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This Is Us tackles parenting during puberty and pandemics

This Is Us’ fifth season premiere had the massive hurdle of reintroducing the show in its new pandemic reality. This week, the series (mostly) gets back to business as usual. This is a sweet, gentle, slightly scattered episode that continues some threads from last week and introduces some new ones as well. It’s loosely centered around the theme of parenting during times of great change, be that the infant years or the teenage ones. And it ultimately hinges on the thesis that even the best parents make mistakes—especially when they’ve got more than one kid to deal with

The middle school Big Three make their welcome return this week, all looking remarkably grown-up as they head into their 8th grade year! The Pearson family doctor wishes Jack and Rebecca luck when it comes to juggling three teens on the cusp of puberty, but all things considered our First Couple do pretty well for themselves. Rebecca follows her commitment to being a non-meddling “cool mom” and manages to make a sweet connection with Kate in the process. And Jack and Kevin enjoy some of the most purely joyful scenes we’ve ever seen between them as Jack teaches his son to lift weights with a gentler touch than his own father used on him.

And yet even so, Jack and Rebecca still miss things. High on his father’s praise and the potential to be the next Terry Bradshaw (minus the hair loss), Kevin develops the beginnings of a workout addiction that will characterize his entire adult life. Randall, meanwhile, retreats into anxious, internalized shame when Kate’s friend Tonya flirts with him and then announces, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to kiss someone like you.” Like Kevin, young Randall establishes a pattern that he’ll follow for most of his adult life. Read from source….