Call me crazy, but as hard as last night’s episode of This Is Us was to watch, it was also more realistic than most. (ICYMI, it centered on Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) relationship.)
Episode 17, titled “R&B,” depicted their meet-cute, Randall’s proposal, their wedding, new parenthood and the rift that’s grown between them over the last several years. And while it’s difficult to watch one of the show’s strongest couples falter, it was also indicative of a very real relationship truth: Hard times come and go, but in the end, couples often fight about the same thing over and over again. For Randall and Beth, that’s deciding who will bend to the needs of the other…or as Beth sees it, who gets the best nacho.
By all accounts, Randall and Beth are both intelligent, successful and driven individuals. They have been since they met their freshman year of college. But while their educational and career backgrounds are similar, the power dynamic shifted when they became parents and began taking on traditional gender roles. Beth became the one to repeatedly take one for the team; the one to bend to Randall’s and her children’s needs. Ironically, this is exactly why she was hesitant to get married in the first place.