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TTM 55: The Graduates

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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

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  1. 3SnapsandaTwirl

    Man! I am so late. First off and as always, I love you guys. Thanks for doing this recap! Let me tell you, these last two weeks Randall has gotten on my last muthafucking nerve. During last week’s episode when he left the QUEEN Beth that nasty, petty-ass voicemail, I literally jumped up off my couch and started pacing. I was pacing in my living room during my little hulu commercial yelling “fuck that nigga!! Who the fuck does he think he talking to like that?” My cat was looking at me like I lost my damn mind. Even after the commercial break, I sat on the edge of my seat, holding an imaginary cigarette in my hand, shaking my head like I was ready to jump a nigga. I was so mad! I understood where he was coming from in wanting Beth to be there, and I definitely understood when he was angry and irritated that she wasn’t willing to automatically change her schedule to fit his. But Beth, it was just drinks! Chill! I understood that anger because I’ve definitely had moments where I wish others would make accommodations that benefit me. But then I remember that I’m an adult, and shit happens, and move on with my life. This nigga hmmmmph!!!

    Anyway, I love Kevin, but I think he is lying to himself about not wanting children. He seemed more like he was just afraid of losing Zoe and losing someone else that he really cared for while he is going through such a hard time, instead of really examining whether or not he wants kids in the future. I think that this will come up again. Also, Sophie better go on somewhere. She seems happy with her fiance, and she definitely shouldn’t let Kevin’s charm woo her at all. Oh! And question, how did Randall not smell the alcohol on Kevin’s breath when they were in the hospital in the previous episode?!?! They were all up in each other’s faces. I assumed that the water bottle was filled with vodka, but then they were so close to each other, that I second-guessed myself because I thought obviously Randall would smell it.

    Finally, thank you Bassey for talking about that shitty show A million little things. I have been watching it all season, and just hating it. I keep watching it because I like and want to support Romany Malco, and the guy from Grimm and Psych. But I keep just thinking how terrible that show is! People who don’t watch This is Us like to say that the show is just emotionally manipulative and is written only to make us cry. But they miss the nuances and subtleties that are created because the cast has chemistry and is masterfully written. I cry more often because of the small moments that I relate so completely to instead of the big moments that are obvious tragedies and sad moments. But A million little things is just trash. It is like a robot watched all of TIU and wrote it’s own bullshit show. It is all emotional manipulation, no chemistry, and actors who just don’t quite have the range. UGh. And! Niggas, when they unfolded that 9/11 backstory I rolled my eyes so fucking hard I swear I almost went blind. Remember during the first season of TIU when there was still the mystery around Jack’s death – one of the big theories was that Jack died in one of the 9/11 planes. I AM SO FUCKING GLAD THEY DIDN’T DO IT! They didn’t need to! A million little things didn’t need to do it! It was ridiculous! And it would have been better if they had just left it with the idea that you will never fully understand why someone commits suicide. You will never understand every single reason and that’s okay. You have to learn to move on anyway. And love the person regardless. UGGGHHHH Trash!!! Trash trash trash!!! Thank you for recognizing that!

    Again, I love your show. Love you guys. Still love This is Us, but they need to fix it Jesus! Can’t have Randall’s ashy ass, chapped lips out here disrespecting Beth and my stanning for their black love!

  2. Elle

    Off topic lol sorry. Bassey, I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who hate watched my way through the whole season of a Million Little Things. I too rolled my eyes at the 9.11 theme. Only saving grace was that it was slightly based on a true story. Rod you may be happy to know that Carl from the Walking Dead found a role as the surprise son on this show.

    As far as This Is Us, do you feel like the writing is losing its quality compared to earlier seasons.? It’s a little more predictable to me and I haven’t cried once this season lol. I also didn’t like the way Randall cursed out his wife over VOICEMAIL. I could see his frustration growing through the episode but that was just corny.

    Thank you guys – love the reviews!!

  3. rodimusprime

    Hello Rod and Bassey,

    First of all let me start by thank you both for all that you do when it comes to re-caping this show.
    Now to the nitty gritty.
    RANDALL PERSON has officially pissed me off. I have no idea what he was thinking and why he would leave that selfish ass, in-considerate ass, reckless ass, no common sense ass voice mail on QUEEN BETH’S phone. How dare he. I have never been so mad at a television character in my life. I couldn’t believe he would say all those mean things to her. I didn’t think he had it in him to be honest, but at the same time when you are all about your self it will come out. I think that he wants Beth to be like his momma in the sense of her life is about the kids and she doesn’t get to live out her dreams. However, Randall has another thing coming. I’m sure Beth is going to be Beyonce’s Lemonade album all through the house.. CAUSE WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK SHE IS RANDALL? YOU AIN’T MARRIED TO NO AVERAGE BITCH RANDALL! All I’m saying he knows how baseball bats are attracted to his windshield.
    I don’t think Kevin is going to be okay with not having any kids with Zoey.. I feel like he said that cause he found out his fall back plan of what’s her face.. Oh Sophie.. wasn’t an option anymore.. because she’s engaged now. Which good for her cause I didn’t like her anyway. I feel like he’s gonna try to pressure her or he’s gonna find another woman at some point.
    Im proud of Kate for not being annoying this episode, I think she will be a great mom and Toby will be a great dad.
    Queen Beth is an amazing human being, style, grace, and class. Randall Doesn’t deserve.

    Thank you both for reading this and thank you for doing the podcast. Much love and peace,


  4. rodimusprime

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    Whew Chile, this episode got my blood pressure up. Between Sophie being in the episode and Randall with his ashy ass, I just didn’t know to process this episode.

    I really hope the writers aren’t trying to pull the okey doke on us by letting Kevin stay with Alex for now only to realize later that he wants children and he runs back to Sophie. Because no matter if she’s engaged or not, Sophie would go back to Kevin if he asked. Remember the x-ray tech? Neither does Sophie. I hate her so much. I hate her even more than I hate Henry from The Walking Dead. Die Sophie die!

    And Randall, he has become such a major disappointment. At this point, Beth would be well within her rights to serve him divorce papers. That voicemail was way out of pocket. I’m not ready to see the episode them falling in love only to see it falling apart. That’s going to be so depressing to watch.

    Seeing little Jake touched me on so many levels because it reminded me of my own preemie. When my baby was in the hospital, I also sang “You are my Sunshine.'” to her. I’m sure little Jack will pull through but it’s going to be a bumpy road. I think one of the writers either had a preemie or consulted preemie families because that dynamic is so real. Often the fathers have a hard time bonding with the baby when they’re born so young because they’re scared to get close in case something happens to the baby. It happened to me and my husband. He kept his distance until the first time held her which was about two weeks after birth and from there he was all in. This has been A level writing so far.

    Evie E

    P.S. Fuck Sophie

  5. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey,

    Fuuuuuuuuck that nigggggga Randall!

    He is trash -good lord why would you do that to your wife man . After all the mess you done put her through ,you go and do her like that ! Stay yo ass on your couch in your office Randall!

    I want to dedicate this song to Beth Clark not Beth Pearson cause her husband is trash…lol


    I’m sad to say it -but I feel like Zoe and Kevin are done ,they just don’t want to admit it to themselves. I didn’t believe either one of them – Kevin does want kids and Zoe’s hesitation to continue the relationship was so obvious. I sincerely hope I’m wrong but their body languages and vibes just said otherwise.

    Hope Toby can stay strong for Kate and the baby ! I can’t imagine how tough a situation like that could be for a parent . I hope everything works out for them.

    Thanks again

    Rod and Bassey


  6. bamil73

    Hi Rod and Bassey

    I never thought I would say this but Miguels Up Randalls Down. What the fuck is up with this dude. On a character development note, its fuck that nigga all day. He knew this shit was going to be hard but still thinks Beth is the one that needs to sacrifice everything. On the other hand, from a writing perspective, it seems the situation was somewhat contrived. This is 2019. Everybody, no matter how traditional and respectable, can appreciate the hardship associated with going to a dinner party during the week. How hard could it be to say, “Beth couldn’t make it because she’s working”. Is that really a thing that would hurt his political career in 2019? In my family, we both work and our kids do shit. During the school year, on week nights, all bets are off. If my boss invited me to a dinner party on Thursday or Wednesday or whatever it would be a toss-up whether or not we could both get there, so I didn’t fully buy the crisis. Then again, we are broke-ass non political representative ass niggas, so what do I know? This Randall story is getting out of hand to the point where when me or my wife tells the other about some new non-kid related activity one of us will be doing, the other responds by saying “stick a pin in that until the kids graduate”.

    Who knew that in the brother standings, Kevin would be the one to seem to have a brighter future. How worried were you when Kevin ended up at Sophie’s door? I was pretty worried, but then the writers came through. I guess if it was A Million Little Things, he would have cheated on Zoe, but This is Us is NOT that basic. I don’t actually watch budget-This Is Us, but I’m just inferring based on Bassey’s previous commentary. On a separate note, after the scene with Sophie, they cut to Zoe. The disparity in beauty was actually jarring. Sophie is TV attractive while Zoe is strikingly beautiful.

    Thanks for the great recaps.


  7. rodimusprime

    Hello Rod & Bassey,
    I’m so glad to finally get feedback in.

    I know you end up with a lot emails to read so I’ll keep it tight.

    1) I find it really interesting how the show is leaning into Randall and Beth’s relationship. They are pulling back that curtain, fo’real.
    Though I loved Randall in the beginning, the writers are really testing my patience and of course, Sterling K. Brown is acting his natural ass off. I love that we are seeing the seams of the seemingly, perfect marriage.

    2) Do we really believe that Kevin is fine with Zoe and he not having a baby? Because I have #trustissues, I get the feeling that he thinks he can charm his way into getting what he wants and that may be children. We’ll see but, everything Sophie said about him getting what he wants and all that Zoe said about being a “charmer” leads me down this path of Kevin have a hidden motive, even if it is hidden from him.

    3) I blame Jack for these men. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of Jack, but he was flawed and we see inklings of these flaws through Randall wanting to be perfect so hard and Kevin wanting to charm his way into invincibility.

    Quick comment on last week’s episode 15. We really need to see Mandy Moore get her flowers. She has truly acted her ass off. That waiting room scene…

    Thanks for reading and for covering this show. I’ve been listening since the beginning and have loved every moment even during Bassey’s Anti-Deja phase..


  8. ClassicRandBLover

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    All I have to say is, “It’s not me, it’s not you, it’s not them, it’s not us, it’s that F’ nigga Randall.” Man, what a PoS he has proven to be. Beth needs to be done with his selfish, ain’t shit ass. Never before has a black man who was flying so high, fallen so low. I.Am.Through.

  9. rodimusprime

    Hi Bassey and Ron,

    Ok, I’ve been holding out, hoping that Randall would pull his head out of his ass. Then this nigga left that fuckass voicemail!! Now I’m officially on team “Fuck that nigga Randall!!”

    I’ve never been more ready to see a nigga get their ass handed to them that i am to see Beth hand that nigga his ass!!

    Next week can’t get here quick enough!!

    Thank you guys for all that you do with the podcast, and Congratulations Bassey on all of your success with your book!! Can’t wait to hear from you guys!!


  10. rodimusprime

    Hi Bassey and Rod,

    I remember when Kate’s storyline line was just about her losing weight and grief. In the very beginning, I judged adult Kevin for how little and teen Kevin behaved, but my love for Kevin bloomed even before him leaving his play for Randall. But, the Black Pearsons were my true loves. Randall was too much in all the best and worst ways, but lately we have only been getting this trash-assed version. Randall was overwhelmed, but we also saw this coming because Beth said a job in Philly meant most of the home stuff would shift to her. She called marriage and Randall did it anyway. His support of Beth dancing was only to make nice, but not genuine or out of respect for her. Even if it looked like Beth wasn’t going to show up for the dinner, what good comes from speaking to your partner like that? Especially when that same partner has been there for all your random acts and expenses? I am so nervous about next week. Beth said they have been having the same fight their whole relationship…that sounds like separation talk. Clearly Randall was my this ain’t it.

    Did anyone else freak out when they saw Kevin just standing outside of Sophie’s house? I said no, no, no, not this bitch again! Ugh. Sure, Kevin is charming and he usually gets what he wants, but did Sophie poison Kevin’s mind? Does he think choosing Zoe means that she will change her mind about having kids? That damn Sophie. This is why her and her kid got eaten in TWD.

    I didn’t cry last week and didn’t cry as Kate sang to baby Jack, but Toby and Kate getting to hold their tiny tube filled child brought me to real tears. The actor that plays Toby was so good the entire episode. He made me feel Toby’s fear and discomfort.

    I love the TTM discussions in each podcast and you both are so insightful. I blame you both for me wanting to write so much, LOL.

    Bassey, I’ve pre-ordered the book and can’t wait to read it in August!

    Much love,
    Symone E. via iPhone

  11. rodimusprime

    Yo! I binged watched the last 3 episodes (Little Island Girl, The Graduates, and The Waiting Room) and man my heart can’t take it.

    Out of the 3, Kate is the strong one? How? Kate recognizing that something is wrong with Kevin and that he relapsed made me so happy. Because when I saw Kevin with that 5 o’clock shadow I was praying that somebody would rescue him from himself. Then Kate being the strong one when they see their son Jack for the first time…I am so proud and happy for Kate. Plus the actress who plays adult Kate has come along way acting wise this season.

    I was warming to Randall again but then he hit Beth with the “why don’t you put your dreams on hold?” face and I was like naw playa I can’t with you right now. So I’m still team Beth and need Randal to do the work for us to stan for him again. BUT I did like when he made that white teacher cry who posted Deja’s essay on the internet, that was great and love the moments he spends with Deja. I especially love how he calls Deja his daughter and not adopted or stepdaughter, his whole ass daughter..just love it.

    Kevin…even when he is drunk and spiraling he is still my favorite. Anytime he reads Randall, it’s the best! I am not going to recap every heartbreaking part of the graduates and the waiting room. I like him and Zoe together and want them to get passed his relapse but the lying…her taking a sip of the vodka in the water bottle…Beth congratulating her for not just running away…it was a lot and made me a little worried. Especially when I saw Sofie in the promo for this week’s episode. I know how yall feel about Sofie, and I am the same!

    Bassey and Rod, yall are the best 🙂


  12. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey

    That’s yall’s fave huh…lol , Kevin Pearson smdh ! We can just chalk that up to the alcohol still being in his system! Randall on the other hand was trying to be captain “save my family members that are all grown ass people “and neglect his current family who needs him to be there for them.

    Rebecca has me worried with all the stuff she was saying in the waiting room . I hope those weren’t early signs of dementia or something more serious(remember the flash forward family visit) ,but just really her way of coping with Kate’s situation. Shoutout to Madison for being a good friend and remembering the rbg doll despite Kevin being a complete ass to her. And much love to Miguel for trying to be there for these sorry ass kids – who are supposed be grown ass men….lol. They were starting to act like Miguel’s real kids ..lol

    So glad Kate and the baby are ok for now but who knows what kind of roller coaster of emotions they will take us on with that storyline. I remain hopeful but still scared asf..lol

    Thanks again Rod and Bassey,


    Randall still trash by the way,just an FYI.

  13. rodimusprime

    Dear Rod and Bassey,

    Randall is still ashy. Kevin is still spiraling from guilt and Madison doesn’t know how to read a damn room.

    Seeing baby Jake reminded me so much of my 24 weeker who was 1 pound 6 ounces. I hope the little guy has as few complications as possible because if the story is written true to life there will be several challenges for Kate and Toby over the coming months. I’d very much like to see more of Toby’s family dynamics. Will his brother actually show up and be there for him? That should be interesting. I’m glad that Kate will now have to finally put someone before herself. Little Jake will hopefully change her for the better.

    This was a strong emotional episode but good Lord my blood was boiling when I saw that skank Sophie in the previews. I hate her as much as I hate Henry from the Walking Dead. I hope the writers don’t do my girl Zoey dirty.

    Evie E

    PS Fuck Sophie

  14. ClassicRandBLover

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    This week’s episode should have been titled “If you were born or raised a Pearson, you’re a colossal asshole, but if you are Beth and Rebecca (and hopefully Zoe), you rock for putting up with these assholes.”

    Randall just keeps Randalling and I think Beth is through with him. I loved her telling Randall about himself. He is too self-absorbed to see it, but his marriage is hanging together by an increasingly fraying thread.

    I will never be #TeamMiguel, but this really isn’t anti-him. Marrying into a family with grown children (or any children who aren’t too young to remember a time when you weren’t in the family), makes you that parent’s spouse, it doesn’t make you their children’s family, unless they embrace you as such. I know the Brady Bunch and all other types of shows told us otherwise, and it’s not fair to the person marrying into a family, but it is what it is.

    I think I love Madison.

    I knew Kevin was going to continue f’ing up. An addict doesn’t relapse and magically go back on the wagon, it just doesn’t work like that. I knew he was a little too focused on that water bottle, and he magically seemed really calm. Will Zoe freak and run screaming for the hills? If this show make her the villain so that basic Becky can return as Kevin’s “one twu luv,” I will be done. I live in a world where striving to reach levels of mediocrity whiteness is rewarded non-stop, I will not waste my valuable viewing time watching a show that panders to this bullshit.

  15. Sefe

    Hey Rod and Bassey! I haven’t left feedback in a while so this might could be a jumbled mess of thoughts and emotions but bear with me.

    The main thing I’ve been DYING to get off my chest is this whole thing between Beth and Zoe. I feel like I understood from jump exactly what Beth meant when she told Kevin that Zoe would break him. I was actually confused the first time you guys were talking about how wrong she was and how it was mean and cruel of her but I didn’t see it that way at ALL. Look. We all know hurt people hurt people. And I think Beth knows Zoe’s past has given her trust and commitment issues. Her issues are obviously for good reason but nonetheless Beth was in between a rock and a hard place. She loves Zoe but also Kevin. She’s seen how Zoe has hurt and run through men in the past and knew the same could happen to Kevin. She also knows how frail and sensitive Kevin really is despite his outer appearance and behavior. He’s really just a softy. A softy that Beth knew Zoe would have the capacity to chew up and spit out whether intentional or not. I don’t think there was any malice whatsoever behind Beth’s words or actions and from the looks of how things may go … seems like the warning was most certainly warranted. That being said, I’m rooting for Zoe and Kevin so hard. I love Zoe and I love them together and hope they work their issues out in the long run.

    I don’t know how others felt about it but I thought The Waiting Room episode was beautiful. So different from what we’ve seen in the past and refreshing in my eyes. Super well done especially from a directing standpoint. It just felt so raw and I loved it. I could have done without Rebecca’s recital of every detail she remembered from the waiting room with Jack.. but I get where they were going. Even for This is Us though, that was a monologue that felt like a monologue and it didn’t grab me like it should have. Mandy Moore still needs an Emmy though, that’s all I know.

    Some other random thoughts:

    Kevin and Randall were doing Z MOST. Kevin especially.

    As much as I hate where they’ve been taking Randall’s character, I’m still rooting for the Black Pearsons so much.

    Kate messed around and became my favorite triplet for a split second there……… When I tell you that’s the biggest miracle since Jesus turned water to wine…..

    Protect Madison.

    Semi-protect Miguel, but not too much. He can stand but he still don’t need no seat.

    As always, thanks for everything y’all!

  16. Anonymous

    Hi Rod and Bassey! The last 5 min. with Kate and the baby had me ugly crying. Maybe it’s because I am a new mom and while I didn’t experience a premature birth and all of the fear and stress that comes along with it, I did experience the overwhelming love you feel for that little life once it’s here. I also knew there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my son the first time I saw him. I am looking forward to seeing Kate as a fierce Mama! And I really hope I’m misinterpreting the previews which made it seem like Toby is gonna want to give up on trying to save the baby. I will hate him forever if they do that. But I am super scared they are stacking the deck for the baby not to make it— naming him Jack, talking about Rebecca and Miguel moving to California, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg doll— it all feels like a set up for us to completely break down when the baby doesn’t make it. I HOPE I am wrong.

  17. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey!

    Love the podcast and your friendship!! A lot of random thoughts. Here I go!

    Randall and Kevin have seemingly blown all of the good will and faith I have in them away. Randall isn’t the man we thought he was. It feels like we never really knew him or had enough information to ask the questions we’re now asking every episode. When he moved his father in I didn’t consider the family aspect. I just thought about how great that move was. We’re all in the DejaCrew so it was a no brainer for me for him to fight for her. I didn’t consider how much Tess and Annie would essentially have to sacrifice. Then this nigga JUST COULDN’T GIVE UP THAT DAMN RACE. It’s so unsustainable for him to be driving three hours a day unless he uproots the family. And even that will be tanking Beth’s newfound dream. Everywhere you turn the women in his life are sacrificing for him. Where’s his sacrifice? Like ever?? He thought rebecca and Miguel were guaranteed child care. The flip flopping is on ridiculous proportions. She has to be the breadwinner because you wanna be a city councilman in another state??

    This version of Kevin is a dick!! I’m once again back to being exhausted with him. Ran Kate’s only friend off. Can’t be trusted to be alone anymore. Everyone is walking on egg shells. He’s back to making excuses and hiding shyt. The culmination of the Vietnam saga with finding Nicky could destroy him worse than the Sophie saga. I knew he had liquor in that water bottle as soon as he came back with it. How is it that no one smelled it on his breath? Zoe might be gone….Man I want him to come back to center. Rooting for him.

    Poor Rebecca. Something is wrong. The stubbornness will have her keeping what’s going on with her from them.

    Finally, was I the only one that thought Miguel’s game was stupid. Lol. No matter what he was gonna find a way to make chocolate of ranch work. But ranch on sushi?? Chocolate on cantaloupe. Howwww? My nigga that’s a wild reach. Lol. But I love the effort. He never stops trying.

    Can’t wait to see what more they have in store.


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