“This Is Us” Gratitude

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the conclusion of “Ozark” and how our household watched the series intently. Well, last week another series came to an end that meant even more to Sid and I than the dark plots and roller coaster ride of “Ozark.”

After six years, “This Is Us” wrapped up on NBC. The family drama was lauded by critics and was immensely popular with viewers—and for good reason. The series had the power to resonate with just about everyone and delivered consistently superb scripts with stellar performances that never failed to leave an emotional mark on viewers.

We sure enjoyed watching “This Is Us” over the past six years.

“This Is Us” is special to Sid and I because it had been a constant in our marriage. It premiered on September 20, 2016, just a few months after we tied the knot. From the moment it initially aired to the final episode last week, Sid and I were along for the entire ride. Although our routine of watching the new episode every Tuesday night shifted to watching it on Hulu later in the week, we never missed a show.

There was a lot to like about “This Is Us” but I think Sid and I enjoyed it so much because it was simply a realistic depiction of life. From culture to careers to relationships, the show was real. But perhaps the greatest attribute of “This Is Us” was its spotlight on the family. So many relevant, tricky, and magical aspects of the modern-day family were explored on a weekly basis throughout the six-year run. As my wife and I grew with the show and started to build our own family, the series was just that perfect fit in our lives.

It also provided a link of commonality with my parents and siblings. They all would watch “This Is Us” on a weekly basis as well. This led to many enthusiastic discussions and hot takes about the subject matter and actions of the characters. Especially when we were living on the east coast and my parents/siblings were on the west coast, “This Is Us” was a topic of discussion that seemed to bridge the miles.

The “This Is Us” finale succeeded in providing some closure.

My favorite characters were Jack and Kevin, but everyone says that my personality matched Randall the most. Sid was a big Beth fan. Our favorite guest character was the doctor who delivered the triplets, Dr. Nathan Katowski. I never really liked Toby but he did warm up to me in the last couple of seasons. I always enjoyed the Thanksgiving episodes and I thought the portrayal of Jack’s alcoholism was gritty yet touching. The use of music in the series was at times very effective and moving. Bottom line, “This Is Us” was that rare secular series that could warm my heart.

The conclusion of “This Is Us” will leave a small void for Sid and I. But with a seemingly endless supply of television content at our disposal, I am sure we will find something else that will pull our emotional heartstrings. Thank you to the cast and crew of “This Is Us” for a memorable half dozen years of outstanding programming. Don’t Blink.

My Favorite “This Is Us” Characters

Tonight is the season premiere of “This Is Us.” Call me soft, but my heart warms up a few degrees when I think about the show. As the third season kicks off tonight, Sid and I will once again be in front of the TV to watch. I enjoy the show because of the good acting, superb writing, and crazy plot twists. However, I love the show for a few reasons.

1. The family discussion that ensues – After the show, the Reser Pride 7.0 group message is turnt (did I really just use that word?). My family and our significant others discuss what happened and offer our theories and opinions.
2. The parallels to our own lives – No one can watch “This Is Us” and not have a theme or two resonate with them.
3. Holiday season is approaching – “This Is Us” always reminds me of the holiday season.

But that is my short list for the night, now time for the main event. In honor of the season premiere, I wanted to countdown my top 10 favorite “This Is Us” characters.

Time to reveal my favorite “This Is Us” characters.

10. Toby – I don’t like Toby.

9. Slyvester Stallone – You mean my favorite show also has guest appearances by Slyvester Stallone?! Sly was very understanding with Kevin as they worked together on a movie. He was down to earth and helpful when speaking to the former “Manny” star. Stallone’s charm is as strong and contagious as ever!

8. Randall’s daughters – These two little girls are just so cute and funny. Even more endearing, they are kind. When their parents randomly brought Deja home to live with them, they welcomed her with open arms. When she was sent back to live with her mom, they cried. When Deja came back, they greeted her with hugs. These girls are compassionate and loving, two traits that are lacking in this world.

7. Kate (young girl/teenager) – I feel so bad for Kate as she navigates the cruel world of childhood. Picked on by bullies and snubbed by friends, she also struggles to develop a meaningful relationship with her mom. Lucky for young Kate, she has her dad who can always shake her out of a depressed mood and get her to smile. I admire Kate’s strength and love for Madonna.

6. Miguel (present day) – Poor Miguel doesn’t have it easy. He married his deceased best friend’s wife and is resented by Rebecca’s adult children. However, he understands their bitterness and takes their jabs in stride. He has had some powerful moments and has proven himself to be a quality guy who didn’t pursue Rebecca until well after Jack’s death.

5. Randall Pearson (adult) – Randall, Randall, Randall. I like this guy, perhaps because I have a little of him in me. Sidney tells me that the two of us have the same personality and I am just fine with that. He is goal oriented, a workaholic, and a little obsessive. He can also be extremely corny! He tries to live his best life and I can respect that.

4. Rebecca Pearson (young mom) – Confession: A portion of my enjoyment for this character comes from the actress who plays her. I am a big Mandy Moore fan. She is talented, humble, and pretty. But as for the character “Rebecca,” she is the glue that holds the Pearsons together. She is an extremely strong woman – how else do you describe someone who delivered triplets, deals with an overbearing mom, watched her house burn down, and lost her husband to smoke inhalation?

3. Kevin Pearson (adult) – I know he is troubled throughout the series, but I like Kevin. I like his cockiness and some of his impulsive decisions. The role of “Kevin” needed to be cast the right way and I think the show nailed it. There is not an episode that this character does not bring a smile to my face.

2. Dr. Nathan Katowski – If this man was a regular character, he would probably be my number #1. He sealed it early on when he convinced the Pearsons to adopt Randall. You can’t help but shed a tear when Dr. Katowski delivers his advice and perspective to those who need it most. A compassionate doctor with a strong demeanor, this cast member should be in every single damn episode.

1. Jack – I would never go as far as to substitute the “J” in WWJD for “Jack” but the willingness of others to do so speaks to the character of this man. There is nothing that Jack can’t do for his family, even if it means beating an addiction or saving a dog from a burning house. He puts his kids first and treats his wife like a queen. Sure, he has his flaws but to question the heart of Jack Pearson would be to question the legend of Chuck Norris.


Whew! Hopefully you haven’t missed any of the premiere by reading this. What are you waiting for? Turn on NBC, grab some popcorn, and hop on the couch. Enjoy. Don’t Blink.

Super Bowl LII and “This Is Us” Recap

Last night, the three of us Resers sat down in the living room and watched Super Bowl LII. By the time the Philadelphia Eagles had pulled off the upset, Sloan was fast asleep in her crib and Sid and I transitioned to our bedroom to watch “the historic” episode of “This Is Us.” I have some thoughts on both the game and the episode.

When it came to the football that was played last night, I don’t think you could ask for much more (unless you are a Patriots fan). It was an entertaining and close game that lacked penalties and turnovers. Plenty of points were put up on the scoreboard and Tom Brady had a chance to send the game to overtime on the last drive of the game. For not having watched an NFL game from start to finish all season long, I was satisfied.

I thought the commercials were fine. I never let the cliché and expected line of “the commercials sucked this year” influence me. I thought there was a healthy mix of funny, thought-provoking, and moving ads. I especially liked the Pringles commercial (combining flavors to make new flavors, just like you can do with Jelly Belly flavors), the Hyundai Icelandic Vikings spot (loved the “We Will Rock You” remix), and the Blaze Doritos/Mt. Dew Ice cross-promotional campaign (extra points from me because last weekend I actually ate the Blaze Doritos and washed them down with a glass of Mt. Dew Ice). Although I wasn’t blown away by any commercial that I was inspired to re-watch it on YouTube, I didn’t think this year’s crop completely bombed.

Let me start by saying my wife loved the halftime show. She said she didn’t have one complaint. My review isn’t as glowing. I thought Justin Timberlake did a decent job – he performed all his hits, danced his butt off, and showed genuine enthusiasm throughout the entire performance. However, there just wasn’t a “wow” moment for me. Although not a Prince fan, I did enjoy the hologram tribute but it wasn’t enough to make Justin’s mini concert memorable for me. I was looking for something out of the ordinary. When Timberlake ran up into the stands, I thought he was going to fly back onto the field or re-appear somewhere else. I didn’t think it was going to end right there. I was also holding out for a special guest or a viral moment (besides the kid looking down at his phone). The show was good, but it wasn’t great.

Ten years from now I will remember very little, if anything, about Super Bowl LII. Heck, I don’t remember much from last year’s title game either. But it did make for a nice evening of Sunday entertainment.


I take partial blame for why I ultimately feel this way, but I was underwhelmed with last night’s “This Is Us” episode. Granted, I hyped it up way too much, even going as far as to blog about it. Perhaps my unrealistic expectations contributed to me briefly falling asleep during the final five minutes of the show. Although the show delivered a plot twist, it didn’t seem right to me that Jack died of smoke inhalation. Sure, it was triumphant when he busted out of the burning house with dog in tow after the family thought he was a goner, but his demise just seemed too melodramatic. I don’t want to offer up alternative ways that the show could have killed him off because that is morbid, but I think the way they did it missed the mark.

The futuristic angle at the end of the show (I was able to rewind and get caught back up after dozing off) was interesting. I am intrigued to see how they work with it in later episodes. When the Pearson siblings are depicted as their 37-year-old selves, it is in our present day as they mention current events going on in the world currently through background televisions (i.e. last night’s Super Bowl) so I am curious to see how they explain this new futuristic wrinkle.

I must say that I have had my emotional strings tugged a lot harder in several previous episodes than last night’s. But at least the mystery was solved and we can now move forward.


Thank you, NBC, for giving us about 6 hours of programming last night. It was quite the ride. With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, let the ratings bonanza continue. Don’t Blink.

On Feb. 4, Our Questions Will Be Answered

It is about time! At the conclusion of last night’s “This Is Us” episode, a voiceover informed us that “all your questions will be answered” when the series resumes on Super Bowl Sunday after the game. Although that means we still have 11 days to wait, at least we now know for sure that on February 4 we will learn how the dad died.

Not that it doesn’t seem obvious. If we take the clues given from the previous “This Is Us” episodes, especially the one last night, it would seem logical that Jack meets his demise when he re-enters the house to save the family dog. But who are we kidding? The “This Is Us” writers are known for misdirection and curve balls so perhaps a big surprise awaits us.

As the greatest television mystery is about to be solved, I want to thank “This Is Us” for giving my family something to look forward to every week. Our “Reser Pride 4.0” group message becomes pretty active on Tuesday mornings as we text about how excited we are for that night’s show. Sid and I get to watch it first on the east coast. After sending a message to the group on whether it was a “good” or “bad” episode, we go to bed. My brother and sister then watch it on the west coast. My parents are late to the party as they usually DVR it and watch it later in the week.

After everyone has watched the latest episode, we then discuss it. We are all pretty enthusiastic about “This Is Us” except for my dad, who claims he hates it, but we all think he secretly likes it. Although we have the characters we enjoy (Kevin for me) and those who we loathe (Toby for me), we all can admit that everyone in the cast contributes to an engaging show.

There is so much I can say about “This Is Us” but I will just point out a few thoughts I have on the show.
– I find it impressive and borderline freaky that the children who play Kate, Kevin, and Randall are spot on representations of their adult characters.
– Since having Sloan, I get a little emotional watching the Jack-Kate dynamic. He treats his daughter with so much love and compassion.
– I thought last night’s episode was excellent which I appreciated because I thought the last two episodes, especially the one from last week, missed the mark.
– I am crossing my fingers that the doctor who delivered the Pearson kids will make an appearance in this upcoming episode – he is my favorite recurring character!
– Anyone else not really feeling the Randall/Beth apartment renovating angle? I know it is probably supposed to parallel Jack/Rebecca planning to flip a house but it just seems like a stretch.
– I personally root for Miguel!

Tomorrow we can start the 10 day countdown. You can bet there will be some chatter about it on the Reser Pride 4.0 group message! Don’t Blink.

Sending A Thursday Rundown Your Way

My oh my, what a gorgeous day it was in Myrtle Beach. The sunshine always puts me in a good mood. You know what else puts me in a good mood? Writing a Thursday Rundown! Let’s go…

Snail Mail – Our favorite calligrapher now sends us beautiful cards in the mail. Brooke Holden, the person behind our chalkboard baby announcement, is now sending customers/newsletter subscribers a few personalized cards in the mail each year. They come randomly and are such a nice surprise. Check out Brooke’s website if you have any calligraphy needs.

Inside this perfectly addressed envelope were samples of her work using the names of Sidney and I.

Coastal Now – At Coastal Carolina University, we produce an awesome show called Coastal Now. Some of you might know that I have my own social media segment on the show called the Social Circle. Well, the latest episode has been released. In this most recent segment, I highlight our #CCU Keys to Success campaign. If you have the guts to watch me on camera, you can watch it by clicking here.

If you the time, take a look at my latest Social Circle segment.

Baby Update – After all the excitement we had this past weekend preparing our house for our new addition, things didn’t slow down completely this week. We had another ultrasound today where we had another beautiful opportunity to see our daughter. Last night, my father-in-law set up the bassinet where our baby will sleep for the first couple months. Pretty glamorous, right? Last but not least, Sidney has her work baby shower to look forward to on Monday.

This bassinet is now in our room waiting for our daughter.

Top Movie When I Was Born – Last night I made a big deal about the website that allows you to find out what the #1 song in the country was at time of your birth. Believe it or not, that same website will also tell you the #1 MOVIE in the country at the time of your birth as well. What film was generating the most money in the theaters when I was born? It was “Crocodile Dundee.” I don’t know if that is something I should be proud of.

This Is Us Reaction – Like much of the country, Sid and I have devoted Tuesday nights to watching “This Is Us.” The second to last episode of the season was this week and it left us with a cliffhanger along with possible clues on how the dad (“Jack” played by Milo Ventimigila) dies. All I can say is this: I sure hope NBC is just giving us a little bit of misdirection and that Jack doesn’t die drunk behind the wheel. In my opinion, I think that development would be even worse than the angle of Kevin getting back together with his ex-wife.


That is all I have for now. Enjoy your upcoming weekend and thank you for your support of my blog. Don’t Blink.

First Thursday Rundown With a Baby Update

Okay everyone, it is Thursday! With most of the work week in the books, let’s celebrate with the latest Thursday Rundown installment.

Baby Update – Yesterday, Sidney had her latest appointment with the doctor. We had the thrill of listening to the sound of our baby’s heartbeat. Everything seems to be going well and at the next appointment in four weeks we will be able to find out the sex of our baby. A week ago, we purchased the crib. It is already set up in our office area upstairs.

This is the crib we bought last week for our baby!

This is the crib we bought last week for our baby!

Newest Show – Sidney and I have found our newest show and it is NBC’s “This Is Us.” The series is on every Tuesday night and the actual runtime of each episode is about 27 minutes but commercials stretch it to an hour. Besides the constant advertisements, we enjoy watching it. “This Is Us” tells the story of triplets by going back and forth between their childhood and adulthood. Mandy Moore stars in it as the mom and several other actors give solid performances. The show is unique and I recommend that you give it a try.

The Loris Bog-Off – Last Saturday, Sidney and I went to Loris, South Carolina, for an annual festival. Called the Loris Bog-Off, the event centers around a chicken bog competition. However, the small South Carolina town offers much more on this day than just a favorite local dish. The downtown areas becomes a hub for music, entertainment, and vendors. I finished up my bog just in time to watch the chicken clucking contest. Sidney and I sat on bleachers and howled as we watched some of the contestants (men, women, and children) give their perfect clucking calls.

Sid and I at the Loris Bog-Off last Saturday. On the right is the actual winner of the Bog-Off.

Sid and I at the Loris Bog-Off last Saturday. On the right is the actual winner of the Bog-Off.

Final Debate Reaction – I watched every minute of the three presidential debates. By far, last night’s was the most organized and controlled. However, that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the madness of the other two. I just appreciated the dynamic of watching a career politician go up against a career businessman. In my opinion, both candidates had their moments. I can say with absolute certainty that I know who I will be voting for.

Cool Supermarket Promotion – The grocery store right by our house is offering a pretty cool promotion. If you spend so many dollars at Lowe’s you will be given (drum roll please)….a set of knives. Okay, maybe not the most exciting prize but it is definitely something to shoot for. Those who participate are given a stamp for every $10 spent. Once you fill up the board, you get the knives. At the rate we go to Lowe’s, this shouldn’t be a problem!

For every $10 spent, you get a stamp. Just $790 more dollars to go for us!

For every $10 spent, you get a stamp. Just $790 more dollars to go for us!


I extend my best October wishes to all my readers. Have a safe weekend and we will touch base soon. Don’t Blink.