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TTM 7: Memphis

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

Twitter: @rodimusprime @Basseyworld

Email: theblackguywhotips@gmail.com

Site: www.theblackguywhotips.com

Voice Mail: 704-557-0186


  1. pretty tomboy

    Hi Rod and Bassey! Thank you so much for your recaps. I use them as my personal form of therapy after each show cause dammit this show is waay too much!

    I just watched Memphis today (date being March 6) because I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. I heard there was a major death and I figured it would be either William or Randall and I really couldn’t bear to lose either one. I knew it would be painful as hell to watch. And of course it was even harder than I imagined. I didn’t cry during this episode, I SOBBED. As someone who lost their father not too long ago it was the toughest episode but also the most beautiful episode I’ve ever seen on television and I was truly better for it. To watch these two black men interact unafraid of showing emotion and love toward one another on network TV was indescribable.

    This is the blackest show on television without being the blackest show on television and I love it. Beth is my shero. I’m so glad that she has Randall’s back. Black love man. And when his cousin turned out to be paperboi?! I was done. Dis nigga can sing too? Man I want nothing but greatness for this man.

    Side note, since Kevin is bae wouldn’t it be cool if Randall could find a way to make his dad’s poems into a play? And Kevin could be a part of it cause I don’t see how the hell he fixes what he did to everyone involved in the play on opening night.

    Can’t wait to hear the next podcast!

  2. Ada

    Also, my sister just started watching and binged am the episodes. She said there was a scene in one of the earlier episodes where Rebecca said something about Randal not being adopted normally or something. I haven’t rewatched to verify, but am wondering if that will be part of a future story line

  3. FalconsDiva

    Hey Rod and Bassey!!!

    This Memphis episode was Chocolatey Goodness! I found myself just saying ‘Beautiful’ when asked about it.

    Clarification – UncleDad, Rod you had me cracking up trying to understand this one. My Uncle is like a father to me. Whenever I refer to him on social media, he’s UncleDad so it’s habit. Nothing creepy, LOL.

    I just finished listening to the recap and I must admit, y’all made me cry a few times. I’ll be watching this episode again to catch the tidbits I missed that you mentioned. This is the only episode I haven’t deleted. Maybe I’ll watch it Tuesday night since we’re not getting an episode because…. Well, y’all know why

    So this episode…. I started to get emotional at the very beginning when William’s dad was singing You Are My Sunshine. My grandmother used to sing that song to me and when I got older, we sang it to each other. But I held it in because I knew when the dam broke, I wouldn’t be able to finish the episode. There were many times I released a glory tear, but the dam broke toward the end when they showed William’s mom singing it to him. I couldn’t hold it anymore. I had to watch The Golden Girls to try and laugh before going to bed because I would have woken up with puffy eyes.

    Some of William’s lines could be considered corny but because he’s a poet, they felt so genuine! Yeah, I have to watch again and let myself fully feel the episode from beginning to end.

    It’s funny because Bassey mentioned that we all were so emotional about characters that we just met. But I think it’s because we see ourselves and loved ones so much in these characters and situations. Add to that, I’ve seen these actors quite a bit over the past few months in different roles so part of my emotional reaction is being so damn happy that they’re doing so well! You guys mentioned Brian Tyree Henry being on Atlanta, How To Get Away With Murder and now This Is Us. During the past 2 months, I finished Luke Cage and The Get Down – so watching Ron Cephas Jones be Bobby Fish, Cool Dad and now William made me black girl proud!

    So while we were all gushing over this episode, I talked to my coworker and he explained that he was glad this wasn’t the season finale because his fiance didn’t get to see her favorite character. I was truly clueless thinking, who’s favorite character ISN’T Randall. He then explained that Tobey is her favorite (guess the race) it was then that I remembered those other folks, LOL. I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the Pearson clan responds to William’s death. And I can’t wait to see babygirl put that fedora on Randall. I’m getting a little emotional just thinking of it!

    Initially I was going to try to keep my comment short, but when y’all mentioned just having a comment show I figured I could go all in LOL!

    Thanks again for another great recap and for making me cry in my car.

  4. ClassicRandBLover

    As I speculated in my response to the Jack Pearson’s Son episode, This Is Us killed off William following me slamming him to make me feel like ish. And let me tell you, I have never been so proud of being made to feel like ish in my life. Memphis was a beyond transcendent episode and stepped up the game of network television to perhaps an untouchable level. Sterling K. Brown, Ron Cephas Jones and the writers shouldn’t even have to submit their work for the Emmy. When the Emmys noms are announced, it should include the caveat that Best Actor, SKB, Best Supporting Actor, RCJ, Best Scripted Episode, Memphis, and Best Guest Performance, Paper Boi, have already been awarded to cast and crew of This Is Us for the Memphis episode.

    This episode was so powerful, I still found myself fighting back tears and crying uncontrollably as I read comments about the episode days later. Heck, I damn near broke down when I saw Sterling’s Facebook comments about the episode. Everything was handled so beautifully I just can’t cope. From the visit to the tree where William got to thank Jack for raising “their son,” to Randall being overjoyed to have a family member tel him he looked like his father, something he has been craving for damn near thirty-six years, to William telling Randall that he wanted the girls to remember looking up to rather than down at him, and the handing of of the book of poems from William to his “beautiful boy,” I don’t think I have ever seen a more perfect hour of television. This episode right here alone stands as the buy the season when it comes out on DVD episode because how can you deprive yourself of the ability to see Memphis again whenever you just need the love, the tears, the comfort an the blackness.

    Well, I have to stop because I feel my emotions welling up. But I want to end on this note — notice the one white thing included in the greatness of this black episode was Jack and notice how the showrunners knew that in order to have greatness, you could not have Miguel. HA!

  5. Crolle

    I hope that in the poems for my son that they let present day William narrate them (in ghost form) so that his presence will be there even after his passing. I watched some interviews and it seems that they did not give him a big send off behind the scenes, so he may still be “around”.

  6. Ada (Ah-DAH)

    This show had me so snotty the entire time – especially the end! I have no words for my love of William and hope that we’ll have flashbacks of the Memphis family and characters as the show progresses. I loved that his birth mother has so much more depth – helping take care of and love on William’s mother, trying to comfort William after her death.

    As soon as they showed the black family from back in the day, I knew that it was William and that he was going to die in the episode. I immediately had to pause for a cry break just seeing him as a baby knowing that he was going to die in the next 45 minutes of my viewing.

    It was so good to see Randall relaxing and beginning to enjoy life – from taking time off to do the trip, to meeting and joking with his new cousins, to getting on stage and awkwardly roboting to his father’s music. Even better seeing that William had some of the same awkwardness/shyness when he was younger. Hopefully, Randall doesn’t need drugs to get to that understanding of being open, letting the windows down, not making the bed sometimes, remembering that he deserves his great life, and taking care of himself.

    When he grabbed his father’s face and held him on the hospital bed the way his adopted father did and called William “Dad” for the first time, I was done. I was done. I had to pause for a cry break before he was fully dead. I then lost it again when William’s breathing stopped and then he went to his mother and older William hugged younger mother.

    I agree that the humor infused during this episode made it much more bearable and even more memorable. It was my favorite episode, yet – even with the need for so many tissues at the end.

    Thanks to both of you for the factual, real life tidbits about the actors, their lives, and their connections – I want to be friends with all of them!

    Thanks again for these podcasts; I watch Saturday mornings and then immediately listen to your recap. It’s like getting to talk about it with friends.

    Random thought: Is the reason Beth was not in the previous episode very much because she was getting her braids taken out and her natural squared away?

  7. t0DDMF

    Oh and they hired JasFly as part of the writing staff this past week. Having another black woman’s perspective certainly makes me optimistic about Beth’s character development. I love this black ass show!

  8. t0DDMF

    Not only did I not notice that Randall and William shared that awkwardness, but that they both grew up without their fathers. I think that will be somewhat of a theme in the Poems to My Son

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