I go through ebbs and flows of television watching. I have to really, really be invested in a show to stick with it. And even then, even if I love it, I might stop watching it. Take Sherlock for example. After the “Sherlocked” episode, which was fantastically great, I felt like there was no way an episode could be better. And I kind of stopped watching it. I love Orange is the New Black but I watch it and then I don’t. I watched the first season of Penny Dreadful which was fine. One of my closest friends told me to keep at it and the second season was fabulous and scary and those witches, I could go on (Ms. Ives, I swoon). But I haven’t started the third season because I am afraid it won’t live up to my expectations. So it goes like this. I watch and I don’t. I’m kind of in a don’t at the moment.
Then I remembered that I was behind on This is Us. It’s funny because it is a regular TV show and most of the shows I watch are on an online streaming service. But there is something about this show that has dragged me in. And I binge watch it. Crying my way through many episodes. And yes, it is the story and because it is so sweet. But it is the relationships of the characters because they seem genuine. And for me I think that there are two main characters who draw me in and those would be Jack the in the past husband and Kate and for very different reasons.
Let’s start with Jack. I love Jack. I love that Jack just does things. Completely unbelievable and over the top things. Like renting out their first apartment for one night. I feel like that is not possible. Or the adoption on that day. Just doing it. And I know that we will know Jack’s fate soon. And I don’t think that there are enough tissues in my house for me to watch that episode. And it is a testament to him that he can still be hot with that moustache.
But really, for me, it is Kate who is the character who I connect with the most. In my past, when I was growing up I was a bit of a chubby kid. I was the kid who hated going to the pediatrician because he would make me get on the scale and tell my mom that I was too heavy. It got to the point where I would refuse to get on the scale. The nurse would try to pick me up and put me on it. I would spread my feet out and not stand on it. I am certain that these visits did nothing to help me with how I felt about myself. Then there was the back to school shopping. I always loved the changing of the seasons in NY. Any season. It didn’t matter. I loved the leaves turning and the air becoming crisp. We would go back to school shopping but this I did not love so much. Every year we had to buy me new clothes because I had outgrown the ones from last year. And not outgrown in a good way, outgrown due to my weight gain.
And while, now, people may not be able to see that girl. That girl of long ago. I think that there is no real way to leave that behind. That deep inside, part of that girl is always with me. The way you think about yourself. So in the episode at the pool, the episode where Kate is so excited to be there, so not ashamed to be in her bathing suit, just wanting to hang out with the other girls. And they are so mean to her. And they make fun of her and they steal her self-confidence. And I hated them so much. And in that instant I can remember those feelings. Those feelings of self-doubt. Were just there. And I couldn’t remember ever seeing something that was so real. So real to me. And I appreciate that. Seeing that.
And so today I watched three episodes. I hate to be a spoiler but it was the episode that ended with the ducks. And I was kind of sobbing and my son asked if I was all right. And I was. And I feel like I will keep watching. Because it is sometimes so real. And that is not a bad thing.