this is us
This Is Us takes the culture to work, the kitchen counter and in the green room.
What does one do when the files pile up and the paper trail, trails on without an no end in sight. One could hire an assistant. One could power through it with endless cup of office coffee.
But if one is Jack Pearson, a father of three who wants to provide for his family, he might he spike his coffee with alcohol. This story lines weaves through the episode as something Jack has to fight as he fought it before in the past. We see Jack attempt to stop drinking by throwing the alcohol away, having an alternative outlet, a physical one and confessing the truth to his daughter while committing to fighting his addiction because as a promise to Kate and the kids.
Breakfast in the Kitchen
A kitchen for a family of any number means breakfast, confirmation if homework is done
and talk of events and depending upon the family dynamic: forehead kisses before lunch boxes go out into child’s hands. In this scene, we see Jack and ‘Bec parenting their children’s different character traits and talents with at home coffee mugs in hand. It’s the everyday reality of this moment of actuality that makes this is us’ storytelling, us.
Behind the Set
As Kevin checks his abs upon preparing for a return to The Manny, his ex-wife and now again girlfriend, Sophie discuss his return to the TV show. While holding her to-go coffee, Kevin bares his emotions and his need to be loved by the audience, and at large – the critically accepting acting world.
“I need to prove to everyone that I’m the bigger man… I need people to love me like they love Clooney.”
The scene is a naturally lit kitchen, stovetop with a teakettle and an adjacent coffee maker on the counter. Toby engages Kate in conversation about what he’s prepared her mother and Miguel to eat. Kate has a near panic attack about her mothers visit to their home as Tony prepares to win over Kates mom who he thinks
“Your mom thinks I’m a guy who has heart attacks and falls through coffee tables.”
What a place to reveal one characters knowledge of another – the kitchen and over food, a topic of tension between the two – as Toby desires to impress Rebecca Pearson.
“Is the Manny not necessarily your cup of tea,” precedes Kevin telling Randall’s wife, Beth how he fed lines to Randall so that he could get a girl he thought he couldn’t. A coffee cup sits on the coffee table while it and the table create a minimal separation between the two, whole the conversation endears Beth to Kevin and ultimatelt heloing ber understand her husband becoming the support he needs to believe he can foster.
In the end everyone in this episode has to become bigger than their circumstances : the alcohol, the perceptions, the fear of not being good enough to become a better version of who they are. Doing this, is how This Is Us in another episode, shows us ourselves.