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THIS IS US: Randall Dismantled As Sterling K. Brown Delivers Masterful Performance

Courtesy/NBC

In yet another riveting performance by Sterling K. Brown, the highly-touted episode that aired on Tuesday’s night’s This Is Us, had his character of Randall in the spotlight again, as the first of the Big Three trilogy this season.  Next week, look for the installment to center on Justin Hartley’s Kevin.However, last night on the episode aptly titled, “Hello of a Week: Part One”, viewers followed what happened next to Randall following his return home after the stress of flying across the country to get a diagnosis for his ailing mother’s memory lapses (while keeping it from his siblings), and then winding up facing an intruder in the Pearson family home.After Randall offers the intruder money, the guy runs out of the home.

Next, the police come, and Randall installs surveillance cameras and security alarms throughout the house, which ends up being a continued tipping point in his mental state as he obsesses over keeping his family and his home safe, especially when the cops tells him that it is common for a thief to return,. It appears later in the episode he did when Beth’s earrings and Randall’s cufflinks are MIA.

Photo by: NBC

Throughout the episode, flashbacks to Randall’s childhood showed little Randall, unable to sleep and afraid of monsters, who then asks his dad, Jack to stay with him through the night.  Jack sleeps on the floor, but when Jack eventually gets up to go to his own bed, he tells Randall who comes running after him, “to be brave: and that he needs him to be the easiest child to care for since Kate and Kevin are handfuls.

This laid the foundation for how Randall deals with others, by not letting them know his inner most feelings.   The writers juxtapose Randall’s dreams throughout where he feels he can’t get out whether it be screaming through a locked window at his mother to get out of the storm, or watching some creepy guy touch Beth and he screams so loud, but you can’t hear him,

In addition, in flashbacks, we see how a college-aged Randall needing college-aged Beth to spend countless nights with him. At one point he tells her, “I just feel so helpless, like I have no control over anything,” especially following the death of his father Jack.  Beth says she can understand. She had bad dreams after her father passed away, but after she talked to a therapist she began to feel better.  In a key moment, Randall agrees to attend an grief group with her, but that plan goes awry when on the day they were heading to the grief counseling group, Randall’s family has an emergency and he could not go.

The theme of Randall seeking counseling surfaced later in the episode after Randall was struggling to hold it together as City Councilman at the Town Hall, which did not go unnoticed by Beth or by Malik’s dad, Darnell.

The next day, he tells Randall that he himself needed therapy and suggest he do that to.  Randall says all he needs is his runs around the city to help him clear his head.  But that takes another drastic turn when Randall comes upon a woman being beaten and proceeds to pounce on the aggressor.  Next, Randall with messed up arm from landing punches on the guy, ends up being touted as a hero for saving the woman’s life.  He is not comfortable with that and he begins to lose his grip.

In the culmination of the episode, locking himself in the bathroom in his home, Randall begins to cry and phones Kevin.  Thank God his brother answered, as he seems to be the only person Randall feels he can talk to, and has, through his life.  At the time of the call, Kevin is in bed with what looks to potentially be Sophie, because he was heading back to Pittsburgh for a funeral of one of her parents.  But is it Sophie, or another woman?

During their call, Randall begs Kevin just to talk, and to please  distract him. Kevin promises his brother, “I’m the guy that’s gonna get you through this,”   Will Kevin ultimately help Randall, or will what happens next become the huge rift that we know exists between the brothers in the flash-forward viewers learned about episodes ago?

This Is Us executive producers, Issac Aptaker, and Elizabeth Berger weighed-in on revisiting Randall’s anxiety and panic attacks with Entertaintment Weekly. This is something that was hot on all of our minds, because over the past year, a couple of the writers in our room had had people break into their homes when they were home,” shared Issac Aptaker.  “People would come in and we would see the impact that it has on you when someone invades your space like that — the aftermath and the fallout. So, as we were looking at what Randall’s season would look like, and what would be potentially the breaking point for him with all that’s been brewing this year, it was at the front of all of our minds at how upsetting something like that can be.”

“We’ve seen that Randall is someone that is so in touch with his feelings emotionally, and he is so willing to talk about everything, but there does seem to be this block with him when it comes to therapy, where he just does not want to engage,” says Elizabeth Berger. “That really fascinated all of us and got us thinking, “What’s that about? And how do we get him to a point where he has his back against the wall and has to move past coping mechanisms and keeping things just below the surface and finally deal with them?” And this felt like a really compelling way to go about that.”

When all was said and done, Sterling K. Brown delivered a nuanced and masterful performance as viewers watched Randall slowly but surely, struggling to cope with all the pressure, and horrific events that happened to him one after the other, as Randall’s anxiety and panic attacks were about to reach epic proportions.

So, what did you think of last night’s This Is Us? Sterling’s performance? Comment below.

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To me, Mr. Brown is one of the industry’s most overrated actors. He’s competent and obviously dedicated. But he telegraphs every emotion ahead of time so we know exactly which expression he’ll have (usually either bewilderment or confusion), just as he did in THE PEOPLE VS. O. J. SIMPSON. Whenever an episode focuses entirely on Randall, the show grinds to a very slow trot. It’s best when the adult siblings are interacting. That’s the show’s strength.

American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL: Ziggy Krassenberg and Abi Carter Impress the Judges and Bring the Tears

On Sunday night’s February 25th episode of American Idol, there were several strong performances by young talent. However, when the smoke cleared, two will remain most memorable. Just how far they will go as the competition progresses no one knows, but in the case of one of them, two of the Idol judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, think they found the season’s winner.

First, viewers met Holland’s Ziggy Krassenberg. Previously, Ziggy revealed he competed on the Dutch version of ‘Idol’ and came in at seventh place. A social media influencer, Ziggy is known for his blue and pink-tinged hair.

Fans of the show on social media seemed split on Ziggy, including those that felt he should not compete in the American-version of ‘Idol’, since he comes from The Netherlands. But a cautionary tale here folks! Nutsa made it into the Top 25 and beyond on last season of ‘Idol’ and she hailed from the country of Georgia.

Photo: ABC

Once in the audition room, when Katy, Lionel and Luke asked Ziggy about his background, he said people don’t like him in his home country because of his “big personality” and call him “cotton candy.”

Next, Ziggy let out a beautiful rendition of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons.” Following his performance, he was asked about his mother, who he said was a drug addict and not around, and his father, who he had a difficult relationship passed away last year, and so he raised himself. Lionel noted that Ziggy had been trying to be accepted by people his whole life, now it’s their turn to help raise him up. Ziggy was in tears and received a golden ticket. Watch went down below.

Later in the episode, we meet 21-year-old Abi Carter from Indio, California. She is about to play the piano and sing “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish from the Barbie movie. As she does, members of her family – brother, sisters and mom, listen in the doorway, while the brother tries to watch Abi’s audition looking through a crack of the door on the floor.

Inside, Carter delivered her own rendition of the Eilish Grammy-award winning Song of the Year. The judges fell in love with her perfect performance and how unique her voice was juxtaposed with her rendition of the tune. Afterwards, Abi is in tears.

Photo: ABC

Katy Perry stepped out from behind the judges desk and walked over to a Carter, praising her for singing from the heart and asking “What were you made for for? You were made for this, 100-percent.” Next, Abi’s family ran into the room for a group hug, bringing everyone to even more tears.

Watch Abi’s performance below.

What did you think of Ziggy and Abi’s performances on American Idol and the emotional moments that their auditions brought with it? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

Eva LaRue Makes Her ‘General Hospital’ Debut: What Were Your First Impressions of Natalia Rogers-Ramirez?

On the Monday, February 26th episode of General Hospital, former All My Children favorite, Eva LaRue (ex-Maria Santos), made her first appearance in her new recurring role of Blaze’s (Jacqueline Grace Lopez) mother, Natalia Rogers-Ramirez.

In key scenes, as Kristina (Kate Mansi) and Blaze are happy after spending the night together, Kristina is in for a shock when she is still in bed and the door opens and Blaze’s mother, Natalia strolls in seemingly oblivious to walked she just walked in.

Natalia announces, “Alison, Mommy’s here!” Then, Natalia looks over and sees Kristina in bed and both women are a bit startled. Kristina introduces herself to “Mrs. Rogers-Ramirez.” However, Natalia corrects her and says it’s “Miss.”

Photo: ABC

Next, Blaze walks into the room still in her robe. She is very shocked that her mother arrived in Port Charles much earlier than expected. Natalia wants an explanation of just what she walked in on. It is then, Kristina concocts a story and explains they had a girls’ night, and it got late so Alison let her crash.

Natalia seems to buy into Kristina’s lies. Blaze starts to argue with her mother over the non-vegan sandals her mother brought her from Puerto Rico and her grandmother’s pudding, which she has told her in the past she dislikes. Kristina pipes in that the reason Alison doesn’t like it, is because of the texture and the same goes for avocado and flan. Natalia says she thinks she knows her own daughter.

Photo: ABC

Then, Blaze gets more upset and asks Kristina to stay and be by her side. Blaze announces that she and Kristina are more than just friends. We already know that Natalia is from a very conservative background, so we anticipate on tomorrow’s episode of GH, she won’t approve finding out her daughter is gay. Stay-tuned.

So, were you happy to see Eva LaRue back on daytime and now on General Hospital? What were you first impressions of her new character Natalia Rogers-Ramirez? Share your thoughts in the comment section, but first, check out the scenes from her arrival below,

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Recaps

WWE Elimination Chamber 2024: Becky Lynch and Drew McIntrye Punch Their Tickets to ‘WrestleMania 40’

On Saturday morning (U.S. time zones) and emanating for the first time from Perth, Australia, Peacock streamed the WWE Elimination Chamber 2024, which set the stage for some final title belt match-ups going into WrestleMania 40 come April in Philadelphia.

The first bout of the  was the women’s elimination chamber match-up with the winner facing Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania for the WWE Women’s Championship (Ripley retained her title in the main event in her homeland at the end of the night on Saturday against Nia Jax).

Bianca Belair, Tiffany Stratton, Naomi, Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan and “The Man” Becky Lynch were the participants. When the smoke cleared, the crowd was most impressed by the moves of Stratton, but she was eliminating earlier in the match.

Photo: WWE

The three final participants were Belair, Morgan and Lynch. However, it wasn’t going to be the EST’s night as Belair was eliminated by Morgan and then Lynch pinned Morgan. Becky was victorious.

In the men’s elimination chamber match-up, the winner would go on to WrestleMania to battle Seth “Freakin” Rollins for the WWE World Championship.  The men’s ‘chamber’ also opened up many storylines to come.

Battling it out were Drew McIntrye, L.A. Knight, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton and Logan Paul. Interference by A.J. Styles out of nowhere and attacking Knight with a chair, set up “The Mega-Star’s” elimination.

Photo: WWE

Later, after Randy Orton eliminated Logan Paul (with his brass knuckles), the match got down to two … Orton or McIntrye. However, Paul rose up from the ring apron and hit Orton in the head with the ‘knucks’ allowing McIntrye to get the pin.

Looks like Orton vs Paul and Styles vs. L.A. Knight might also be on tap for some major WrestleMania 40 feuds.

So, happy or unhappy with the outcome of the elimination chamber winners, Becky Lynch and Drew McIntyre? Comment below.

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