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.

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY SERIES
“Atlanta”
“Barry”
“Black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“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”

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
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”)

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
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”)

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
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”)

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
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”)

BEST COMEDY DIRECTING
“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

BEST COMEDY WRITING
“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

DRAMA

BEST DRAMA SERIES
“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”
“Westworld”

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
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”)

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
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”)

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR
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”)

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
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”)

BEST DRAMA DIRECTING
“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

BEST DRAMA WRITING
“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

MOVIE/MINI

BEST LIMITED SERIES
“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”
“Godless”
“Patrick Melrose”

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTOR
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”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS
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”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTOR
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”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTRESS
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”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI DIRECTING
“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

BEST MOVIE/MINI WRITING
“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

REALITY/VARIETY

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

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

BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES
“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”

BEST VARIETY SPECIAL DIRECTING
“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

BEST VARIETY SPECIAL WRITING
“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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

Summary

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.

Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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