Tuesday, March 26, 2019



From the IMDb:
Tensions run high as the Pearsons await news about Kate's pregnancy.

While the Pearson family are thrashing through family issues in the waiting room as they anxiously await news, a woman enters, talking on her cell phone.

Yeah, you know what they say about the second. Yep, it just slid right out. Yeah, she pushed for, like, ten minutes. Yeah. No, they're stitching her back up now. I know. I'm a double grandma. I know. Oh yeah, okay. Bye-bye. Mm.
Oh, thanks. I was hoping for a boy, but all girls in my family.

At this point, “Double Grandma” rips open a vending machine bag of Rold Gold pretzels and begins chomping on them.

This aggravating moment brought to you by Rold Gold. Wait, I got a better one. Rold Gold Pretzels, diffusing tense family moments since 1923. This woman's about to get drop-kicked.
You're not gonna drop-kick a grandma.
Watch me.

From Good Housekeeping:

After Kate's water broke and she was admitted to the hospital, Miguel was, arguably, the most chill person in the waiting room — well, besides Madison and that incredibly aggravating Rold Gold pretzel lady. 


Okay, so I don’t watch ‘This Is Us’.  I just didn’t see how it could provide much in the way of Toobworld connections and I really can’t “afford” to become invested in another show which has a continuous storyline.

But I watched this episode because “Double Grandma”* was played by one of my dearest friends, Shirley Jordan.

Two days later, I’m scrolling through the interwebz to see if anybody had anything to say about Shirley’s performance.  I thought she was great and I really felt bad for Double Grandma having to sit through the loud arguments between the Pearsons.  (She finally left them to thrash it all out and probably sought peace back in her daughter’s room.)

So I was surprised by that description by Good Housekeeping of Double Grandma so I looked around for other opinions of her character. 

These are a few I found on Twitter:

I’m in a hospital waiting room and needed to get something from my backpack. I also h
ave a bag of skinny pop in the same compartment so now I’m the Rold Gold lady from last night.

Randall giving the evil eye to the lady with the Rold Gold pretzel bag Funnay........  

The pretzel lady opens another Rold Gold and Beth drop kicks her right there! 

And then from sites which review the show on a regular basis

From EW, a Q&A with the showrunner:

Rold Gold pretzels. Are they just a writers’ room fave, or was that integrated advertising?

[Laughs] Bekah Brunstetter, who wrote the episode, is a playwright. And we kind of turned this one over to her and let her do her thing. She actually went to a real maternity ward waiting room, here in L.A., and just observed with her laptop and actually wrote the episode in the waiting room. So I think the pretzels and the vending machine and the loud, crinkly bag were all based on those days that she spent in a real-life hospital.  

From DC Urban Moms & Dads:
Randall's Rold Gold moment was hysterical though. Best part of the episode.  

From Vulture:
The mere fact that the entire clan thinks they have ownership of this HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM for, like, two days is so Pearson, isn’t it? When that Grandma gets up and leaves while the family fights, I imagine she yells “I have no time for these sad people!” as she hops into the elevator to freedom, dumping her second bag of Rold Gold pretzels into her mouth. A true blaze of glory.  

I’m glad somebody saw it from her point of view.  And it made me realize it’s all a matter of perspective.  There are thousands who are invested in this show and are fierce Pearson loyalists.  So they stand by the main characters of ‘This Is Us’ and probably see anybody intruding on “their” space as being invaders.

As for me, I didn’t know who these people were, and for the most part just based on this viewing, I don’t want to know them.  Both Randall and Kevin came off as self-centered jerks.  So when Shirley entered as “Double Grandma”, for me it was a breath of fresh air while for the viewers interested in the Big Three, she was taking attention away from the characters they wanted to watch.

If I even thought I might take up this series, this scene dissuaded me from that notion.  I think I can separate the actors from the characters, so their treatment of Double Grandma – forget about her being Shirley! – was very rude, even if she wasn’t aware of it.

Randall and Kevin weren’t the only ones to be focused on themselves; about the only ones who seemed halfway decent were the characters played by Jon Huertas and Mandy Moore, the older generation.  But as for the others, none of them even considered what it was like for Double Grandma.  Granted, her daughter (or daughter-in-law) had an easy time of it with her labor, the baby (her second) just slipping right out, but even so, they acted as though the waiting room was their domain only.  As Rebecca pointed out, there were seventeen chairs in the waiting room; it was meant for more than just them.

And so what if she was eating the pretzels?  She might have gone for some time without food just like Rebecca had.  She had every right to eat what she wanted in there.  It’s not like the hospital didn’t allow it – they’re the ones who supplied the vending machine!

Like I said, it’s all in the perspective.  But as a televersion myself, and like Shirley a member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame (but for playing myself, whereas she played a nurse in all of her roles that qualified her), I was more invested in Double Grandma and so they were the “bad guys”.

Just sayin’ is all….


* “Double Grandma” is my term – in the IMDb, she is listed as “Happy Grandma” but that’s hardly memorable.

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