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TTM 31: This Big, Amazing, Beautiful Life

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Rod and Bassey discuss NBC’s family drama, “This Is Us.”

Twitter: @rodimusprime @Basseyworld

Email: [email protected]

Site: www.theblackguywhotips.com

Voice Mail: 704-557-0186



  1. rodimusprime

    Hey guys!

    I’m sad that the show is already over and will miss hearing y’all together on a regular basis.

    A couple of things :

    -Toby STILL never said what exactly it is that Kate does for him in their relationship. I said “FINALLY” out loud when he was ramping up to get in his parents’ ass, but I spoke too soon. He just straight up lied. Kate is DEFINITELY unstable and these 2 people who haven’t even met her can tell, which should’ve told him something. They only know about Kate THROUGH Toby, so he should have at least taken some time to reflect after they left and he’d made a show of defending her. His defense of their relationship was that she would never hurt him, which is a lie in ANY relationship on a normal day. The other person may not actually intend to hurt you with their actions and slip up occasionally… but Kate told her own mama that the fact that she exists was a problem, so I wouldn’t bet on her keeping his feelings in mind when she gets upset.

    -As much as I would like Deja’s life to improve after being with the Pearsons, I would rather her be the one Older Randall and Tess were talking about not being ready to see. I will take Older Deja being locked away somewhere over Beth being dead, in jail, or in a medical facility and unable to remember or communicate with her family. I just have to take comfort in the fact that this show wouldn’t be like HTGAWM and pull a swerve like the “Her” they aren’t ready to see be Older Annie who was actually an axe murderer the whole time we’ve seen her and had been secretly killing off random background characters for years.

    That’s all for now. I can’t wait until y’all finally review Black Panther!


  2. rodimusprime

    Howdy Rod and Bassey,

    So i wanted to care… I wanted to be touched by this episode but Meh. Toby should have listened to his parents… If your parents who never agree…can agree you shouldn’t marry her it’s a sign. Shit all the time and money i could have saved if my folks had taken that approach in my life… Cause I damn sure would have listened.

    I know we are supposed to care about Daja and It was close to happening…but this shit nah I’m over it. So she gone go off because somebody said she looked like Randall…. I can’t. Also for all this talk about walking Kate down the Aisle how come nobody gave a shit or thought to Miguel. You know the guy who been there since before y’all were born Jack’s Best Friend… Man who keeps Rebecca safe with new crockpots! That was mad disrespectful! I ain’t saying he should have walked her but at least think of the man!

    See you all in fall or for Insecure???


    P.S. So Beth’s cousin can show up but we haven’t met her mom or sisters!? Could it be that her family doesn’t like the Pearsons???

  3. rodimusprime

    First, thanks you both for doing this show. Going to not only miss This Is Us, but will also miss your recaps.

    This season has been really great, but there have been very few scenes that really brought the emotion for me like the first season did.

    This episode started out the same way.

    Then Rebecca went to Kate’s room to tell her sorry and her psuedo-grovelling did me in. I felt so bad that she always walks lightly around Kate and thought it was all her fault rather than something within Kate. I cried for Rebecca and then also when Kate finally admitted her real issue and offered her mom the truth.

    Then, Kevin! Before he even started more than two words of his toast I was already crying and they flowed throughout. He is so amazing. It was also hilarious how he was almost doing like Kate in the first few episodes of the series and being a planner for her. When he finished that first call saying Randall’s name, I bugged up laughing!!

    I am in love with the idea of the future shows. I love Kevin and the cousin. Swirl On! I was wondering if Toby’s parents predictions would ring true about Kate, but am sad that they are coming true for Toby. (Not that I wanted Kate to be unstable, I just don’t want Toby suffering from severe depression.) I fear for the confrontation of the re-meeting of future Tess and Randall with what I assume to be future Daja.

    I was so upset with Toby’s mom for doing an all-black-people-look-alike in all the wrong moments with saying Daja looks like Randall. When she took that bat to his car after they had that ice cream scene with Kevin talking about how much Randall loves that car and PAID FOR IT IN CASH (?!?!?) I was so upset with life.

    I hope they don’t kick her out of the house for this, but am also curious what will be the events that lead Tess to not talk with her for a long time.

    Thanks for all the great recaps, insights, and excellent predictions.

    As one of the commenters last time said, I too hope you all recap something in the interim between the start of the next season.

    Ada (pronounced Naija-style Ah-dah 😉 )

  4. rodimusprime

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    This episode had me all up in my feelings. I understand why Deja is acting out but boy I wanted to yoke her up one good time and give her the people’s elbow, especially after she Lemonaded Randall’s car. I don’t think that talk with Beth’s cousin registered just yet and I have a feeling that we’re going to be going through it with her next season. And just as I said the last time, Shauna ain’t shit. Instead of trying to get her act together, she decides to sever her parental rights? That’s whack. I know I may seem heartless to her plight. I’m not. She probably believes that she’s doing some altruistic thing but instead of just trying to make better decisions, she just gives up. Maybe my view has been colored by the fact my parents have fostered so many broken kids over the years and their parents continue to make bad decisions. The system isn’t perfect and often punishes parents living in poverty but a bunch of Shauna’s problems were of her own making. I hope she never comes back so Deja can heal, but like with most selfish people, she’ll probably come back and wreak havoc in Deja’s life. She’s going to be like Penny’s mother from Goodtimes who marries a rich dude and then tries to get her daughter back.

    I’m so scared for the black Pearson’s future. Who was the she Randall and Tess were talking about? It better not be sweet baby Annie. And Beth better still be alive. This show had me playing my own worse case scenario game of what’s going to happen in the future and it had my blood pressure up.

    I felt so bad for Rebecca being terrified at her own daughter’s wedding. She was so scared of saying or doing the wrong thing to set Kate off that I felt like giving Kate a roundhouse kick to the head. I wanted to give Rebecca a hug. I’m glad Kate sort of realized that she needs to chill when it comes to her mother at least that’s what I think the show was trying to do.

    I saw no lies in what Toby’s parents said. Not a single one. It’s interesting that the flash forward sees Toby in a spiraling depression and Kate taking care of him. I wonder if Toby’s issues may be the reason his brother didn’t come to the wedding. I find it odd that there was no mention of that brother so I’m assuming he didn’t show up. I hope the show explores that relationship some more.

    Also thought it was interesting that in Kate’s dream of the future that Sophie wasn’t in it but Beth was. Just goes to show that even Kate knows that Sophie and Kevin aren’t meant to be together. I see you Kevin, with your new boo. I’m very interested to see how this new relationship goes. I predict Kevin and Alex might have a baby. And as for Madison, you tried girl. Better luck next time.

    Loved this episode. I’m going to be suffering from withdrawals until it comes back this fall. And fuck Sophie. Hope she stays gone forever.

    Evie E

    PS Thank you Rod and Bassey for another season of excellent reviews of this show. I always look forward to your insightful recaps and hope to listen to more in the future.

  5. rodimusprime

    Hello Rod and Bossey!

    I love your recaps! I am huge fan Bossey we think a like when it comes to this show. I was so mad when Toby decided to Marry Kate! His parents were so right about Kate. Toby loves to damn hard! Then when they showed those flashes of the future I was like see I knew this would happen. Being with Kate causes emotional breakdowns because she will gaslight you into thinking you are the problem. Toby’s parents are rational people and this is why they dont like Kate. They know crazy when they see it.
    I am happy that Kevin finds love in a black girl. I am all about the swirl. He looks happy in the future which is good. I fell out laughing when Madison was all flirting with Kevin. And he had this look of well I guess to be nice. LOL Oh and Madison self-electing herself to be Maid of Honor was great. I am happy there is no Sophie in the future. We dont need her coming around messing up Kevins happy life.

    The Black Pearsons…. They seemed a little back to normal and happy now that Deja is back. But Deja needs a foot in her ass. When she smashed those windows with Randalls dads bat. I literally yelled BITCH WHY? at the screen. Just because she received a COMPLIMENT of saying she looks like Randall? BYE DEJA! Randall was raised by white people! He needs to do the white thing and call the cops on Deja for smashing those windows. Teach her ungreatful ass a lesson. The flashback with Tess and Randall they mention going to visit Deja and not being ready to see her. That means she went further than smashing windows. Maybe she killed Beth in her sleep like she predicted.

    Well I cant wait for next season! Thank you for the review on the show.

    Nicole Scott

  6. FalconsDiva

    Hey Rod and Bassey!!!


    First, I started listening to this recap prior to watching the season finale. I actually shed a Denzel tear when Bassey said she was team Deja. Y’all know I been with Deja since she came on the scene. About halfway through the recap, I watched the season finale and… Deja needs a good old fashioned switch! Why did she have to show her ENTIRE ass this episode?!?!? I mean what happened to keeping that bed at all costs? I know having Shawna terminate her parental rights must have hurt but DAMN! And then she took that bat to Randall’s car? Randall is the chief of her cause and that’s the car he paid for IN CASH!!! DAMN DEJA!!!

    Sidenote: I reconcile my accounts weekly – I keep my check register on a spreadsheet. I have a separate budget type spreadsheet and I make sure the two spreadsheets agree. It’s part of my Friday routine. Knowing that Randall paid cash for that car made me even angrier that Deja went all Jazmine Sullivan on it.

    Overall, this was probably my least favorite episode of the series. Kate got on my nerves – why was Toby responsible for packing that shirt? I mean I’m glad she had a breakthrough with Rebecca, but that was more because I love Rebecca. Kate, Deja acting a fool,Toby depressed, and older Randall and Tess having to go see ‘her’ just made me wish there was one more episode this season to get my heart back together.

    Another sidenote: Audio reminds me of my dog. The way the dog was in the bed with Toby is how my Sasha gets in the bed with me sometimes. She gets right in the crook of my leg and goes to sleep. But then her spoiled behind gets mad at me if I move and wake her. Like she’s out here paying bills!

    I can’t wait to hear your recap. Maybe y’all can make me wanna miss the show. Right now – not so much, they can get the hell on.

    • FalconsDiva

      And another thing – hearing your speculation about the season finale made me even angrier! It was so much more they could have done with these story lines and this is what they gave us! One more time: DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!!!

  7. Priscilla

    Heeeey Rod and Bassey!

    Thanks so much for doing This Too Much! I fell in love with This Is Us after the first episode, and was constantly searching out other people to talk about the shit that went down! When you guys started doing this last year, I was excited and relieved! I could finally let my friends and family (who don’t watch the show) off the hook. I have listened to you guys religiously since then. I love you guys, and you do a fantastic job. I also love your random ass asides and stories and connections to other shows and whatnot. Anyway, bottom line, I love your podcast, and I really appreciate you guys doing it!

    So on to the important stuff: the finale. All I can say is Damn Damn Damn! Listen, this episode was so beautiful. I loved watching old Jack and Rebecca renewing their vows, but it also made me so sad that it didn’t happen, and that he never got to be Grandpa Jack. He would have been the best damn grandpappy around! No arguments! Lol I also liked how they intertwined this beautiful scene of their wedding, with the actual loss and absence that Kate and everyone felt about not having him at her wedding. It was like a sad smile, sweet but a little heartbreaking.

    Now, Deja. I wanted so much to be wrong, but I knew last week that when Shauna packed her bags, she was leaving. She wasn’t coming back. She loves Deja so much, but she doesn’t have the tools to take care of her and be the mother that Deja needs. We saw that all last week. But I think what the actress that plays Shauna did such a wonderful job of showing in her scenes was that it wasn’t just about the last 3-5? years that she and Deja have been going through the system. She never had the tools, and in some ways, she wasn’t interested in getting the tools. One of the things that Gigi (Pam Grier) said to her was that she was just like her mother, always chasing boys and using them to define her worth. Shauna probably learned that behavior from her own mother who seems to have disappeared from her life for some reason when she was a teenager, and now she is doing the same thing to Deja. You could see from the moment that Shauna and Deja walked into the Pearson home, that she knew that she wasn’t doing what was best for Deja. And as soon as she saw that someone else could do better, and would do better for her Deja, she decided to walk away. It gave her an excuse and also a comfort that Deja would be well taken care of. And now poor Deja is pissed off and angry at the world because she loves her mom, and wants so much for them to be together, but her mom just walked away instead. That would break anyone down. Now Randall’s car did not AT ALL deserve that beating, but I understand that anger that makes you want to see the world burn and everyone around you hurt like you hurt. That’s also why I really loved that scene between Zoey and Deja. She cracked through, but as anyone who has ever been or worked with a teenager knows, one inspirational talk isn’t going to be enough to get through all of that.

    That scene between Kate and Rebecca was everything. I hadn’t cried at all beyond a few sniffles looking at old Jack, but then the way Rebecca kept trying to cover her bases when she talked to Kate, just broke me down. And Kate finally saying, “You are my way.” UGH just tears! Rebecca and Beth are so similar because they are constantly having to adjust to the people that they love and the anxieties and insecurities all of the time. And I could absolutely relate to Rebecca in that moment saying something and then trying to quickly re-explain, expand, apologize, say anything to keep from setting Kate off. I was glad to see some actual progress in their relationship. Kate may not be the absolute worst anymore!

    Kevin’s speech literally made me sob uncontrollable real ass tears. The way they zoomed in on everyone exhaling, GOD DAMN IT I CRIED LIKE MY OWN DAMN DADDY WAS DYING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. But seriously, it was beautiful! And I loved seeing Kevin try so hard to be there and take care of everything for Kate the way that she had for him for so many years.

    Randall and Beth are always a treasure. And again, I loved seeing Beth talk to another black woman on screen! Randall’s speech was beautiful too, but I had to keep rewinding to see the flash forwards! I NEED TO KNOW WHO HIM AND TESS ARE GOING TO SEE!!! And yaaaaassssssssss to Kevin getting with Zoey. I AM HERE FOR THAT!

    I love this damn show so much! I’m sorry this is so long. But you guys are amazing, and I love y’all. And this show. And I’m just all full of love right now!



    P.S. A funny story, I read in an interview that the woman who plays Madison, is Dan Fogelman’s wife in real life, and that he joked about having to write his wife flirting with the beautiful specimen that is Kevin, and abruptly deciding that would be the last time he did that!

    P.P.S. RIP Randall’s car. Your life was short and brief, and you didn’t deserve to be taken out with Jack’s damn baseball bat.

  8. rodimusprime

    Hey guys!

    So much to unpack here lol I swear this show could go on forever. Smh.

    First, I’m glad Kate and Rebecca finally got it together! I was ready for them to have more of a breakthrough than they did when she had the miscarriage. I’m WAY over them making Mandy Moore sing every other episode though. We get it. Smh.

    Throw Toby’s whole momma away. Smh. I was with her when she was giving Toby advice because… Kate IS crazy and I feel like Toby is always the giver in their relationship… But she had to go and be white, assuming we all look alike and setting Deja off smh

    Kevin was my favorite this episode. He was so focused on being there for Kate like she has been for him all those years… I am HERE for the interracial love lol although I feel like it’s gonna drive a wedge in he and Beth’s relationship. Do y’all think they’re going to Vietnam just to visit the uncles grave? I think he has a white/Vietnamese cousin over there no one knows about lol

    Ok… let’s get to the blacks lol I understand Deja’s misplaced anger but she’s GOT to get it together. I know when the show comes back, they’re going to fast forward a couple of months but I really wish they would’ve given us Randal and Beth’s initial reaction to their car being busted up. Also, in the future… i think Randall and Tess were talking about visiting Beth. For some reason I’m not getting that they’re worried about Deja… even though Randall and Beth played around with the idea of Deja ending up in jail during their worst case scenario game.

    Excited for the recap! Keep up the good work!


  9. rodimusprime

    I cannot believe the show is already on hiatus. They didn’t even drag out content though the May’s sweeeps.

    At any rate, the “worst case scenario” is something that I was taught in high school from a book called Born to Win by Zig Ziegler. I still use it to this day as a tactic when I think things aren’t going my way. It is a good way to calm down and gain some perspective.

    My sister and I played worst case scenario with Deja after the episode: worst case, she swings the bat so hard it bounces back and hits her in the face and she dies. I know it is deeper, but I can’t believe she is vandalizing Randall’s car. All because someone said she looked like Randall? I didn’t think it was a bad or racist comment either.

    And I called it! I told my sister, I bet Kevin dates a black woman and it will likely be a relative of Beth’s since she has so much disdain for him and voila!

    Thanks for a good season of recaps!


  10. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey, I hope this makes it in time!

    This show is everything I never knew I wanted. I had a running list in my head of all the things I wanted to say about this episode as I was watching it but OF COURSE, by the time it was done, I was questioning my own damn existence. Overall, I think it was a gorgeous hour of television that, as always, was extremely well executed. My heart, mind and emotions are a jumbled mess so I’m just going to rattle off my random thoughts. (This finna be super long.)

    1. Kate. I never in my “This is Us” fan career thought I would stop disliking her. But wow… they did an awesome job of showing her worst and BEST in just one sitting. The actress really blew me away too. As much as I hate (or hated) the character, I have to admit that Chrissy Metz plays it really well.

    2. Deja. I, unlike 99% of the world, was NOT turned around by her standalone episode. Although, I came CLOSE, I still was left feeling like wtf, why is she still a thing. Then in this wedding episode, she’s over here acting like boo boo the fool and I’m further convinced that’s she’s a waste of script and paper. I did love the talk she had with Beth’s cousin. Or rather, I loved Beth’s cousin but we’ll get to that later.

    3.By later I mean now… Beth’s cousin gave me life and I CALLED IT the second I saw her that she and Kevin would link. Madison was wayyyyy too obvious of a choice with her googly eyes and white skin. I was here for allllll of that airplane scene.

    4. Kevin. I love him soooo much. I LOVED the dynamic between him and Randall too, the two of them are hilarious together.

    5. Randall and Beth playing that worst case scenario game? I guffawed. Both Tess and Deja on the pole??? I fell out!

    6. Toby’s depression was a twist but I can’t say I’m surprised. His parents were also the real MVPs for keeping it one hundo.

    7. REBECCA PEARSON. PROTECT HER AT ALL COSTS. When she said to Kate “I want to stay out of your way” my tear ducts EX-PLO-DED. Then when Kate replied “You are my way…” BRUH! That was an incredibly beautiful moment and so was the entire wedding scene. Just perfect.

    8. Lastly, shoutout to Beth’s slightly crooked weave. It was more realistic that way.

    Thank you guys so much for getting me through my 1.5 hour commute every Monday. I’m going to miss listening to this as much as I’ll miss the show itself!

    Sefe (rhymes with Jefe)

  11. judy

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    First of all, Damn Shauna! I wasn’t expecting that. Also, am I the only one who wanted the whole show to be Kates dream. Old Jack was everything. I just wanted to see him being grandpa Jack. Finally having Kate tell Rebecca “you are my way” had me in my feels. And lastly, Kevin finally learned from his brother and got himself a Beth 2.0, love this couple.

    This show will always be too much, can’t wait for the fall.

  12. rodimusprime


    -I’m of the camp of less Kate and that the actress is not the strongest on the show, but when Toby’s parents started talking shit about Kate?!! I got hella defensive! And man, Kate had major breakthroughs this episode! Her talk with Rebeca was everything. Her acting was the best it has ever been. Her wedding dress was perfect for her and she looked gorgeous. I’m down Kate, I’m ready for you to bring it next season.

    – Can’t wait for Kevin and Beth’s cousin’s story. Hope he finds love with her and that we never, ever, see his ex, Basic Bitch, again.


    Thanks so much for doing THIS TOO MUCH.
    Going to miss you guys!

    P.S. Bassey, thanks so much for 1. wearing the pins and 2. spreading the word. I truly appreciate it.

    marisa e aka ritzy p

  13. CJP

    Hi Rod and Bassey!

    First off, it occurred to me about two weeks ago that you guys were still doing this podcast. I’ve been missing Bassey’s presence online (I hope the book writing process is going well, sis) and one day it just hit me, “OMG, THIS TOO MUCH”!!! Bassey loves This is Us too much to not talk about it and I love it too much to not be listening. I immediately searched and was pleasantly surprised to find a series of episodes to download. The last month has been rough. My mom passed after years of being ill and I’ve been searching for signs of light wherever I can find them.

    I needed this episode so very much and I am grateful to the writers for shedding light on the Dejas, Ravens and Shaunas of the world. As a Black woman and a school social worker, I connected with Deja from her first episode. She reminds me of so many of my clients, most of whom I encountered during their middle school years and who face(d) similar challenges (even down to the alopecia issue). I was grateful that she was placed in the path of Randall and Beth. I knew this could be the point that would change her life’s trajectory. All that many young people need is that sense of hope, some security and to be embraced by someone who believes in their potential. (It could be a parent, foster parent, extended family member, teacher, mentor, social worker or even the lady next door.) I’m proud of her for letting her guard down, eventually.

    I was a bit relieved to see that Deja’s point of entry into the child welfare system wasn’t some egregious error, like physical abuse on Shauna’s part but a honest mistake on Deja’s (damn prehistoric can opener). It makes sense that Deja is still so connected to her mom and protective of her because I do think she feels some responsibility for the social worker being in their lives in the first place. Of course, it wasn’t her fault but I’m sure she feels that way to an extent. You could see the disappointment in her eyes as her mom’s bad decisions persisted, though. I definitely felt that “I’m really tired” statement, in my spirit. She deserves a break to rest and just be a kid.

    I believe Randall and Beth will help Shauna get on her feet so that even if Deja stays in their home for a while, she will still have regular contact with her mother. That tenement entered the storyline for a reason. Shauna and Deja need each other. They won’t just let her disappear.

    The Pearsons (all of them, even Kate lol) have a way of making an impact on everyone they encounter. I love that about this show.

    You two are awesome! Thanks for your insights, the jokes in between the commentary always do my heart good.

    • CJP

      Well I guess you can discard that last bit of wishful thinking. Dammit, Shauna! I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! (And you too, Deja)

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