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S04.E07: The Dinner and the Date

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1 hour ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I also don't understand how a 15/16 year old would have received custody of an infant, unless he was emancipated.  Wouldn't his parents have been given custody until he reached his majority?  Doesn't the same issue occur when a parent dies and the oldest child is not yet 18 and can therefore not be the legal custodian for the younger siblings?  Is it different because he is Janelle's father, not her brother?  Can he make legal decisions for her, when he cannot even sign binding contracts for himself?

Teen girls are given custody of their babies all the time.  I can't imagine the law would be different for boys.  Teen parents are considered 'emancipated' at least insofar as all decision-making for their child.  Malik can take his daughter to the pediatrician, sign up for daycare for her, do anything else she needs, I suspect.

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I think what we’ve gathered from the show (and again I could be wrong), is that Deja’s mom did care about her and show affection, but the “heavy lifting” of actually raising the girl fell on the grandmother’s shoulders.

I think that Malik's parents are doing a better balancing job here. They have made it clear that Janelle is his responsibility. They will help out, but he must do the heavy lifting (e.g. it was him that had to leap to his feet when Janelle started crying and it's an exception that they babysit for him). Although they were devastated he became a parent so young, by allowing him to be the parent rather than an older sibling, he and Janelle will be better off in the long run.  They support but don't undermine him.

Deja's grandmother meant well and wanted to allow her daughter to be a normal child, but it set up a situation where her daughter never grew up and her granddaughter was not properly cared for after her death.  It's too bad she died too soon.

I wonder where Jennifer is. Maybe she left the school for a fresh start elsewhere. Malik talks about how everybody looks at him strangely since he became a parent. I imagine that Jennifer would get all that with an extra serving of "and then she gave up her own kid". 

There are ways of declining wine without sounding so judgmental that the host feels the need to drink in the pantry.  Although, hiding open bottles so you can drink on the sly in the pantry is sometimes a sign of other problems.

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15 minutes ago, kili said:

I think that Malik's parents are doing a better balancing job here. They have made it clear that Janelle is his responsibility. They will help out, but he must do the heavy lifting (e.g. it was him that had to leap to his feet when Janelle started crying and it's an exception that they babysit for him). Although they were devastated he became a parent so young, by allowing him to be the parent rather than an older sibling, he and Janelle will be better off in the long run.  They support but don't undermine him.

I agree with you. I also think Malik WANTS to be a full committed parent to the baby. Deja’s Mom did not.
 

The grandmother may have tried that technique (again, hoping her daughter would mature) and when it didn’t work (as in baby Deja would’ve been neglected), she could’ve thrown the Mom out and taken full custody (which I’ve found grandparents only tend to do when things are bad bad- like drugs or violence), or continue to let Deja be neglected (which she wasn’t going to do because she loved her and had morals). At the end of the day you cannot force someone to be a good parent.
 

I think Jennifer’s Mom likely transferred schools. There’s a lot of stigma around being a woman who doesn’t have custody of her biological child. 

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Mrs. Lawrence is so beautiful, and her outfit and accessories looked amazing on her, I swear I kept getting shallowly distracted from all of the awkwardness of the dinner! I liked that little bit where Randall asked if the Lawrence's could take him to the African heritage fair, and Rebecca told Randall not to impose (clearly seeing how uncomfortable Jack was) meanwhile Mr. Lawrence was all excited to take Randall with them, while Mrs. Lawrence clearly caught onto the vibe and told him to back off. It really did seem like he was thinking "this is exactly the kind of son I would want" and I think Jack picked up on that, as well as thinking that Randall was looking at him like he was just the kind of dad he would want. I get why they connected with each other, being the only black kid/teacher at the school apparently (and Randall even broke school rules because he wanted to show off for him) and him being a mentor to Randall is fine, just they really needed to set some boundaries here. 

Arranging the books by year of publication might sound cool and be kind of a fun project for a personal library, I feel like it would be a real pain for the students in a classroom, especially if they're actually looking for a specific book and just know the name and author and, shockingly, dont know when every book ever was published by exact year. You can just picture Lawrence and Randall geeking out about knowing the publication date of every book in the last century , doing their secret handshake, while the other kids in the class are just annoyed because "look I just want to find The Magicians Nephew I am so sorry I dont know when every book ever has been published and Google hasn't been invented yet."

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52 minutes ago, kili said:

I think that Malik's parents are doing a better balancing job here. They have made it clear that Janelle is his responsibility. They will help out, but he must do the heavy lifting (e.g. it was him that had to leap to his feet when Janelle started crying and it's an exception that they babysit for him). Although they were devastated he became a parent so young, by allowing him to be the parent rather than an older sibling, he and Janelle will be better off in the long run.  They support but don't undermine him.

Deja's grandmother meant well and wanted to allow her daughter to be a normal child, but it set up a situation where her daughter never grew up and her granddaughter was not properly cared for after her death.  It's too bad she died too soon.

I wonder where Jennifer is. Maybe she left the school for a fresh start elsewhere. Malik talks about how everybody looks at him strangely since he became a parent. I imagine that Jennifer would get all that with an extra serving of "and then she gave up her own kid". 

There are ways of declining wine without sounding so judgmental that the host feels the need to drink in the pantry.  Although, hiding open bottles so you can drink on the sly in the pantry is sometimes a sign of other problems.

47 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

I agree with you. I also think Malik WANTS to be a full committed parent to the baby. Deja’s Mom did not.
 

The grandmother may have tried that technique (again, hoping her daughter would mature) and when it didn’t work (as in baby Deja would’ve been neglected), she could’ve thrown the Mom out and taken full custody (which I’ve found grandparents only tend to do when things are bad bad- like drugs or violence), or continue to let Deja be neglected (which she wasn’t going to do because she loved her and had morals). At the end of the day you cannot force someone to be a good parent.
 

I think Jennifer’s Mom likely transferred schools. There’s a lot of stigma around being a woman who doesn’t have custody of her biological child. 

Was there a scene where Deja's mother had just given birth and wanted to give the child up for adoption but he grandmother guilted her into keeping her?

I might be remembering this wrong.

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9 minutes ago, qtpye said:

Was there a scene where Deja's mother had just given birth and wanted to give the child up for adoption but he grandmother guilted her into keeping her?

I might be remembering this wrong.

Hey- I absolutely believe adoption should’ve been encouraged when Deja was born, but no that’s not how I remember the scene. Adoption was never discussed. Grandmother just told Deja’s Mom she had to grow up now because she had a child and stop focusing on herself and what boys in her life wanted. 
 

Given the age of Grandmother I highly doubt inter-family adoption was an option for her. Even in 2019 that’s not something black people do a lot of* (if Deja’s Mom was born in the late 80s, Grandmother was born in the 1960s most likely)- Grandmother expected her daughter to raise Deja, OR she would have if Deja’s mom never stepped up. If her daughter was very ill/disabled or something and Grandmother too had been sick at the time of birth MAYBE intra-family adoption to a more well off older cousin/aunt/uncle etc that was in their 20s or 30s and married. 
 

*of course it happens but I’m speaking about cultural trends. This ties into Malik’s story too because I 100% can buy his parents did NOT want an inter-family adoption for their first born grandchild. 

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15 hours ago, topanga said:

ETA: Travel guides rave about Gino’s cheesesteaks. But no one who lives in Philly likes them or gets their steaks from there.  

When I went there on a day trip, I tried Jim's, then, Geno's. Jim's was ten times better.

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1 hour ago, doodlebug said:

Back in the 70's, nobody had a cell phone; even answering machines were uncommon.   Many parents also worked in situations where they couldn't be easily reached by phone, since the only option is a land line.  So, even if a school did have a policy to notify parents of an unexcused absence, they wouldn't have been able to reach many people anyway.

True, but that was also the era during Summer vacation when most parents let their kids loose in the morning and didn't often see them until the sun went down.  They didn't worry about them.  They didn't hover over them.  Yes, I am making generalizations.

30 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

Hey- I absolutely believe adoption should’ve been encouraged when Deja was born, but no that’s not how I remember the scene. Adoption was never discussed. Grandmother just told Deja’s Mom she had to grow up now because she had a child and stop focusing on herself and what boys in her life wanted. 

I am not a fan of having irresponsible uncaring people put in charge of little ones.   Little ones aren't lab rats.

I knew one family that had a "wild teenager" and the parents put her in charge of a younger sibling (babysit).   That didn't work out at all well.  The "wild teenager" resented having to watch the younger sibling.

Malik truly does care and love his child.   That said, I started getting uncomfortable vibes when Malik kissed Deja.

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3 hours ago, topanga said:

Great analysis. And that makes me sad for Kevin. Because I know what it's like to be the "good child"  --not cute and charismatic like Kevin with lots of friends --but the one who does well in school and doesn't get in trouble.  Parents are assume that everything is okay with you because your life seems fine, and you get tossed aside while their attention goes to other children in the family. But how about trying to find out how they really are? Some kids are great at hiding their emotions, especially if those emotions contradict what everyone knows or expects them to be.

2 hours ago, ams1001 said:

I was thinking, "what about your other kids?"

I see Randall and Beth making the same mistakes Jack and Rebecca did with Kevin.  It's all Deja all the time with Randall, just like it was all Randall all the time for Rebecca, and Jack to a large degree.  Kevin, Tess and Annie are the forgotten children. 

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1 minute ago, izabella said:

I see Randall and Beth making the same mistakes Jack and Rebecca did with Kevin.  It's all Deja all the time with Randall, just like it was all Randall all the time for Rebecca, and Jack to a large degree.  Kevin, Tess and Annie are the forgotten children. 

Annie for sure. 

Beth and Randall reach out to Tess on a regular basis, but she's always rolling her eyes and saying, "You suck" to her parents (Not in those exact words, of course). She's another teenage girl on TV who's been written to be bratty and ansgty and mean to her parents. 

The only time I remember Tess being "neglected" was during the Girl Scout cookie fiasco a few seasons ago. I forget what was going on at the time-- Randall's campaign, maybe? And Beth was working full time? In any event, Tess approached Beth to complain that they were behind in sales. Usually, Beth would've organized Tess's entire cookie organization sold hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies by then. 

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3 hours ago, icemiser69 said:

In this era of helicopter parenting and pearl clutchers, yes.  Back in the 70s when I was in school no parent was contacted to see why a child hadn't shown up for missing just one day of school.  No parent had to call in and say their "very special" child was home sick.  After a couple of days, sure.  But not immediately.  Not the very same day.  Of course back then there wasn't 24/7 of horrible news events either.  People weren't constantly inundated with negativity.

I fully expected Randall to be using the Dewey Decimal System.  Everyone uses the Dewey Decimal System.  Right?  Of course I am kidding.  Randall is very detail oriented. 

In general, I try and not judge people by their physical appearance.  I know I am no prize petunia and never hit the genetic lottery.

Schools have been calling home/the parents since the 80s, I think.  I remember my elementary school calling my house because my mom forgot to inform the school I was home sick!  I'm a year older than the Big 3. 

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31 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Schools have been calling home/the parents since the 80s, I think.  I remember my elementary school calling my house because my mom forgot to inform the school I was home sick!  I'm a year older than the Big 3. 

My high school had a whole separate attendance office, right across from one of the entrances (and around the corner from the main office) where they kept track of attendance records and calling about AWOL students and whatnot (I don't think they ever had reason to call my house). If you had to turn in a note from a parent or doctor because you were out, or were being picked up early and had to be signed out, that's where you went.

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My books are not organized.  However, if I were going to organize them, I would do so alphabetically, like any sane person who enjoys simplicity.  This date-of-publication crap is the height of pomposity.

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5 minutes ago, NUguy514 said:

My books are not organized.  However, if I were going to organize them, I would do so alphabetically, like any sane person who enjoys simplicity.  This date-of-publication crap is the height of pomposity.

lol...I started to organize my books months ago. Fiction looks great (alpha by author). Nonfiction...not so much. (Not enough room for all of them, for one thing, so there are a lot of piles on the shelves, but I just never got back to finishing the project.) They're loosely organized by subject. Or they will be. Eventually. Well, some of them are. I have a BA in English Literature and I couldn't tell you more than the general time period something was published.

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13 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

My high school had a whole separate attendance office, right across from one of the entrances (and around the corner from the main office) where they kept track of attendance records and calling about AWOL students and whatnot (I don't think they ever had reason to call my house). If you had to turn in a note from a parent or doctor because you were out, or were being picked up early and had to be signed out, that's where you went.

Mine too, and I went to HS in '79-'82. I remember loving that last year because I could write my own notes. 🙂

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3 minutes ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Mine too, and I went to HS in '79-'82. I remember loving that last year because I could write my own notes. 🙂

Yeah, if you were 18 you could sign yourself out. ('89-'93, here.)

I was at college for a month and a half before I turned 18...

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9 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

Yeah, if you were 18 you could sign yourself out. ('89-'93, here.)

I was at college for a month and a half before I turned 18...

Same here.  I'm from Toronto and in our province, high school was five years (Grades 9-13) until 2003.  That extra year meant that most of us were 18 for our final year (unless you fast tracked, which meant finishing high school in the "normal" four years).  I loved how I could write my own sick notes, excuse notes, etc...I'm surprised they trusted us - that we weren't lying about, having a doctor's appointment (or visiting universities) when we just wanted to skip!  

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19 minutes ago, ams1001 said:

Yeah, if you were 18 you could sign yourself out. ('89-'93, here.)

I was at college for a month and a half before I turned 18...

DS18 has an early-in-the-school-year birthday and spent most of his senior year still needing us to sign him out, even though he was 18. He was not amused.

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3 minutes ago, Eureka said:

DS18 has an early-in-the-school-year birthday and spent most of his senior year still needing us to sign him out, even though he was 18. He was not amused.

I was born on the cutoff date for starting school (October 1), so I was the youngest (and the smallest) in my kindergarten class. By fourth grade, there were three kids in my class younger than me (though all within a few weeks of my birthday) and they all moved to town from elsewheres with later cutoffs. (And still maybe two who were smaller than me...I didn't really catch up in the height department until middle school.)

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Last season I got the impression that Deja's grandmother was actually her great grandmother.  Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but the Pam Grier character had already raised her granddaughter (Deja's mom), and history repeated itself.    She gave the impression of just being tired of being the only adult in the family.

Also, because it's This Is Us and there is always a twist, I bet Deja will meet with Janelle's mother at some point.  And we find out she is white.

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1 minute ago, 3 is enough said:

Last season I got the impression that Deja's grandmother was actually her great grandmother.  Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but the Pam Grier character had already raised her granddaughter (Deja's mom), and history repeated itself.    She gave the impression of just being tired of being the only adult in the family.

Also, because it's This Is Us and there is always a twist, I bet Deja will meet with Janelle's mother at some point.  And we find out she is white.

I think you may be right -- I remember several of us commented that GG or Gigi was what we called our great-grandmothers.  That might have been in another forum but I think it was here.

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6 minutes ago, 3 is enough said:

Last season I got the impression that Deja's grandmother was actually her great grandmother.  Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but the Pam Grier character had already raised her granddaughter (Deja's mom), and history repeated itself.    She gave the impression of just being tired of being the only adult in the family.

Also, because it's This Is Us and there is always a twist, I bet Deja will meet with Janelle's mother at some point.  And we find out she is white.

3 minutes ago, ShadowFacts said:

I think you may be right -- I remember several of us commented that GG or Gigi was what we called our great-grandmothers.  That might have been in another forum but I think it was here.

I thought that Pam Grier was Deja’s grandmother, and people were perhaps thinking that given Pam is old enough to have a Great Grandchild Deja’s age (being in her early 70s, it’s possible to have a 30years old child who was a teen mom). I could be wrong in my memory.....

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2 hours ago, ShortyMac said:

When I went there on a day trip, I tried Jim's, then, Geno's. Jim's was ten times better.

Jim's is so good!  The show has me wanting to try Max's now.  We were on a road trip recently to New England, and made a point to stop at Jim's on the way home for lunch.  

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2 hours ago, topanga said:

Beth and Randall reach out to Tess on a regular basis, but she's always rolling her eyes and saying, "You suck" to her parents (Not in those exact words, of course).

She does have a point.  They kinda do suck.

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1 hour ago, ams1001 said:

lol...I started to organize my books months ago. Fiction looks great (alpha by author). Nonfiction...not so much. (Not enough room for all of them, for one thing, so there are a lot of piles on the shelves, but I just never got back to finishing the project.) They're loosely organized by subject. Or they will be. Eventually. Well, some of them are. I have a BA in English Literature and I couldn't tell you more than the general time period something was published.

I have the same problem, lots of books, not enough room. 

1 hour ago, gonzosgirrl said:

Mine too, and I went to HS in '79-'82. I remember loving that last year because I could write my own notes. 🙂

In the early eighties, my high school had a smoking room for students.  They could smoke with their parents' permission.

With all of the flashbacks to the times when the Big 3 were children up until now, I am more than bit surprised that there weren't more people smoking.   IIRC, none of the Big 3 smoked.  I could be wrong about that.

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21 minutes ago, icemiser69 said:

With all of the flashbacks to the times when the Big 3 were children up until now, I am more than bit surprised that there weren't more people smoking.   IIRC, none of the Big 3 smoked.  I could be wrong about that.

Well the big 3 aren’t THAT old. They just turned 39, they were growing up in the 80s and 90s- I think by then most people didn’t smoke, I’m 5 years younger and I do remember smoking sections in restaurants when I was very small but you couldn’t smoke in public spaces anywhere small kids would be then (like a mall). Just bars and clubs. Given neither Jack or Rebecca smoke I don’t think they’d be exposed much. 

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Nice brief portrait of Philadelphia. Septa bus with Germantown departure (my dad was born in Germantown hospital), Maxy steaks (I never heard of it! But Geno's is terrible!), Rita's, the Belmont Plateau, Boat House Row...I live in Bucks now. 

I thought it was funny how Susan and the actress who plays Kelly were "sparring" on Twitter! 

Wow, Annie is a feisty one! 

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7 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

And Tess certainly seems to have that baby-loving instinct!

Tess reminded me of myself around her age. Whenever I was at a family gathering especially if there was some tense conversation going on, I gravitated to the nearest baby to play with. It was just so much easier and the adults were always grateful.

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1 hour ago, icemiser69 said:

I have the same problem, lots of books, not enough room. 

In the early eighties, my high school had a smoking room for students.  They could smoke with their parents' permission.

With all of the flashbacks to the times when the Big 3 were children up until now, I am more than bit surprised that there weren't more people smoking.   IIRC, none of the Big 3 smoked.  I could be wrong about that.

Yeah. Graduated high school in 1993. There was a smoking section, outside under the porch. Totally allowed, which floors me now. I worked in a facility with a school (I teach) for kids with special needs. I was strangely shocked that workers were totally allowed to smoke outside the doors until 2004. No longer allowed on any school property now. 

I remember smoking in the mall in the 90s, even in line at the bank. Different world. I'm 45. 

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3 hours ago, ams1001 said:

Yeah, if you were 18 you could sign yourself out. ('89-'93, here.)

I was at college for a month and a half before I turned 18...

Same. And I also went to high school 89 to 93 and I have a BA in English Lit too (MS is special ed, I teach now).  

I cut school a lot my senior year and always answered the phone to catch the expected phone call from the attendance office. They always called at night (automated message). I'd go to school and leave before attendance with my bff who had a car. Great times. 

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Now all my books in stuffed in a closet because I don't have any room, but the only time I think publication date makes sense is when it is a series of books.  Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich books are the exception. 

Now to the show:  We need more of Annie.  She is saying what all of us are thinking.  I think Annie and kid Kevin are the most similar family members.  They say what they are thinking. 

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I think this show was about passing judgement.  Malik's mother threw serious shade at Deja, just because of where Deja came from.  At the same time Beth threw serious shade at Malik just because he was taking care of his baby.  As I remember, Malik's ex girlfriend wanted to put the baby up for adoption, but Malik wanted to care for her

Here's my thing with Malik.  If his girlfriend had either had an abortion or put the baby up for adoption or sent the baby to live with relatives in the South.  No one would judge because the baby wouldn't be THERE.  

I went to a Catholic women's college over 40 years ago.  There were many women there who'd either had abortions, or put their baby up for adoption and yet, they'd tell all the young men we'd meet at the mixers or the balls that they were as pure as the Virgin Mary.  And they could, because there was no baby to be seen.

I loved the scene at the end where Malik told Deja how long his parents have been married, how long his grandparents were married, etc.  He let her know that he didn't grow up in some sick dysfunctional culture.

I don't get the Deja dislike that some people seem to have but to each his or her own.

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3 minutes ago, Neurochick said:

I don't get the Deja dislike that some people seem to have but to each his or her own.

It seems like most people are just not invested in her or her romance with Malik. I loved that part of the episode, on the other hand. 

What I don’t get is all of the Beth hate. Many people said she was hostile from the beginning if the dinner. Huh? She was the one encouraging Randall to be nice with her Open shoes-open mind analogy. And she didn’t respond to Malik’s mother’s numerous barbs until the mom called Deja a ‘fast girl’ at dinner.

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2 hours ago, 3 is enough said:

Last season I got the impression that Deja's grandmother was actually her great grandmother.  Maybe I am not remembering correctly, but the Pam Grier character had already raised her granddaughter (Deja's mom), and history repeated itself.    She gave the impression of just being tired of being the only adult in the family.

Also, because it's This Is Us and there is always a twist, I bet Deja will meet with Janelle's mother at some point.  And we find out she is white.

Or heck, that she's Asian (though unlikely).  Asians are often DREADFULLY racist towards black people.  Jennifer's family might have wanted her to forget about what happened (which wouldn't be that great for her from a mental health perspective).  

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1 minute ago, topanga said:

It seems like most people are just not invested in her or her romance with Malik. I loved that part of the episode, on the other hand. 

What I don’t get is all of the Beth hate. Many people said she was hostile from the beginning if the dinner. Huh? She was the one encouraging Randall to be nice with her Open shoes-open mind analogy. And she didn’t respond to Malik’s mother’s numerous barbs until the mom called Deja a ‘fast girl’ at dinner.

I don't get the dislike of Deja and her story with Malik either.  How is it any different than watching the so-called "angst" of the big 3 when they were growing up?  Randall is the only one with kids at an age where their lives aren't completely about their parents, so it only makes sense to me that they will start to focus on them more.   I certainly don't get the Beth hate.  If they view Beth as "hostile," then we have wildly different views of what constitutes hostile.  Beth was perfectly nice to Malik's mother until she made demeaning comments about Deja.  The idea that Beth was hostile or "lost control" just because she put that woman in her place is absolutely ridiculous.

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19 minutes ago, Neurochick said:

I think this show was about passing judgement.  Malik's mother threw serious shade at Deja, just because of where Deja came from.  At the same time Beth threw serious shade at Malik just because he was taking care of his baby.  As I remember, Malik's ex girlfriend wanted to put the baby up for adoption, but Malik wanted to care for her

Here's my thing with Malik.  If his girlfriend had either had an abortion or put the baby up for adoption or sent the baby to live with relatives in the South.  No one would judge because the baby wouldn't be THERE.  

I went to a Catholic women's college over 40 years ago.  There were many women there who'd either had abortions, or put their baby up for adoption and yet, they'd tell all the young men we'd meet at the mixers or the balls that they were as pure as the Virgin Mary.  And they could, because there was no baby to be seen.

I loved the scene at the end where Malik told Deja how long his parents have been married, how long his grandparents were married, etc.  He let her know that he didn't grow up in some sick dysfunctional culture.

I don't get the Deja dislike that some people seem to have but to each his or her own.

Slow clap. 

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3 minutes ago, TheLotusFlower said:

I don't get the dislike of Deja and her story with Malik either.  How is it any different than watching the so-called "angst" of the big 3 when they were growing up?  Randall is the only one with kids at an age where their lives aren't completely about their parents, so it only makes sense to me that they will start to focus on them more.   I certainly don't get the Beth hate.  If they view Beth as "hostile," then we have wildly different views of what constitutes hostile.  Beth was perfectly nice to Malik's mother until she made demeaning comments about Deja.  The idea that Beth was hostile or "lost control" just because she put that woman in her place is absolutely ridiculous.

Beth wasn't happy about the relationship between Malik and Deja, but she was willing to keep an open mind until Malik's mother threw shade at Deja.  That's when Beth turned into a Mama Bear, which she had every right to.

I also don't get the "Mr Lawrence is grooming Randall."  Seriously?  I don't know, maybe I'm old but I remember as a child watching an episode of Leave it to Beaver, where Beaver's parents invited their son's teacher to the house for dinner.  I didn't think that was odd then.  But maybe I'm old and simple.  

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19 minutes ago, TheLotusFlower said:

I don't get the dislike of Deja and her story with Malik either.  How is it any different than watching the so-called "angst" of the big 3 when they were growing up?  Randall is the only one with kids at an age where their lives aren't completely about their parents, so it only makes sense to me that they will start to focus on them more. 

For me, the problem is Deja overload.  I think the Deja storylines sucked up most of last season, so I'm tired of Deja-focused storylines.  Then, they couldn't just give her a boyfriend; he had to be a single teenage father. 

Meanwhile, Kevin grew up and got married, and we barely saw any of that.  And they dropped Kate's boyfriend storyline without any sort of resolution - how did that relationship end? 

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1 minute ago, Neurochick said:

Beth wasn't happy about the relationship between Malik and Deja, but she was willing to keep an open mind until Malik's mother threw shade at Deja.  That's when Beth turned into a Mama Bear, which she had every right to.

I also don't get the "Mr Lawrence is grooming Randall."  Seriously?  I don't know, maybe I'm old but I remember as a child watching an episode of Leave it to Beaver, where Beaver's parents invited their son's teacher to the house for dinner.  I didn't think that was odd then.  But maybe I'm old and simple.  

Ha!  I guess we're both old and simple then.  Because it never once crossed my mind that Mr. Lawrence was trying to groom Randall.  I swear, some of the comments on this forum are really something else.  Randall and Mr. Lawrence are the only two Black people in that entire school, and Randall is the only Black person in his own family.  Beyond that, they both share an incredible intellectual curiosity.  It only makes sense that they would form a bond.  Mr. Lawrence was never once inappropriate with him in any way.  I actually hope they stayed in touch after Randall grew up.  Mr. Lawrence made a comment that Jack is Randall's dad, but he's just a teacher who Randall might vaguely remember was important to him at one point.  I think he's filling a very important void in Randall's life, so I hope they didn't completely lose touch with each other.  

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14 minutes ago, TheLotusFlower said:

I don't get the dislike of Deja and her story with Malik either.  How is it any different than watching the so-called "angst" of the big 3 when they were growing up?  Randall is the only one with kids at an age where their lives aren't completely about their parents, so it only makes sense to me that they will start to focus on them more.   I certainly don't get the Beth hate.  If they view Beth as "hostile," then we have wildly different views of what constitutes hostile.  Beth was perfectly nice to Malik's mother until she made demeaning comments about Deja.  The idea that Beth was hostile or "lost control" just because she put that woman in her place is absolutely ridiculous.

I like both Deja and Malik.  They're kids.  Being kids.  Malik is trying hard to make a good impression.  I have always liked Beth, and having a criticism of her does not constitute hate.  It would probably have been better if the adults had met without the kids, but they wanted to have a nice dinner, and dinners were the theme of the episode with the one at young Randall's that went off the tracks, too.  I do have perhaps a different view of hostile, and I don't think Beth was hostile from the beginning.  I think she did not put Malik's mom in her place, she could have addressed her aggressions directly, but I don't think she did that (though I'll have to re-watch).  She lost control when she summarily sent her kids upstairs and announced the dinner was over, and I think what prompted that was the baby.  I don't think there's anything ridiculous about that viewpoint, both women were quite hot-button, both were poor examples for their kids.  I'm not singling Beth out.  By comparison Randall and Malik's dad were keeping the subtle digs more on the civil side of things.  Though I did think it was going to devolve when the guy took his shirt off. 

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2 hours ago, Violetgoblin6 said:

I live in Bucks now. 

1 hour ago, Violetgoblin6 said:

Same. And I also went to high school 89 to 93 and I have a BA in English Lit too (MS is special ed, I teach now).  

Are we the same person? I lived in Bucks County (Levittown, for a year in 2000-'01), too!

-----

I don't dislike Deja, but it kinda bugs a bit that they brought in a foster kid story and made her such a big part of the show and we still know next to nothing about his first two daughters (especially Annie).

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1 hour ago, Neurochick said:

I also don't get the "Mr Lawrence is grooming Randall."  Seriously?  I don't know, maybe I'm old but I remember as a child watching an episode of Leave it to Beaver, where Beaver's parents invited their son's teacher to the house for dinner.  I didn't think that was odd then.  But maybe I'm old and simple. 

You aren't old or simple.   I think it's a combination of pop culture and overhyped news stories that has convinced people that the only reason a non-related adult male could show interest in a minor is for some kind of deviant purpose.  It's sad.  

As for Malik and Deja, I just wish someone would point out that you can think Malik is a lovely person, while simultaneously believing it's a bad idea for he and Deja to be more than friends.       

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10 hours ago, qtpye said:

I am a woman of color and the first seasons I was very uncomfortable with the way  young Kevin treated young Randall....it almost felt racist.

Now, I see that Jack was so obsessed with Randall that he almost brushed Kevin aside. Of course this was not Randall's fault, but a kid does not think like that.

The writers have really done a good job of gradually revealing that Kevin had legitimate reasons to resent the crap out of Randall.

We already knew that Rebecca favored Randall to a ridiculous extent, and we knew that Randall was a goodie-two-shoes who made Kevin seem like a trouble-making underachiever in comparison. And then in this episode they really showed how much Jack gave Randall extra attention.

That said, on some level I really think that race had something to do with Kevin's resentment of Randall, too. I think Kevin was bitter that Randall's blackness made the family "different."

When kids at school mockingly called Randall Webster, Kevin's reaction was to get angry at Randall. He didn't want to be associated with anyone who didn't fit in.

I think on some level Kevin probably thought of Randall as an interloper who didn't really belong in the family (and was preventing him from being the "star" of the family, as he once put it). Randall being black probably contributed to that idea in Kevin's mind.

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4 minutes ago, Blakeston said:

The writers have really done a good job of gradually revealing that Kevin had legitimate reasons to resent the crap out of Randall.

I disagree.  I think Kevin was just selfish, and wanted EVERYTHING.  He wanted all of the attention; even now he's all ME ME ME.  Look at MEEEEE

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2 minutes ago, Neurochick said:

I disagree.  I think Kevin was just selfish, and wanted EVERYTHING.  He wanted all of the attention; even now he's all ME ME ME.  Look at MEEEEE

Which is why he became an actor after his injury which ended his football career before it even began.  If he didn’t care, he would have picked another path.  

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1 hour ago, ams1001 said:

I don't dislike Deja, but it kinda bugs a bit that they brought in a foster kid story and made her such a big part of the show and we still know next to nothing about his first two daughters (especially Annie).

True.

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19 minutes ago, Neurochick said:

I disagree.  I think Kevin was just selfish, and wanted EVERYTHING.  He wanted all of the attention; even now he's all ME ME ME.  Look at MEEEEE

For sure.

But I think just about anyone in his position would be angry about the way Rebecca blatantly played favorites with Randall. 

Of course, Kevin should have been resentful of Rebecca more than Randall, but unfortunately that's not how kids usually react. They direct their anger at the favored sibling, not the parent who plays favorites.

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I am not that sympathetic with Kid Kevin here. We have seen Rebecca and Jack invite football people over for dinner. Of course, Kevin was an ass then too. But Rebecca and Jack were perfectly fine.

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