You know the
thing I just came up with old saying: show me a sexy man and I’ll show you a woman’s hurt feelings verified fuckboy. The men of This is Us were named Sexiest Cast Alive by People today, so in honor of that, I’d naturally like to tear each of these characters down dissect these award-winning studs, aka break down who’s a big bitch and who’s a bigger bitch. While maybe 3 people we all know my opinion on King of Fuckery Jack Pearson, there’s no denying that the other men on this show occasionally give him a run for his money . Here’s a ranking of the biggest fuckboys on This is Us.
Oh, Randall. It pains me to even put your name on this list, but rest assured it is as lowest ranking fuckboy of any recurring male TV character I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. The closest Randall has come to making me frown was the beginning of the season, when he briefly fixated on the idea of immediately adopting a baby boy despite his angel wife’s clear hesitation. Also, remember the boo-boo song?? I love Randall. You’re not a fuckboy, Randall—just maybe involve Beth a tiny bit more on the big life decision stuff (e.g. hunting down birth parents, new children, quitting your job, etc.).
Well, talk about making lemonade with life’s lemons. All this time, we’ve been searching for clues that it’s okay to hate Toby a little bit, and now I find out that his last name is basically DEMON. (Don’t @me about Matt Damon, that fucker is on the “knew about Harvey” list. If the Demon shoe fits…) Anyway, while Toby is initially the charming, larger-than-life self he needs to be to get Kate out of her shell, the act quickly becomes self-indulgent. Kate, while vocally encouraged to be herself, often doesn’t have room for her own choices and preferences in Toby Land. Also, bringing her mom to her first-ever show was a shitty thing of him to do, though the part about being Team Kate after was very cute, and should be used as a template for all conversations your partner ever has with anyone. Ultimately, I do believe a good heart/correct intentions are hiding behind that
fat suit ego, so as long as he’s good to Kate, he’s okay with me.
It truly pains me to list Kevin as fuckboy #2 on this list, a title I would’ve given to Mr. Demon even a few episodes back. However, his recent turn into painkiller addiction and callous treatment of new-lover/ex-wife Sophie have forced my hand. Obviously, no one ever cared much about his milquetoast love interest; almost everything about her seems too
boring blandly good to do anything but make Kevin look bad in comparison. Case in point: It would be too easy to just cringe-watch Kevin drunk-dial MDs from the comfort of his home—no, we get to do that with the backdrop of a Sophie-organized charity gala.
Sophie: You have ruined my life once before, and currently don’t treat me well. I would like to open with forgiveness.
Kevin: You are SMOTHERING me, Sophie!
Sidenote: I truly do feel for Kevin as he struggles with his addiction, but the fuckboy test draws clear lines. If you would not set a friend up on a date with this person for fear of how she would be treated, you’re probably dealing with a fuckboy. So you tell me: Is Kevin Pearson a fuckboy?
Finally: my #1 since day 1, Jack Pearson. Jack, like all true fuckboys, is very, very good when he’s good. Jack on a good day is filled with an endearingly manic need to make his family happy; on a bad day, he runs on equally breakneck speed toward their destruction, eyeing up secretaries and bringing a flask to work. Jack, even when well-intentioned, can be too wrapped up in the desire to solve his own latent daddy issues and have the PERFECT FAMILY RIGHT NOW, and this makes him vulnerable to overlooking the finer points of his family’s current needs (see: insistence on immediately having children, delivery room behavior, anything involving punching). What makes Jack Pearson such an infuriating fuckboy is how unbelievably happy he makes Rebecca, in between the bouts of screaming, drinking, and overriding her needs. But if you think about it, it’s exactly this kind of up-and-down that marks a fuckboy relationship? “Fireworks” are a thinly-veiled code for “rage issues,” and would the “spark” in this central Pearson relationship feel as strong if there weren’t always a tiny kernel of fear that he could fuck it up forever?
At the end of the day, I love each of these characters at least a little bit (but Randall most). But as any faithful viewer knows, any one of these men could be responsible for your next big cry (tonight on NBC at 9pm, can I have my money now?), and that makes every last one a fuckboy.
Okay, I’m sure I’m going to watch tonight’s episode and find out some further heart-wrenching news about the circumstances of this character’s death (oh, spoilers BTW), but I have to go ahead and say it: I just don’t think Jack Pearson of This is Us is such a great guy. Don’t believe me? Good! I look forward to proving you wrong.
Let’s start with the pilot, in which Jack’s fuckery is mercifully limited to a single scene (somehow, I’m not referring to his kidnapping a newborn, but you kind of have to roll with that to watch this show at all). No, I’m referring to the little speech he gives over Rebecca’s extremely pregnant stomach when their doctor tries to gently warn them of the VERY REAL potential complications of giving birth to triplets. Jack not only cuts him off, possibly preventing his wife from hearing some vital medical advice, he then goes on to firmly announce that they will be bringing home THREE BABIES NO MATTER WHAT, because Mr. Architect Jack here has already purchased THREE WHOLE CRIBS and GUESS HOW MANY BABIES YOU NEED TO FILL THREE CRIBS??? (It’s three, you need three babies, because Jack is incorrectly not counting himself as the biggest baby of all). While the sentiment “I’d prefer to have all my children living” is not inherently a bad one, I can’t imagine that what you want right before giving birth is your husband screaming over your crotch like a deranged football coach about a process over which he has absolutely no control. But yeah, no pressure, Bec! Do the hardest thing in the world perfectly three times or just don’t bother coming home, yeah?
Dr. K: I am going to do my best to help you through this complicated medical process.
Jack: PHOEBE DID IT ON FRIENDS NO PROBLEM
For the next few episodes, his Jack-assery (GET IT? K, that’s my one dad joke) is a little more typical TV dad stuff: dabbling with alcoholism, setting up his daughter for some deep-seated daddy issues, and generally gaslighting his overworked wife.
Rebecca: I don’t want our child to be bullied.
Jack: Kate go put on a shirt, your mom thinks you’re fat!!!
But around episode 5, we hit a new peak in my hatred for Jack: we find out that Rebecca, who literally spawned this entire TV show from her womb, DIDN’T EVEN WANT CHILDREN. Not at all, in fact! However, this is no roadblock that Jack can’t solve by publicly berating his wife and punching a stranger in the face, which somehow ends in some bathroom floor baby-making. (Side note: In all their years of married life, have they really just been using condoms every time? Or did we skip a scene where Jack digs around and rips out Rebecca’s IUD?) Meanwhile, we continue seeing how well Jack’s forcibly knocking her up is going for Rebecca a few years down the road: She’s exactly the anxious, lonely housewife she had no interest in being, even while loving her children fiercely and being a wonderful mother. Meanwhile, Jack tries on a brooding face and seems to expect a trophy for not sleeping with his secretary. Aces.
Since I’m getting kind of emotionally exhausted here, and I need to save myself for today’s episode, I’ll speed things up: Jack continues neglecting his wife, drinking too much, and making up weird chants and traditions to ensure his children will be ostracized for life, including a three-mile hike and fake cheese on the best eating day of the year (why God). He continues drinking, throws a shit fit whenever Rebecca leaves the house, and is finally revealed to have been planning the robbery of a bar before Rebecca’s angelic presence saved him. In present day, Jack drunkenly operates more motor vehicles, punches another guy, and further embarrasses his wife.
Rebecca: You would literally be dead in the street were it not for me.
Jack: How bout less talking and more babies from you, eh?
All in all, Jack may rock some decent facial hair and have the sappy speech thing down, but he’s really no different from every other shitty family drama father character we’ve seen. He has a very specific vision of how his life should go, and he has no intention of letting
his wife’s consent and human limitations anything get in his way. So, he makes some very selfish decisions that aren’t his to make and shames the lovely Mandy Moore at numerous turns for not being satisfied and on board for every second down the journey of “Jack’s Master Plan Which Does Not Require Your Approval.” Sorry, but no matter how much his children worship him like a cult leader, I’m not getting on board. #TeamMiguel out.