I’ll miss this show. I’ll miss watching it with my old roommate. I miss seeing the characters grow. Since This Is Us began, there’s been a handful of shows that try to mimic the story and serve us something emotional each week. I watch a lot of them, and while they’re somewhat entertaining and provide quality time for me to spend with my mother, they’re not even close to being as special as This Is Us. Shows and networks can continue to try and even attempt the stellar time jumps, but it’ll never compare.

If you’ve never given This Is Us a try, I wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s sappy and there are a lot of big emotional speeches (and they know it), but it is genuinely a good show. Good writing, great storytelling, award-winning acting, amazing characters, and top-notch entertainment that spans comedy and drama perfectly. It’s one of my favourite shows and I’m glad I got to watch it every week (truly, it’s a show best not binged).

Jack Pearson gif.
Me after watching the series finale.

P.S. Hey, and speaking of TV, to the handful of people who participated in my 2021 TV guessing game, thank you, and here are the results (scores at the bottom)!

 

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Let’s Talk About The Disney+ Marvel Shows Now That We’ve Seen Five

With Moon Knight recently wrapping up, we’ve now officially got five live action Marvel Disney+ shows in the books. So let’s talk about them. Marvel has itself in an interesting position where its TV shows aren’t just singular shows, but part of a larger universe. However, that has its drawbacks too.

Of the five so far (WandaVision, Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight) my favourite was WandaVision. The episodes were shorter, but there were more of them, and in my opinion, this show had the best story arc. It had a beginning, middle, and end. The main issue was resolved enough and it even set itself up for more. I can’t say the same for the other shows. I found Loki in particular to be pretty bland. While it set up for something seemingly cool, the point of the shows shouldn’t be set ups. They themselves should tell the stories, but I found that Loki didn’t really do that. Not to mention that it’ll be a while until the payoff even comes into fruition. I’m glad there are so many shows, but even waiting five months over the summer for network shows is hard enough, and here were are, waiting two years for more on D+.

Time moves differently at the TVA. gif.
Marvel to us when we ask for S2 of Loki.

I really like that we got to see more of Wanda’s story in Dr Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness as a follow up to WandaVision, not as a part of an unfinished story.

What do we think of the episode counts? They range from 6-8, clocking in at around 30-45 mins. This is down from the 13 episodes that Netflix used to give us, and just a fraction of the 15-22 episodes that network TV shows offer every season. It seems weird to complain about several hours of well-made TV, but honestly, I think all the Marvel Disney+ shows would have benefit from more episodes. I want more, and not in a blind fan way. I want more because I really think the stories were rushed and not properly developed. For almost every one of these shows, right before the final episode my friends and I would say “wow, I wonder how they’re gonna wrap it all up in one more episode!” because there always seemed like there was so much going on that we needed more time with.

Moon Knight was the first show so far where there was no prior knowledge to be had of the man or the situation. All the other main characters were ones we knew from the MCU movies. So while we perhaps were able to forgo a bit of the setup and introduction on the other shows, we needed it for Moon Knight, and I don’t think we got it. It wasn’t until episode 5 (of 6) that we finally understood how Marc and Steven came to be, which is far too late in the game. I have to wonder if a Moon Knight movie would’ve let it drag on that long.

Marc Spector Steven Grant GIF - Marc Spector Steven Grant Oscar Isaac -  Discover & Share GIFs

My ranking of the shows so far are as follows:

  1. WandaVision
  2. Falcon And The Winter Soldier
  3. Hawkeye
  4. Moon Knight
  5. Loki

What’s your ranking? What are your thoughts on the shows and how they exist within the machine that is Marvel?

Kate and Clint gif.

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What’s Something No One Would Guess About You?

There are these two female bloggers I follow who post lifestyle/girly content, and they’re good at it. Looking at them and their content, you’d never guess that they’re also big fans of race car driving. Maybe it’s because NASCAR and all that isn’t too popular here in Canada (or amongst anyone I know), but it’s so strange to me. Every time I see one of them tweet about Formula 1 or whatever, I’m always so shook. An interest in such a thing just seems so different from the kind of persona they portray through their blogs.

Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m here for rounded people with a variety of interests!

what you'd call a well-rounded person. gif.

We know the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is true, and this is an example of it. And it got me thinking: do I do this too? Do people ever read my blog and can’t believe the info I share? Do people who know me in real life occasionally find themselves shook when I say or do something?

I feel like I’m a pretty open book, but a boring one, so the idea that I inflict this similar shock onto others seems unlikely. The best I can offer is (and these are all things I’ve mentioned before on my blog):

  • that I count my sneezes, and even that is a goofy thing that’s not really awe-inspiring as it is slightly concerning
  • that I like 70’s/80’s music
  • that I’ve never broken a bone
  • that I used to play a variety of sports including hockey
  • that there were years where I’d be actively keeping up with around 15 TV shows a week
  • that I’m a very picky eater
  • that I make my own pickles

Stuff GIFs | Tenor

None of this is very exciting. None of this makes me seem like someone that’s got a rich history. No one hears that I make my own pickles and thinks “wow I want to get to know her better!” And that’s fine. I am who I am.

But for those of you who do have something a bit more shocking or interesting in your back pocket, what is it? What are the reactions when you mention it? Do you like mentioning it? Do you also think it’s weird/surprising?

I think it’s sometimes just interesting when these things come out because it forces us to remember that people aren’t one-trick ponies, and maybe some preconceived notions you had are false. I know I would do well to remember that sometimes.

That’s all for now!

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: May 2022

It’s May, which is just wild because it does not feel like we’re almost halfway through this year. But here we are, and I think it’s going to be a good month. I’m gonna get a haircut and also do all of the following:

monthly look ahead updated image.

  • This month, I am going on my first vacation in about four years. I can’t wait. It’s nothing extreme, I’m not leaving the country, but I’m very much looking forward to using my vacation days for an actual vacation where I can see different things and not be in the house!
  • Dr. Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness comes out on the 6th. I’m excited because it’s an MCU movie that’s been building for a while, but I am expecting to be annoyed with how they handle the multiverse. If No Way Home and Avengers Endgame are any indication, it’ll be a good movie but will probably have some plot holes that I’ll just have to die mad about.
    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
  • My boyfriend and I are planning a Mario Kart day because between the two of us, we have seven editions of Mario Kart and we thought it’d be fun to play them all back to back in one day. Because we can. Will we be sick of Mario Kart by the end? Maybe. Will we have fun? Yep.
  • Curling is over, but the club is not done with events. There’s a local scavenger hunt thing that’s being held, which sounds fun. They did it a couple years ago, and I didn’t participate (I was unemployed and did my best to not do things that cost money lol) but I heard it was very fun, so I’m looking forward to it this year.
  • There’s apparently a reboot of (in my opinion) one of the best ever game shows coming this month on the 23rd: Don’t Forget The Lyrics. I don’t even watch TV live much anymore but I may have to set aside some time to watch this. I remember watching reruns as a tween and really enjoying it. I think I’m pretty good at it too (from my couch).
    Don't Forget the Lyrics With Niecy Nash.
  • Last spring I got really into Harry Styles’ music for a few weeks, and this month he’s got a new album coming out. I’m not edge-of-my-seat excited, but I’m looking forward to hearing it because I do think he’s talented and I enjoyed his past two albums.
  • On May 13th on PBS, a proshot of the musical Anything Goes will air! I did actually see this proshot in a movie theater at the end of March very last minute (hence why it was not on March’s MLA), and my mother and I really enjoyed it and will probably watch it again. There are a few really great tap dances, and I love when musicals have big dance numbers.
    Anything Goes.
  • This Is Us ends this month. I’ve really loved this show and I’ve really loved that my old university roommate and I still watch it together even though we graduated years ago. The show is known to induce tears, and goodness knows finales always get me good, so I’m expecting a big, teary. but hopefully happy ending.

I’m looking forward to May. It’s going to be another busy month but busy with fun things! What’s your May going to consist of?

And since it’s May, as is tradition, here is my favourite May. My friends and I are doing a very slow Agents Of SHIELD rewatch and man, do I miss her and this show.
Melinda May GIF.

That’s all for now!

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COVID In The House

Who else read that title and thought about the show Cory In The House?

Yes, it’s true. After two years of dodging COVID-19 like Neo dodges bullets, it finally wormed its way into our household. My brother tested positive after a weekend downtown. Right away, he was banished to the basement. Since we knew he was out and about that weekend, my parents and I were already being cautious in the days following, so when he produced a positive test, we’d had very little contact with him. Still, it was concerning.

Intruder Alert GIF.

I know we’ve had two years to prepare for the possibility of someone in my family catching COVID and I know we’re lucky to have avoided it thus far, but it’s still jarring when it happens. The rush to clean everything, the constant worry, the overthinking of any mild body ache…

Selfishly, I thought of myself. My brother only had a few mild symptoms so I knew he’d be fine, but I had plans for the coming weekend, and tickets I couldn’t get refunded. I really didn’t want to miss out on things I was excited for because of my brother, especially if I was feeling fine.

there's so many groovy things to do gif.

Currently in Ontario, as long as you’re not experiencing any symptoms, you’re legally allowed to still go out even if someone in your household is positive. Still, I took a COVID test to be sure. This was my first test ever (and hopefully last). They are really not pleasant. Big props to those who’ve been doing them regularly for the past two years.

The rest of my family were only mildly inconvenienced by all this. I felt bad for my grandmother. We immediately couldn’t let her come over for over a week, but she understood. This became the longest I’d gone without seeing her since COVID began, which is just weird to consider. And my parents were worried that their first trip in years would have to be cancelled, but it all worked out.

We’re all triple vaxxed, trying our best to be safe, and following local guidelines, but I suppose this is our new normal. Someone in my household getting it was inevitable and probably will continue to stay inevitable. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before I get it myself. But we can’t just stay holed up in our houses forever. We’ve already lost two years to this.

It Just Sucks GIF.

So that’s my life update for right now. I know I’ve been super fortunate to be getting by more than okay in this pandemic, but it still doesn’t change the fact that COVID is real and it sucks. I hope that you’re all still staying safe out there.

 

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