Tag Archives: Television

THIS IS US~ AN HOMAGE TO LOVE, LOSS, AND MEMORY (*Spoiler Alert*)

I’ve been watching the Television show This Is Us from it’s first episode. I have to say that there haven’t been many episodes that I have not cried at.

The relationship between Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) is complicated and poignant. William is a creative carefree poet and musician while Randall is a tightly wound businessman.

Randall searches for his biological father and finds him living in a small apartment with few possessions, only what’s necessary, including his poetry and music. William appears okay with his situation, it’s what he’s used to.

Initially Randall wants to be angry at this man but something inside him can’t.

We find out that William is Terminally Ill with Cancer and he moves in with Randall and his family. He is able to know his grandchildren and daughter in law. Randall is still somewhat allusive. Afraid to get too close.

They eventually begin to open up to one another and William succeeds in bringing out a more spontaneous side of Randall.

In Episode 16~ Memphis, William wants to take a road trip to where he grew up. Randall has recently left the Hospital after having a breakdown, unable to cope with the stress of his job and knowing his time with his father is becoming shorter.

In flashbacks we see William’s childhood. Raised by a single mother he was close to. She encourages him to pursue his poetry and music and he does. Fate intervenes, which sets into motion a series of events leading to how he met Randall’s mother and the death of his own mother.

The music in this episode is outstanding and fits every scene. Ron Cephas Jones is¬†an inspirationthis-is-us¬†throughout this entire show. This episode had me thinking back to when my own mother had lung cancer. Only people who have been through it can truly understand what it’s like to feel so helpless when a loved one is seriously ill.

Randall and William were able to say what they needed to at the end. I wish I had that chance. When William says “My beautiful boy” I lost it. There wasn’t enough toilet paper or Kleenex in the room. My mom would say “My beautiful baby girl” to me when she knew I wasn’t feeling good. When you’re close to a parent like I am it is a life changing event to lose them.

This Is Us did such an incredible job without being too corny or trying to force emotions out of you. It was perfect.

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DENIS LEARY AND BINGE WATCHING

I have been a Denis Leary fan since first seeing him on MTV’s Remote Control. In case you’re wondering I’m 43 and female. My comedic taste is that of an 8 year old boy or 21 year old guy. I try to keep it concealed. My best friend of over 25 years is probably the only one who laughs at the same things I do. It’s even stranger watching a younger version of Christie Brinkley do it. Specifically if I make her snort laugh.

Back to Mr. Leary. I recently binge watched all the episodes of Rescue Me. I think there might have been 93 of them. That’s a lot of Leary. I’m an alcoholic in what I like to call Remission. I am not drinking now, I do not plan on drinking now, I do not plan on drinking in the future. I am not stupid enough to say I will never ever drink again. I’ve seen people that have been in a program for over 20 years start drinking again. I’ve seen them start and end their lives that way. I’ll discuss this topic further at another time.

I think Rescue Me was one of the most underrated shows in the history of television. The writing was filled with wit and warped humor one minute, grief and redemption the next. The show tackled many subjects that other shows were not. They did it in a way your average Joe could relate to. Family, Alcoholism, Work, Sexuality, Grief, Divorce, I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting some topics but that’s my fault. I would often find myself with tears on my face not realizing I had been crying.

I could relate to the alcoholism, family, AA situations, grief and pain. I couldn’t relate to his character being loved by a significant other or having children. But I could still imagine what it would feel like. 20 years of drinking causes people to give up on you and to not trust you.

Binge watching television shows like this has almost taken the place of drinking. I’ve always watched movies and tv. I also used to read at least one book a day. Since I went into kidney failure I haven’t been able to read. I can’t focus on the story, it doesn’t move fast enough or my brain doesn’t. My vision has slowly become worse. Someday I’ll try again.

I do have to be careful when I’m binge watching certain shows. I’m easily influenced by certain characters without even knowing it. Case in point, The Sopranos.

A couple of years ago I had been binge watching The Sopranos. I guess my attitude had changed to the point where my sister (of course) had asked my dad if he noticed. He had noticed that my language was more colorful which was rare for me and the way I carried myself was different.

My sister thought about it and remembered me saying I had been watching The Sopranos. She invited me to her house for lunch, sat me down and said “Cut the shit Tony.”. I started laughing. She was serious. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been acting like Tony Soprano without the killing people part. We had just been at the mall where a woman fell into a rack of clothes with a baby strapped to her back. I kept walking and my sister stopped to help. A few days before I had given a dog CPR. My sister pointed out how Tony had more emotion for little ducks than humans and that’s how I was. She wasn’t wrong but this wasn’t anything new. It was just more obvious. She jokingly called me Tony for awhile.

Yesterday I had to go for pre-admissions testing for the surgery to change the stents that keep my one kidney working. I guess there was an issue with the anesthesia last time. The nurse was asking ridiculous questions so I was giving her ridiculous answers. She was laughing so hard at one point she had tears. Unfortunately this made her late for her next person. When the woman up front came in to tell her she was running late the nurse said “This one is a firecracker! Sarcastic, but I love it!”. She then told me I might not want to answer the questions like that the day of surgery because Anesthesiologists have no sense of humor.

While walking to my car which was parked in Boston even though the Hospital is in Fall River I realized who I was acting like. Denis Leary. I was sarcastic and somewhat cocky. All I needed was a cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth and I would’ve been all set. PLEASE I am in no way saying that I am as funny as Mr. Leary. I’m saying how easily influenced I am by other people’s persona’s and moods. A movie or television show done correctly stays with me and changes me in some small way. Whether this is good or bad doesn’t matter. What matters is that there are still entertainers and writers capable of doing this.

So keep doing what you do Mr. Leary even if I am banned from every operating room in New England. It’s the Bipolar or the Conversion Disorder or whatever they want to come up with next because without people like you to entertain me and keep my mind busy I probably wouldn’t be here.

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RESCUE ME: Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin on RESCUE ME airing Tuesday, July 13 on FX. CR: Jeff Neira / FX


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