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TTM 56: The Waiting Room, Don’t Take My Sunshine Away

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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

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  1. rodimusprime

    Maaaaaan look… as a man I’m going to take my time and drag my mans, Randall… I doubled down on him before he worse and DAMMIT I WILL STAY THE COURSE THROUGH HELL AND HIGH WATER.

    Randall is a lot…and has been a lot for his entire life. He is draining and while it might have been cute when he was a child, we say how these traits negatively impacted his life. He has what we call in my profession tunnel vision (the tendency to become so focused on a singular thing that one disregards things happening in their periphery). He also has a bad habit of getting mad defensive whenever he gets any type of certain constructive criticism. He also lacks the ability to be introspective… If they are going to make it he needs to look at what he’s doing wrong, fix yourself so you can not add to the problems of life

    My name is J and I am a Randall…Who happens to be married to be a woman named Beth who identifies as Beth…MESSAGE.

    My thoughts on Beth, it seems as though she has issues when it comes to internalizing her issues and voicing her issues. It also seems as if she has a tendency to bend towards the will of others. I was done when she caved at the grocery store…also…I feel like that was a setup from William, cause William be knowing. I believe a lot of Beth’s internalizing issues come from her mother. I say this because she definitely gave up on what she loved after her mom presented her with that 1000 ways to college book.

    The only way for them to work this thing out is to look within themselves and because they are the perfect storm… an unbendable man with tunnel vision and a woman and bends to her own detriment.

    This shit here…is indeed too much.-J

  2. Anonymous

    Hey Rod and Bassey,

    This episode was a LOT. I hope the next episode they all get therapy. Both couples and individual therapy because its clear they both have a lot of stuff to work on themselves.

    Seeing the way Randall pursued Beth almost relentlessly brought up a couple of mixed emotions for me. I thought it was sweet how hard he tried, but it was also just like it seems like he never really tuned in to what her interests are, but what he thought her interests were.

    I also hope that next episode we see how Beth went from telling Randall off in the first date to being engaged to the man 7 years later. Like was he just blowing up her spot the whole time?

    One thing that did throw me off was which school did they go to for Undergrad. I thought that it was Howard the whole time but then Beth said that people wanted them to date because they were the only two black people in their year. Did they do Howard for grad School?

    I loved having an episode focused on the black Pearsons and I hope this wasn’t their way of saying goodbye to the black Pearsons as a unit. I think Randall might be willing to work this out. that is if he realizes how much stress and emotional labor hes put on Beth all these years. I think Beth is tired though. She seems like shes pretty much tapped out. But I may just be reading too much into it.

    Anyways thanks again,


  3. katrese206

    I can totally relate the R&B situation. I’ve been on both sides of the coin… as the person tip toeing around an ultra sensitive person’s feelings… & also as the ultra sensitive person that couldn’t receive constructive criticism.

    I think the writers gave great context for Beth’s current frustrations. What can be seen as enabling on Beth’s part, is actually rooted in the fact that Randall is ultra sensitive & needy, & isn’t self aware.

    Looking at their relationship, with all this context, it seems kind of manic. Where he can be extremely passionate, supportive & loving… his inability to hear Beth’s needs/criticisms & his emotional splurges/choices, are totally draining & derailing. I think Beth feels as though she’s been patient & supportive, & just can’t take another roller coaster ride with him.

    Finally, I found it extremely interesting that Randall said that Beth relished being in control of her household… Another example of how clueless Randall is. I don’t think he understood that she took on that role because she had to sacrifice herself for him. Like she told him as they were eating nachos, they’re both strong willed & ambitious… but, Randall is obsessive, so she’d have to step aside.

  4. rodimusprime

    Hello Bassey and Rod,
    Sooooo, look…
    1) I hold firm to my idea about Kevin hoping that he could “change Zoe’s” mind on having children. Kevin has never had a declarative statement on not having kids. Zoe was firm and clear about her plans to not have children. I think that Kevin is not conniving but I do think that he thinks he might be able to charm his way into changing Zoe’s mind. A friend of mine, got married to a woman who, in the beginning of their marriage, stated that she did not want kids and my friend, who is very charming, outgoing and a good talker, was somewhat ambiguous on the matter. A year later, they were pregnant. I find it interesting that society can pressure woman into thinking that kids are what they want and is what makes a marriage complete.

    2) That anxiety shot, that Beth made to Randall was TERRIBLE and uncalled for but I get that Beth was unintentionally trying to cut deep. Now as for Randall gas lighting Beth on some “revisionist history” I think he clearly believes that what he is doing is right and that his job feels “more important” than Beth’s. Of course, he would never confess that because he does not want to be the bad guy. He does not want to embody that person he saw in Jack, the night he witnessed Jack and Rebecca have the “big argument”. He constantly wants to be the capped crusader and the choices that he has unilaterally made are based on him trying to save the world. How can Beth say “no” to that? I do believe that Beth has some responsibility in these things escalating but Randall comes in hot all the time and goes 110% on everything that he does and every emotion he feels, steamrolling over Beth. I don’t think Beth is a wilting flower but merely trying to be an equalizer to Randall and his big personality.

    3) I love the flashback sequences this episode and that season finale looks like it will indeed, be too much. I don’t think that Beth and Randall will get a divorce, because of the fact that even though they were the angriest they have probably ever been with each other, there was still a hint of longing from their final scenes. If I was truly done with my husband, there is no way in hell, I’d be sleeping on the floor and not in my damn bed. Love you two’s commentary and review of this great show.


  5. rodimusprime

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    This episode was absolutely heartbreaking. I love Randall and Beth so much and I can’t understand why the writers would do this to us. Why would they show us this seemingly perfect couple and the epitome of black love only to tear them apart? But one thing this show has demonstrated is that Randall is Jack. I never realized how much until this episode. Rebecca has bent to Jack’s will all throughout their marriage and when she finally asserted herself with her singing, her and Jack separated. I think Beth and Randall may separate too but I hope like Jack and Rebecca they find their way back to each other.

    While I do think Randall is mostly at fault with their problems, Beth holds some of the blame as well. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Yes, Randall is overwhelming but at some point, Beth needed to assert herself instead of letting it fester all these years and now she ended up saying something she couldn’t take back. Sure what she said was below the belt but his voicemail was out of pocket too.

    I hope they work it out because this show doesn’t work without their beautiful black love?

    Evie E

    P.S. Fuck Sophie.

  6. FalconsDiva

    Rod and Bassey….

    Bassey and Rod….

    Beth was fed the fuck up!!!

    Ok I love how y’all are able to look at both sides of the Black Pearson’s relationship – because I can’t. So much about this reminded me of my marriage. And I’ve said before, Beth is me and I am Beth. I haven’t liked Randall since the Las Vegas episode so this has been building for me too.

    Whew! I felt bad for Beth from the beginning. Before I got married, the best advice I got was to communicate my likes and dislikes. During disagreements, my ex would always flip it back on me, but I always said what I needed to say. Like you, Rod – I’m not one for a bunch of drama so we rarely had full blown arguments. After 2 years of having the same argument, I was out. Like Beth, I was sometimes guilty of caving in to keep the peace. What’s funny is, when I told him I wanted a divorce and listed all my reasons, he had to admit that I had expressed my discontent before – but because I wasn’t yelling and all emotional, he didn’t think I was serious. Anyway – I’s free nah!

    I’ll admit, Beth’s panic attack comment was a low blow, but Randall has been delivering little cuts for years. Even I did the Wee Bey gif when she said it – I had to remind myself to breathe. Then I remembered his snide comment in Vegas about her not having a heart, his multiple ‘don’t talk about my mama’ comments and the voicemail… YO!!! I loved how they flashed back to the Jack and Rebecca argument when Jack belittled Rebecca’s singing career at a late age. That was another Wee Bey gif moment.

    Then that nigga said she waited 20 years to dream! NIGGA!!! The difference is, Randall quit his good job to dream – and never really tried to get another good paying job. Beth LOST her job – tried with no success to get another job and then realized she needed to realize her dream.

    WHEW!!! I’m getting heated just thinking about it. I called Randall a whole-ass bitch when he left that voicemail but I was ready to windmill his ass at the end of this episode.

    I can’t wait to hear y’all recap this episode. I’m sure you’ll help me see everything a little clearer.

    BTW, y’all caught me off guard with this one – I was semi-stalking Bassey’s social media to see if she was still touring. I was trying to gauge when y’all would do TTM. I hope I can be in the live chat next time.


    Love Y’all!!!

  7. ClassicRandBLover

    Hi Rod and Bassey,

    Such a great episode. I love how the show shifted the Randall and Beth paradigm, and least for me. I’m still pissed at Randall, but this episode proved how complicated relationships are and showed why it’s just not that simple.

    We went into this season thinking we were watching the great black couple unravel before our eyes, when in fact, we were dropped into the end phase of a relationship that has been slowly unraveling for years. I dare say, given what we saw, I question if Randall and Beth were well paired in terms of their individual selves. As a couple they were surface perfect, but the parts of their whole seem slightly askew. Hell, the show laid the foundation with the note William left Beth when he died. As an adult living in that house and watching Randall and Beth’s union objectively and without the baggage of having born witness to their years together before marriage, he knew they were in serious trouble and that if Beth couldn’t find her voice, she would break.

    While Beth spoke a lot of truths, Randall was also right when he told her that on some level, her role in their relationship was exactly what she wanted it to be. For lack of a better phrase, some part of Beth loved, Randall’s self-absorbed neediness that centered her because she hadn’t yet found the inner strength to challenge her mother for taking away her dream, and this left her floundering. Randall’s “Randallness” gave Beth something that would absorb all of her excess time and energy. Notice how the acceptance of Randall’s proposal came after Rebecca told Beth it how she centered Randall and made him feel purpose. It’s no coincidence that things are coming to a head now that Beth has slain her emotional dragon. This episode adds so many new layers to the Beth centered episode.

    Damn, I love this show.

  8. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey

    Welp ,I was glad we got this episode but sad that it seemed it was only shown to show how Randall had always gotten his way throughout their marriage. Wow this episode really showed me Randall and Kevin are one in the same because Randall really did use his charm on Beth in a somewhat similar way that Kevin uses his charm on people.

    Randall really be thinking about everyone except his own immediately family(Beth and the girls) . Negro you have a family of your own and they need you there , why can Randall not understand this concept. Also Tess and Deja got the house , they need to trust those girls can lookout for each other. He doesn’t understand he can’t be everywhere and be there for everybody. It’s like he’s chasing his dad’s ghost trying so fucking hard to be like he thought Jack was-like some modern day superhero. But as we have seen this season – Jack was flawed too! It’s almost like he is scared to fail at anything , but Randall in the real world everybody fails sometimes- nothing is always perfect.

    My hope from the season finale preview is that Randall does seriously consider stepping down from his council position , puts on his members only jacket and starts a new weather derivatives company and works from home ….lol. It’s what Beth deserves Randall – let your lady shine dawg , she let you shine for years in your marriage.Do right by her nigga …lol

    Loved the Living Single conversations between Randall and Beth by the way . That was so cute!

    Noooooooo…….at Rebecca being in a bad car wreck, hopefully that’s not why they were going to visit her – from the flash forward scene.

    Thanks again Rod and Bassey


  9. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey,

    We just gotta get through this together!! I’m simply undone by the excellence of this episode from top to bottom. The heavy lifting the ensemble of this episode did was more than I expected. The writing was so real. The true love. That proposal. The tension. The conflict and chaos. The destruction. Utter destruction.

    What a breathtaking journey we were taken on by the saga of the many Randall’s and Beth’s (college Randall and Beth, soon to be engaged Randall and Beth, jumping the broom Randall and Beth, newborn baby nursing Randall and Beth, William and bum ass Kevin done moved in Randall and Beth, and warring Randall and Beth). And all throughout I could feel Beth slipping away from herself and what she wanted and yet not speaking into the feeling full throated. Never 100% strong in her opinion whatsoever. I’m not really sure what Randall’s reaction would have been if she had snapped at any of those instances to be honest. The charm would probably set in followed by some speech and perhaps she would cave like she always does. He’s not incorrect when he says she’s apart of the problem. And yet him saying that feels cheap af and rings so hollow. If you’ve seen it all along why the fukk would you let the cycle continue unless you love that shyt??

    Every show has their troupe that we all either love or groan about. So there’s Scandal pace where they talk hella fast and read for filth in very long unbroken scenes…this show will ‘This is Us’ you to absolute death where they pour out their entire soul (firehouse story or the story of Jack’s many wonders and/or his death among so many other experiences) to some rando at a grocery store or the characters will have perfect story for the perfect resolution (Rebecca pulling that young Randall story out of her ass without so much as a breath). You both have masterfully picked up on it (I die when you break those moments down because who does this kind of thing except the Big Three and Rebecca). If we didn’t think young Beth was the shyt back then surely we knew when she hit Randall with that ‘This Tew Much Dawg…I only met you 15 minutes ago why should I truly care’ at the restaurant. Randall outkicked his coverage back in the day even though he’s also jawn. That’s a young Morris Chestnut right there and I hope he has a long career with a range of roles.

    Randall has always been a lot. And she’s always been bending to his will from the very first date. Most times it’s a beautiful act where she’s convinced into something by how sweetly he loves her….other times it has devastating consequences.

    She planned the wedding herself while he wrote a dissertation as wedding vows. She said it. But she didn’t stand up in her shyt 100%. Perhaps wrong place and time but the build up continued for years.

    I was shook af when they ran up on her at the grocery store. I gagged so many times during this episode to be honest. I felt so bad for her. She clearly just needed a moment when she dipped on them and lied about the Hershey Trip. Why didn’t she hit the grocery store outside of town LOL. What part of the G code was that? She was crying out for a moment with all them men in the home and yet as per usual she caved once he invaded her good time with his relatability. Shoutout out to Jagged Edge and Living Single and Coogi sweater references. What a good black ass time we have when it’s Black Pearson episodes. And yet I understand the feeling of just wanting to be alone together with someone you love. But this was not that moment Beth. Take the win when it’s offered. She shoulda dipped on them and went to be by herself.

    What she said at mini golf was pretty effed up even if she was being pressured to accept his proposal. And the real proposal was still amazing even though we had already heard it. Was she truly ready to say yes that day or was she simply convinced to do so?? Who knows. And her analogy of the nachos was exactly what their relationship is. And she cavedddd again when she faced the smallest bit of challenge from him.

    I think he could apologize for the voicemail and they move on but she can ever really apologize for throwing his anxiety attacks in his face?? She’s joked about it before in passing with other people and it never seemed malicious but this was a bridge too far and I eff with her! I literally shouted ‘Awww fukkk. Take it back….oh no you just can’t…shyt!!!’ She went from classy to ashy and I hated to see it happen. My question after watching that fight that lasted like 12 minutes was this: was it just her nature to go with his flow not matter how much she was drowning? He’s absolutely right. She can’t place the full blame on him for losing herself. They both have an MO that they fail to acknowledge. He didn’t acknowledge his set in ways either. He was just ducking full responsibility for her feelings and I can understand the propensity to do that. Who wants to be blamed for 20 years of pent up feelings??

    Randall was def raised by white people. He ain’t get his check back. I saw her slide it into her pocket on my second watch. That’s the stuff these ashy niggas be starting twitter threads about Lolol.

    I truly am excited to keep going on this emotional rollercoaster. They’ve hurt each other deeply but I think love may see them through it. Even if it doesn’t I’m still anxious to see it all unfold.

    Y’all the shyt in this bishhhh.


  10. Miss1ko

    Y’alls hate for Kevin’s Ex ( I can’t be bothered to remember her name) is so hilariously blinding.

    I believe he was back on drugs and he actually did her wrong the second time around. The first time they were married he cheated on her with more than one woman. And when he came back to her the second time, it was after things didn’t go well with the other two women.

    Y’all cracketh me up!

  11. Dr. Mike

    Finally, my expertise in molecular biology is relevant for the show! It’s a little long for this comment box, but please keep an eye out for my 10,000-word explanation of organelles. The mitochondria, both the powerhouse of the cell and the initiator of cellular self-destruction, is the perfect metaphor for Randall’s transition from being the powerhouse of the family to initiating the self-destruction of his marriage. The writing has so many layers!

    Seriously though, thank you both for this show and for introducing me to This Is Us in the first place!

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