We’re now in the final months of 2020, and let’s face it, this year still sucks. In the spring, we were all focused on finding new hobbies to cure our boredom while we were stuck inside (RIP my needlepoint kit), but now, most of us have settled into our couches and just need something new to watch. Luckily, the stars have aligned to bring us a lot of exciting TV this fall, even after lengthy shutdowns for much of this year. Some of your favorite shows are finally coming back for new seasons, but we’re also getting a whole bunch of exciting new shows and miniseries. Basically, there’s a lot to look forward to, even if the real world is still a f*cking disaster.
‘Unsolved Mysteries Vol. 2’ – 10/19
Our latest true crime obsession, The Vow, is drawing to a close this week, but Netflix has conveniently scheduled a new season of Unsolved Mysteries to make sure that we don’t go hungry. Volume 2 of the hit show unpacks six new mysteries that remain—you guessed it—unsolved. The trailer for the new season is creepy AF, which, in the world of true crime, is all we could possibly ask for. Can’t wait.
‘The Queen’s Gambit’ – 10/23
Rising star Anya Taylor-Joy stars in this six-part adaptation of the hit novel. She plays an orphaned chess prodigy who has to deal with addiction and other demons in her quest to be the best chess player in the world. The trailer is full of brooding drama and 1960s vibes, so I have a feeling I’ll be watching this in one sitting.
‘The Undoing’ – 10/25
As a bona fide Nicole Kidman stan, I was thrilled when I found out that she’s coming back to HBO after making me cry for two full seasons of Big Little Lies. This miniseries, adapted from the thriller novel You Should Have Known, stars Kidman and Hugh Grant as a couple who have to deal with the fallout from a “violent death.” It’s also produced by David E. Kelley, the mastermind behind Big Little Lies. Yup, this sounds like exactly what we all need right now.
‘This Is Us’ Season 5 – 10/27
Who’s in the mood to cry??? Due to COVID, the new season of This Is Us was originally pushed to November, but NBC saw how much y’all were struggling and moved it up to late October. It’s the little things. Season 5 kicks off with a two-hour premiere episode, which means you’ll probably need two full boxes of tissues at the ready—you’ve been warned. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle all the flashbacks and future scenes this season, considering that none of us even know what year it is anymore. 2015? Sure, sounds close enough to me.
‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 – 10/30
The reason your boyfriend won’t let you cancel the Disney+ subscription is back! But actually, our favorite power couple the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda are back for a second season, and with that, hopefully there will be another round of fire Baby Yoda memes. He has some cute moments in the trailer, so it seems promising. But overall, the season looks intense, so maybe I’ll make an effort to watch it this year.
‘Industry’ – 11/9
I don’t know how HBO still has new shows ready to go eight months into a pandemic that brought production to a halt around the world, but I’m certainly not complaining. This new British series follows a group of young associates competing for permanent positions at a high-stakes investment bank in London, and it basically looks like Euphoria, but set in the world of finance. This might not be the one to watch if you have trouble with your anxiety, but personally, I’m very excited. Also, Lena Dunham is an executive producer, so make of that what you will.
‘A Teacher’ – 11/10
FX’s new partnership with Hulu this year is already producing good results, and their latest collab is this miniseries about a teacher who has an illegal affair with one of her students. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but this looks like it’s going to be a thrilling take on it. With stars Kate Mara (House of Cards) and Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), I have a good feeling about this one.
‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ – 11/11
Last fall, when Bravo announced that the next destination in the Real Housewives franchise would be Salt Lake City, the main reaction was “huh?” Turns out, this wintry spot in the mountains has everything you need for an A+ reality show. The women are rich, glamorous, and most importantly, ridiculous. I got a chance to check out the premiere episode early, and it does not disappoint. And even better, RHOSLC is one of the most diverse Housewives casts ever. You love to see it.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 – 11/12
After season 16 was cut short in the spring due to the you-know-what, Meredith Grey & Co. are finally returning for their 17th season. Yes, it’s a lot of seasons, but if you’re still on the Grey’s Anatomy train, there’s no getting off now. Lucky for you, the season premiere will be a crossover episode with Station 19, which means it’s a two-hour episode. It’s really what we deserve after waiting so long.
‘The Crown’ Season 4 – 11/15
One of Netflix’s top prestige dramas returns for its fourth season, and to quote Chris Harrison, this really might be the most dramatic season ever. As the timeline moves into the 1980s, we’ll see the introduction of Lady Diana Spencer, and in the trailer we see glimpses of her wedding, as well as her tumultuous relationship with Prince Charles. This season’s other top new player is Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, played by The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson. And of course, we still have Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter killing it as Elizabeth and Margaret, respectively. This season looks like it’s going to be wild, in the most refined way.
‘Big Sky’ – 11/17
Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley has two new shows this fall, and the second is Big Sky, a drama coming to ABC. This one looks worth it for the gorgeous scenery alone, but there’s also a gripping thriller plot to seal the deal. Two private detectives (one played by Ryan Phillippe, swoon) team up with an ex-cop to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls. They soon find out that other girls have gone missing in the area, and it becomes a hunt to stop more kidnappings from happening. Looks creepy, I’m in.
‘Saved by the Bell’ – 11/25
The reboot trend is officially not over—sorry if you’re sick of them. This might be the thing that finally forces you to get a Peacock account, because the nostalgia is out of control. In this latest reboot, Zack Morris is the Governor of California, while A.C. Slater is teaching P.E. at Bayside. The old cast is obviously here, but much of the series focuses on a new group of kids at Bayside, who are a mix of wealthy and low-income students. Should be interesting, but let’s be honest, it can’t be worse than last year’s dreadful 90210 reboot.
Images: Liam Daniel / Netflix; Netflix, HBO, TV Promos, Star Wars, FX Networks, Bravo, Netflix UK & Ireland, ABC / YouTube
2019 is really almost over, and that means the good people of Hollywood are about to get desperate for some recognition for whatever they did this year. That’s right—it’s awards season! I honestly love this time of year, because all of these movies are the perfect excuse to sit in a dark room while it’s cold outside. Hey, at least my AMC A-List membership is getting a good workout. This morning, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominations for the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards, and of course, there were some snubs.
The Golden Globes bring together the best of movies and television, which just means that there are twice as many opportunities for people to get their feelings hurt. Isn’t this fun? While favorites like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep got their usual nominations, not everyone woke up to a happy phone call from their agent this morning. Here are the biggest snubs from this year’s Golden Globe nominations.
‘Game of Thrones’
Well, well, well. In the last chance for major awards for Game of Thrones, the much-maligned final season came up short. Save for one acting nomination for Kit Harington (long live Jon Snow), season 8 was completely snubbed, which is harsh but fair. yes, the G0T finale was a huge television event, but the only person I know who liked the last few episodes is my overly-active-on-Facebook uncle, who also probably voted for Trump.
‘This Is Us’
This one has to hit hard for NBC. Up until now, This Is Us has had a perfect record of getting nominated for Best Drama Series at both the Emmys and the Golden Globes, but the streak has officially come to an end. But the show didn’t just miss out on the top category—it got a grand total of zero nominations. None for Mandy Moore, none for Milo Ventimiglia, and most surprisingly, none for last year’s Lead Actor in a Drama winner Sterling K. Brown. (And none for Gretchen Wieners, etiher.) The ratings for the show have dipped this season, so I’m sure they were hoping for a little awards boost, but it wasn’t meant to be.
After winning a Golden Globe last year for Killing Eve, Sandra Oh was replaced this year with her costar, Jodie Comer. This isn’t a total surprise, because Comer came out of the second season with considerable awards buzz, and won an Emmy this fall for her role. I doubt Sandra is too upset about this, but still, it has to sting a little to go from winning to not even being nominated.
The first time I saw the trailer for the new version of Cats, I immediately felt like I needed to take a shower. The whole thing looks a little bit *yikes*, and I guess the HFPA wasn’t impressed with the finished product. The movie only manage a nomination for Best Original Song, which is especially rough considering the Globes group the categories as “Comedy or Musical.” That usually means it’s easier for a musical to get nominations, but all the musical love this year went to Rocketman, not Cats.
Robert De Niro
Out of everything on this list, this snub is by far the biggest surprise. The Irishman was one of the prestige movie events of the year, and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic got nominated in basically every category it was eligible… except Lead Actor. People can complain about the length of the movie all they want, but there’s little debate about the quality of Robert De Niro’s performance. This one nomination isn’t going to ruin his career or anything, but it’s a shock nonetheless.
Hello, and welcome to the diversity portion of the article. Why is this sh*t still happening year after year? It’s now been five years since a woman was nominated for Directing at the Golden Globes, and like most years, there were some prime contenders in 2019. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, and Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood all got rave reviews from critics, and were nominated here in other categories. Would it really kill the HFPA to do the bare minimum and nominate one woman? Apparently, the answer is yes.
Jordan Peele’s followup to Get Out has been getting big awards buzz all year long, but clearly the Golden Globes don’t really care about that. Us didn’t manage a single nomination, with the biggest snub probably being Lupita Nyong’o. There’s still hope for the Oscars, but at this point, it’s not looking like Us will replicate Get Out’s awards success. In general, this year’s nominations were lacking in diversity, which brings us to the last snub on our list…
‘When They See Us’
Ugh. UGH. Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries about the Central Park Five was a critical smash hit, and the Emmys certainly took note. The show got EIGHT acting nominations, winning one, in addition to a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series. Basically, the Emmys loved this sh*t. Sadly, the Golden Globes apparently forgot about it entirely, and it received no nominations. Sometimes we read into these things too much, but it’s a pretty bad look that a universally acclaimed project about black men, and how our justice system screws over black men, directed by a black woman, can’t get a single nomination. Do better, HFPA.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (8)
“Netflix and Chill” has become such a popular concept for a reason. But to be honest with you all, my boyfriend and I don’t typically watch TV shows together. Of course, this is mostly because we always get distracted during them (if you know what I mean) and then have to make time to rewatch the episode later. But having shows to binge watch with your SO sounds like a nice thought. So for those of you out of the honeymoon phase (or who aren’t horn-dogs), here is a list of the best TV shows to binge watch with your SO. For those of you in long distance relationships, use Netflix Party, a chrome extension that allows you to watch these shows from wherever TF you two are.
1. ‘Haunting Of Hill House’
Okay, so I have no interest in watching this show, with bae or without, because I’m a wimp and can’t handle scary things. But for those of you who have the balls to watch this, good for you. I hear it’s bomb (but I still won’t watch it). A friend of mine said that he really likes the show but would only watch it when his boyfriend was over.
This show is my go-to. When I’m sad? Friends. When I’m happy? Friends. When I get home drunk from the bar? Friends. It’s also one of the best shows to have playing in the background when you’re banging. A bunch of my friends agree too, saying, “when I can put something on other than sports, Friends is my go-to.” The only problem is if you’re like me and can pretty much quote every episode, you start reciting lines. Much to my boyfriend’s annoyance, when Friends is on in the background, I whisper romantic things like “Could I BE any more turned on?” into his ear. Mood killer? Maybe. But a good laugh for
both of us me.
3. ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Similar to Friends, this show is a great choice. The episodes are short half-hour episodes that are light-hearted and funny. My boyfriend introduced me to this show and at the beginning, just showed me his favorite clips, which turned into him showing me his favorite episodes and now I’m hooked. Curb to him is like Friends to me. Now that I have been watching it, I can make references to the show and he gets more excited than when I say I’m horny.
4. ‘Gossip Girl’
One of my friends got her boyfriend into Gossip Girl because of her obsession with the TV show. It may not seem like the “classic man’s show” (don’t even get me started with heteronormative gender roles) but it will hook anyone who watches it. According to IMDB, 25% of the people who rated the show were men. Women rated the show at a 7.8 point out of 10, whereas men rated the show a 6.7. So if anyone in the comments wants to argue that this isn’t a show for men, fight me.
5. ‘This is Us’
Apparently, all guys watch it with their girlfriends but won’t admit it to their friends. Granted, this is based on one of my friend’s opinions, but I’ll take it as fact. If you need your SO to get in touch with his
ugly crying face emotional side, fire this show up.
If you started watching this show before you and your boyfriend started dating, then it’s an easy one to watch together (and then talk about our recaps the next day). TBH this could go for any TV show but Riverdale is one of the best TV shows to binge watch with your significant other. Why? Because you know the storyline and characters from your childhood but take a murder mystery approach to it. V interesting, trust me.
Images: Giphy (3)
As I sit in my flannel, jeans, and black ankle boots, I can happily confirm that the fall season is upon us. True, it’s still mid-70s and I’m only dressed this way because there was a tick advisory for my workplace today (working in TV is all glamour, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). But I’m sure we can all agree that it feels like fall. In other words, it’s time to curl up in front of your TV and forget the words “crop top” for another nine months. While you probably spent all summer bingeing Office reruns (same), fall is the time for new, highly anticipated TV. In order of when they come out, here are the new and returning TV shows that will dominate your life for the next few months. Please set your DVR accordingly.
‘You’ – September 9, Lifetime
I should qualify at the start of this list that not every show will be what’s traditionally considered “good.” For example, most of the dialogue in this particular show makes me want to throw myself through a window. But like, in the BEST way. This show is about Penn Badgley playing a stalker freak who becomes obsessed with a slightly vapid blond and immediately starts doing psycho sh*t like
writing about her on an anonymous website breaking into her apartment and messing with her life. So basically, a dark yet accurate glimpse into Dan’s future. (Extremely self-aware of Penn Badgley to take this role.) This is my new favorite guilty pleasure show, and if you’re a fan of Lifetime at all, I can’t recommend it enough.
The first of many red flags he displays in this show:
‘Maniac’ – September 21, Netflix
Okay so polar opposite of the last show, but also about mental health. Can’t imagine why that’s trendy right now when we have such a stable genius in the White House! Anyway. This whole season dropped on 9/21, and it stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. Even in this ~Golden Age~ of television, that’s a pretty high-end cast. I won’t tell you much about the plot beyond the fact that they both have a sh*t-ton of baggage and sign up for a pharmaceutical trial. The plot is less important than the vibe, which so far is like every episode of Black Mirror smushed into one world. This show is good for an all-day binge when you’re up for actually thinking about what you’re watching. Invite over your artiest friend so they force you to pay attention through the first 3 episodes, it’s kind of slow to start up.
‘Dancing With The Stars’ – September 24, ABC
Have I ever watched this show before? No, and I probably won’t again. But who could resist seeing Grocery Store Joe flit across the stage! I give you permission to stop watching as soon as he’s cut.
‘This Is Us’ – September 25, NBC
You all know what this one is for. This is the show you come to when you need a really good cry, or when you want to ignore all your problems and pretend Mandy Moore is your mom for a while. Also, to get your weekly Sterling K. Brown fix, which is right up there in terms of importance with drinking water and getting enough sleep. It’s just a fact of life. This season, we’re going back to Jack and Rebecca’s first date—and Randall’s daughter, Tess, all grown up. Few things are as pure as my love for this show.
Anyone else need to watch this on repeat to cleanse from this week’s news cycle?
‘Modern Family’ – September 26, ABC
Did we all kind of get over Modern Family five years ago when it won every award? Yeah, maybe. But this is likely the final season, and they’ve been teasing a “significant death,” so I’m planning on riding out the show until the end. It’s the least you can do for something that gave you a few good years, like when you loyally wear your favorite black leggings until they’re completely sheer in the crotch. Watch out of loyalty, watch because Phil is still funny AF, or watch because you’re hungover and it comes on next on Hulu. Up to you.
‘The Good Place’ – September 27, NBC
Very few shows like The Good Place have come around in the past few years, and I’m deeply grateful when they do. It’s from the creator of Parks & Rec, and has the same soothing effect of all your fave 25-minute comedies. Kristen Bell has spent the first two seasons figuring out that she’s in (SPOILERS) Hell, aka the Bad Place. Season 3 opens up with her and her 3 companions having been redeposited on Earth to give things another try. Will they f*ck it up in a largely similar way to the first time? Probably, their memories were erased so IDK why they wouldn’t. But it’ll be fun to watch them try to fight their baser instincts for a while.
‘How To Get Away With Murder’ – September 27, ABC
This is another show that’s sadly nowhere near as good as it used to be. But at its best it was so iconic that I still can’t look away. No matter how ridiculous the rest of it gets, Annalise is still the epitome of boss b*tch goals, and Laurel still has an annoyingly good lingerie collection for someone with such a terrible personality.
‘Riverdale’ – October 10, CW
Of course the show I’m most excited for doesn’t come back until October 10th. OF COURSE. Season 3 of Riverdale is about to be f*cking lit. We’re dealing with the aftermath of Archie’s arrest, an all-out war with Hiram, more screen time for Cheryl and Toni, and some weird cult stuff with Betty’s sister. The promo shows Archie shirtless, more milkshakes at Pop’s, and what appears to be a ritual sacrifice of two babies. Exactly what you’d expect and get more than you dared hope, in classic Riverdale fashion. And obviously we’ll be recapping it.
Me all season:
The best part of these fall shows? Since they’re all newly released, you’re basically engaging in a cultural activity with every binge. Some people go to museums; you binge artful new storytelling techniques. Or at least that’s what you’ll tell yourself as you order Seamless the sixth time that week. Happy watching!
Images: The CW; Giphy (4)
We’re a mere day away from Thanksgiving, and I’m already mentally preparing myself for interacting with my family for five long, uninterrupted days. I mean, don’t get me wrong—I love them, but the thought of spending nine hours in a car to get to our Thanksgiving destination and then spending five more days with people who continually ask me bullshit questions like “so what’s your plan for the future?” or “where do you see yourself next year?” or “your 15-year-old brother has a girlfriend now, what about you?” literally makes me want to jump in the path of an oncoming train. What’s my plan for the future? To blackout as quickly as possible and avoid this conversation, obviously. My 15-year-old brother has a girlfriend, what about me? Well, just last Friday I was choosing between a thrilling evening spent taking Zzzquil and re-watching old episodes of Chicago PD or responding to a “drag me to you room” text from a romantic suitor whose idea of a date is grabbing drinks and then going “splitsies” on the tab. So, yeah, things are going well on that front. Honestly I’m exhausted from this conversation already and I haven’t even gotten there yet. I’m assuming that you, like me, sometimes equate Thanksgiving to being held hostage by the people you have to love unconditionally. But thankfully for you, I spend 90 percent of my time comparing my situation to that of fictional characters, and let me just tell you, there are families out there who are wayyy bigger psychopaths than yours. Blessings. So here are 6 TV families who are worse than yours in honor of Thanksgiving:
1. The Blossoms/Coopers — ‘Riverdale’
If you know anything about me, you know that I shamelessly rep Riverdale because
I want to bang Jughead Jones it’s a damn good show. So, sorry not sorry, here I go again because when I think crazy families I can’t not mention Riverdale. Don’t let the wholesome 1950s vibe fool you—this town is literally batshit crazy and so is every family who calls this psych ward of a town home. And no two families have bigger issues than the Blossoms and the Coopers. I mean, you think your family has problems? Imagine feuding over a condiment you can only use on pancakes. And that’s the least of their problems. In addition to starting a blood feud over maple syrup and who is more of a natural redhead (yes that’s an actual plot point on this show), there’s also the whole thing about their grandpappys being related and no one passing this little family secret down the line to their grandchildren. Was there a more iconic moment than when it was revealed that star-crossed lovers Polly and Jason were in fact COUSINS?? I was legit giddy when I found out the horrifying news, because nothing brings me more joy than watching two young, beautiful people realize they fell in love with someone they share some parts of their genetic code with. It’s really the little things that keep you going. And let’s never forget when Polly said perhaps the most best line to ever be said in TV history: “I’m an unwed mother carrying my cousin’s babies.” Pure fucking gold.
Honestly, she’s not wrong here.
2. The Gallaghers — ‘Shameless’
First of all, if you aren’t watching Shameless, then you need to immediately because it’s one of the best damn shows on television. And I’m not just saying that because I
want to climb Lip like a tree appreciate the talent on this show. That said, I’ve never met a more fucked up family in my life. Let’s start with the fact that Fiona, the oldest Gallagher sibling at age 21, becomes the sole caretaker of her five younger siblings—all of whom rank somewhere on a scale between hot-degenerate-I-would-gladly-let-fuck-me-up-emotionally to sets fire to feel joy Carl. That’s just like, the baseline of the bullshit the people on this show go through, and let me just tell you, their childhood trauma is something I love more than I love the man who delivers me pizza.
3. The Pearsons — ‘This Is Us’
I’m not gonna lie, I may or may not have gotten halfway through season one and given up because I
was sobbing and rocking in a corner value my mental health, but that won’t stop me from judging the shit out of this show. Fucking duh. Tbh I don’t really understand why people are so obsessed with this family. I can’t go one damn episode without wanting to slit my wrists, and that’s usually a sentiment I save for when my mother asks if I want to look through her high school yearbooks with her. As far as I can tell, the Pearsons’ drama revolves around three 30-plus-year-old adults with bigger daddy issues than me. In the three episodes I’ve watched, there have been approximately three mental breakdowns, one long-lost father, one long-lost dying father, issues with body image, adoption drama, two mid-life crises, a dead parent, and a person who completely sabotaged their life in the span of five short minutes by means of a mental breakdown over a plastic doll (Kevin, I so admire your work btw). IN THREE EPISODES. Jesus. I need a xanax just writing all of that. If your family has more baggage than that at your Thanksgiving table, then I would recommend just not going home. Seriously, stay in your padded room apartment and celebrate from a safe distance. Like via your cousin’s drunk Snapchat story.
4. The Coopers — ‘The O.C.’
Ah, The O.C. A staple of my childhood and a show that taught me that if you want to be the most sought-after girl in high school, all you need to do is have your stomach pumped in Mexico. V important life lessons right there. The show also taught me that no matter how many times my mother reported my pictures from freshman year of college to Facebook for “inappropriate content” she could never be worse than the legend that is Julie Cooper. Julie did a lot of fucked up shit on this show, like belittle her daughters from the inside out, sleep her way to the top of Newport society, threaten her daughter’s boyfriend with bodily harm and jail time, attempt to commit her daughter to a psych ward against her will for overdosing in Tijuana (not her worst idea tbh), and bang her daughter’s HIGH SCHOOL AGED ex-boyfriend. And that’s literally just season one. Don’t even get me started on her sex tape in the later seasons. No, hands down, Julie Cooper wins the psycho mother of the year award, followed closely by Kris Jenner of course. And I’ll be chanting this mantra silently in my head every time my mother asks me questions that involve the words “future” and “boyfriend.”
5. The Scotts — ‘One Tree Hill’
One Tree Hill, aka my actual will to live from grades six through senior year of college, had it all: hot brothers,
high fashion jean skirts, and basketball games that served literally no purpose other than to generate cat fights and drama. Not to mention Nathan Scott is the reason I have trust issues a thing for dark haired, blue-eyed men who say shit like “but I wasn’t taught how to love!” *adds second entry for CW in burn book* Aside from the fact that every guy on this show was simultaneously beautiful and full of shit, the family dynamics were also pretty fucking dramatic. I mean, the whole premise of this show is that a high school douchebag knocked up not one, but TWO women before his freshman year of college and decided to only emotionally and financially support one. Then he had the audacity to live and raise his family in the same town as his bastard child. So basically this shit was (and low-key still is) my fucking catnip. And honestly if you have a father that’s worse than Dan Scott, then you should absolutely call the people at The CW because they will turn that shit into pure magic for my entertainment public consumption.
^The reason my high school yearbook quote was “be the change you wish to see in the world” except I substituted “world” with “emotionally unavailable men”
6. The Hastings/DiLaurentis — ‘Pretty Little Liars’
And here we have yet another family with a high amount of almost-incest happening. I’m v sorry about this list. I didn’t mean to make it all about sibling/cousin love but that’s just
what sells on Freeform and The CW how the cookie crumbles these days. My b. If you’ll recall, Spencer Hastings and Alison DiLaurentis were next door neighbors, best friends, and casual sharers of brothers and several strands of DNA on their mothers’ side. I would say there’s a lot that’s fucked up about Rosewood, PA, but Mr. Hastings is by far the most messed up thing to come out of that godforsaken town. Not only did he have a secret mistress on the side in the form of Mrs. DiLaurentis, with whom he shared a son, Jason, and told no one about—which almost resulted in Jason dating half-siblings on multiple occasions—but he also couldn’t keep it in his pants long enough to determine if he was banging said mistress or his mistress’s identical twin sister. And, yes, that plot summary was as painful to watch as it was to write out. Tbh I do not have enough time in my day to outline the intricate web that is the Hastings/DiLaurentis family tree, so just be fucking thankful that you’ve never almost banged your brother because your father neglected to tell you that you’re actually the result of a tryst gone wrong with his mistress’s identical twin sister. Bless up.
^A direct result of someone saying “give me good TV” and the writers at Freeform taking that to mean “will fill unexplainable plot holes with identical twins and bad English accents”
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.
Photo courtesy of NBC.com
This week’s episode of This Is Us confirmed a couple of things for me: 1) This Is Us functions very effectively as a long-form PSA for appropriate use of birth control and 2) I’m a psychic genius, because I pitched this story before even WATCHING Tuesday’s episode in which, yep, we get a pregnant Chrissy Metz.
For anyone who read
the transcript of my rage blackout my article on Jack Pearson, you’re already familiar with some of my theories on the show, mainly that Rebecca (Mandy Moore) would’ve been way better off if her whimsical alcoholic husband had chilled with the baby fever (not to mention the off-the-cuff adoption schemes, though obviously thank God, because Randall is the backbone of this whole show). It’s made abundantly clear that Rebecca did not want kids, which just begs the question, if you’re as compulsive and tortured as I am a rational human being: What makes her any different from me, a woman who similarly both does not want to have children and occasionally engages in heated bathroom floor sex anyway? (I’m being colorful to make a point; I do not actually practice in/recommend any kind of bathroom-located sex, and not even just because I cried that one time. It’s just good sense.) Anyway, in honor of all the times This Is Us makes you wonder if maybe you should run out for some Plan B, because apparently pregnancy just STRIKES when you least want it, here’s a rundown of all the mothers on this show who probably would have been better off and happier if they just used more reliable birth control.
Okay, sorry I forgot Beth, but it’s easy to forget someone on a ranking of the worst mothers when you are literally perfect. Please accept my 1,000 sincerest apologies. Beth is the best. Obviously. She has the best marriage, best husband, best life, and least fucked-up kids. She just adopted a foster child, and she’s better dressed for a Wednesday at the office than you will be at your wedding. Beth will always call you (Randall) out on your (Randall’s) bullshit, and while the rest of you clowns are fawning over Rebecca and Jack’s “perfect” marriage, Beth is over here being LITERAL marriage and parent goals with Randall. I know Beth is a fictional character, but can she adopt me?
I already basically explained this, and I don’t think there should need to be any reason beyond the fact that she word-for-word states, “I never want children,” on this show, and then continues to say nothing that would suggest she has changed her mind prior to pregnancy. But it does merit a mention that she also directly calls out the fact that having children essentially crushed her professional hopes and made her literal worst nightmares about being an ignored, overburdened wife and mother all come true (even if there were good parts too, the things she was afraid of ALL HAPPEN). I would’ve loved to have seen Rebecca launch her singing career and continue her habit of drinking in the morning, as Jack
mournfully tended to a growing collection of dolls in the attic loved and supported his badass wife. Instead, he works a job he hates and develops a drinking problem, while she carries the weight of five people’s well-being on her shoulders. Worst case all around.
This is not a political statement; I am fully aware that we haven’t actually seen Kate be a mom yet, but I just feel like the amount of baggage she’ll bring to the table is not healthy for an impressionable human baby. The biggest reason that Kate shouldn’t have a baby right now, IMO, is Toby, whose controlling man-babiness has been driving me up the fucking wall. Kate has displayed more dedication to her fitness journey in this 45-minute episode than I’ve shown in the last five years, and he dares to try and throw her off her game? Also, don’t simultaneously egg someone on to eat a snack instead of working out while ruining the snack itself with a description of the weird hippie ingredients you used for it, because apparently your unemployment has yielded some super specific and nauseating baking habits. (He has to be unemployed, right? What is he doing all day, ironing Kate’s dresses and tracking her location with the GPS chip he implanted? I hate Toby.)
Moving on. It’s also slightly sad timing that Kate’s finally decided on a career she wants to pursue, and she’ll immediately need to put that on hold. I’m also not crazy about the compulsion we’re seeing about her body just a few weeks into pregnancy. I’m all for the working out and eating organic, but Kate’s so anxious about what her body can and can’t do already. Pregnancy is like mandatory anxiety about exactly that and with much higher stakes, and Kate’s definitely already reacting.
As we learned this episode, somehow the literal bundle of joy that is Rebecca Pearson was hatched from a racist Disney villain who really, really should not have inflicted her version of “mothering” on anyone. Her nasty-comment-per-minute ratio would be impressive if it weren’t so wantonly directed at her kind and sickly grandchildren, and the brand of racism she brings to the table is basically exactly what you can look forward to at your next Thanksgiving. (To be clear, this is not me saying I wish all your grandmothers had been barren and you’d never been born; I’m just pointing out the many times This Is Us has depicted mothers in ways that make you think, “If she could just be a woman and not a mother right now, I think that would be a better alternative.”)
Anyway, short of showing Planned Parenthood ads at every commercial break, I think This Is Us has been about as effective as it can be in demonstrating the need for education surrounding and access to effective birth control. If being pregnant is your thing, then good for you, I guess. Just don’t be Rebecca Pearson, crying in a sparkly dress about how her singing career was lost in the parenting shuffle of diaper changing and built-up resentment.
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.