This is Us is one of my newest favorite shows. If you haven’t seen it you have to go check it out! It comes on on Tuesday nights on NBC. I’m #teamnocable so I catch it on Hulu. This is season 1 so it’s a great show to binge watch to get caught up.
The most recent episode resonated so much with me. Sterling K. Brown, who plays Randall, is a perfectionist with everything. He wants to be the best employee, the best father, brother, husband; he wants to be able to solve everything for everyone. But dealing with his homosexual biological father who he just met (and also moved into his home and is dying of cancer), his mother who lied to him his whole life about said father, his self absorbed brother, and morbidly obese sister who just found love is more than he can handle. Oh, and he’s the black adopted son in a Caucasian family. It’s a lot but this show is AMAZING!
The most recent episode concludes with Randall having a panic attack alone in his office. He makes a phone call probably not even realizing his hands are shaking. By the end of the scene he’s sitting on the floor (and seems to have been there for hours) and can’t move or talk. He’s just sitting there staring blankly, in a trans barely able to see, with tears streaming down his face. The stress of realizing that his biological father is dying before his very eyes, dealing with a new guy in the office trying to take his spot as top performer, and other family issues is just too much. It’s like he feels the perfectly built walls are crumbling down on top of him.
That’s how it is in real life. Sometimes we take on too much or put too much stress on ourselves, not realizing that we’re neglecting ourselves and putting our health at risk. You may not know that you’re doing too much until it hits you. Sometimes your body tries to warn you but you ignore it. I’ve been there.
Randall, it appears, has been dealing with anxiety for quite a while. He’s extremely smart, like boy genius smart, and has been putting on a facade of perfection almost his whole life.
Just a little background if you don’t watch the show….. Back in the 70s Rebecca and Jack are pregnant with triplets. One dies during birth; at the same time a drug addict drops his newborn baby boy off at a fire station and disappears. While Jack is admiring his 2 healthy babies and mourning the other, he notices this baby who has no parents. He takes this as a sign and he and Rebecca adopt the baby, only he’s black. But the 3 kids are raised as triplets: Randall (the black one), Kevin and Kate.
The show also does flashbacks to when the triplets were growing up. You’ll see one in the clip (below) with Kevin and Randall. Pay attention to Kevin’s present day reaction to Randall’s phone call in the end. He knows something isn’t right with his brother and instead of ignoring it or listening to Randall who says he’s fine, like a lot of people would, he takes immediate action. He skips out on his big stage play debut and goes to check on his brother. Everyone who has ever experience something like this needs a Kevin in their life, because it could be a matter of life or death in some cases.