Mandy Moore This Is Us

Performer of the Week: Mandy Moore

THE PERFORMER | Mandy Moore

THE SHOW | This Is Us

THE EPISODE | “Kyle” (Oct. 11, 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE | Honestly, NBC’s freshman drama has such a strong ensemble that we easily could have honored about five different cast members this week. (Like Chrissy Metz. Or Sterling K. Brown. Or Jermel Nakia, who played young William in the flashbacks.) But Moore topped them all by delivering two heartbreaking performances in two different eras.

First, as young mother Rebecca in the 1980 scenes, Moore touchingly conveyed the elation and exhaustion of struggling to care for three newborn infants. Rebecca’s adopted baby “Kyle” (later renamed Randall) wouldn’t nurse, and the raw pain on Moore’s face perfectly captured the frustration and helplessness many new mothers know all too well. But then Moore also played a decades-older Rebecca — now a doting grandmother — in the present-day scenes, and she displayed a ferocious maternal instinct as Rebecca demanded that Randall’s birth father William not reveal that she kept him out of Randall’s life while the boy was growing up.

So Moore’s performance was doubly impressive, painting a portrait of a mother who’s relentlessly devoted to her children, both at birth and thirty years later. Though Moore has been acting for years, she’s still in some circles best known as a pop singer circa the Britney /Xtina era. But she firmly put those days behind her with her stunning, multifaceted work this week — and proved that she’s more than earned her spot in this very talented cast.

unnamed-1HONORABLE MENTION | Pitch is Ginny Baker’s story, but this week we’re calling Meagan Holder out of the dugout for a cap-tipping moment. As Evelyn, Blip’s supportive, upbeat wife, Holder often provides much of the Fox drama’s comic relief. But when Blip got the call to the All-Star team in this week’s episode, Evelyn had a moment of disappointment — and Holder had a chance to show off her range. In a brief scene, the actress simultaneously communicated Evelyn’s excitement at her husband’s achievement, her crushing disappointment that their rare family vacation was over and her pent-up frustration from years as a dutiful baseball wife. And Holder managed to do it all without losing any of Evelyn’s usual spark. To put it in the show’s terms? Girlfriend hit it out of the park.

hm-epHONORABLE MENTION | Evan Peters‘ debut on Wednesday’s episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke was easily the season’s most hotly anticipated — and that was when we all thought he was merely playing the producer. Arguably his most outrageous AHS persona to date, Edward Philippe Mott was more than worth the four-episode wait, giving us every shade of the Evan Peters Rainbow™ in one brilliant performance. During Edward’s intimate scenes with Guinness, his manservant/lover, we got to appreciate the same soft vulnerability we first enjoyed in Coven’s Kyle. Then, and without a moment’s notice, Edward would flip the switch, embracing the mad carnage we relished (while covering one eye) during Peters’ stints on Hotel and Murder House. Even in the character’s more neutral moments, including his reappearance in present-day Roanoke, Peters seemed to be having the time of his life in Edward’s eccentric shoes . And thanks to his infectious positive energy, so were we.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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48 Comments
  1. Papandreou says:

    This is Us is quickly becoming one of the most overrated shows in a while. It’s good but everyone seems for whatever reason to want to make it top 10 of all time after a handful of episodes.NOT the case.

    • dumomt says:

      Regardless, Mandy Moore delivered a fine performance – just relax!

    • ChrisGa says:

      The acting is very good across the board but, I agree, the show’s overrated.

    • Ben says:

      You don’t have to like it. I love it. If anyone is saying any show is top 10 of all time after three episodes then of course they are overrating that show, but I haven’t heard that. I’ve just heard praise for what’s happened so far.

    • Cas says:

      Salty much? I like it. I wouldn’t say it is the best of all time but it is refreshing and different. All of the actors and actresses are wonderful. Don’t like it then don’t watch.

      • Papandreou says:

        Did I say I didn’t like it? It’s good enough for a Tuesday show (there is nothing else on at that time) and I guess for network TV is different enough. That’s about it.

    • Anna says:

      Lolz who has been saying that it should be top 10 of all time? I haven’t seen anybody saying that – just talking about how much they enjoy it. The acting is on point, the writing is good, but no one is saying it’s better than all of the other shows.

      You sound super salty tho. Does Milo Ventimiglia owe you money or something?

  2. William says:

    Thandie Newton definitely deserved a shoutout for her performance in Westworld this week. She didn’t even utter a single word, but Maeve’s reaction towards her surroundings in the end of the episode was powerful. You could feel the sense of loss and despair.

  3. Lisa says:

    Im shocked Thandie Newtons not on here anywhere

  4. Spencer says:

    Mandy Moore was good but have you seen Thandie Newton!!!????? What the fork!

  5. GB says:

    Evan Peters, as usual, was fairly terrible. His accent work was particularly bad.

    I haven’t watched This Is Us and I probably never will. Like, I get that NBC desperately needed a show to catch on, but if I have to sit through one more cheesey commercial I’m going to SCREAM.

    • dumomt says:

      Gee, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed!

    • Cas says:

      You know they make this thing called a remote. It changes channels. Try using it during one of the cheesey commercials.

      • bigdede says:

        You know they have this thing called a mouse. Just scroll past that person’s comment if it bothers you so much. People have this thing called opinions and they are allowed to express it.

        • Anna says:

          Lolz it seems like Cas said that because GB is gearing up to start screaming at his television for daring to air a commercial. Changing the channel might be needed for mental health purposes…

        • A fan of TV says:

          Take your own advice, then :) You don’t like their comment, scroll on. Or are they not allowed to express their opinion?

  6. Spence says:

    Evan’s character and his performance were laughably cringe worthy and made me turn off the TV after that obnoxious and insulting opening. I’ll watch the sixth episode to see the twist and will probably be done with this mess of a season after that.

  7. dumomt says:

    Gosh, do any of you people enjoy anything you watch on television or are you just determined to be perpetually miserable?

    • Simon says:

      I know right, I think since other sites have gotten rid of their comment sections we unfortunately have to deal with the onslaught of people who like to complain. Evan Peters was terrific, and nobody is calling This Is Us one of the top 10 tv shows ever, it just so happens to be the best new show of the season so far. It’s clicked with people it’s not winning a million awards or anything, it just works right now at a time where everything is about negativity cough cough this election.

    • GB says:

      Let’s just ignore the people being supremely positive about Thandie Newton because you wanted to make a point. People have opinions and sometimes they are negative, don’t be so uptight about it lol.

      • Simon says:

        There’s a difference between criticism and people bad mouthing a tv show. Many times comments start with I don’t even watch this show or I turned off after 5 mins yet they feel the need to visit a page about said tv show and talk crap. I’m all for people voicing their opinions whether good or bad but a lot of the time it’s blatantly clear they post it for a reaction and not to bring anything to the conversation. If I’m at a party and someone says oh I hated that episode i don’t think they are being negative, it’s their opinion but for whatever reason something gets lost on message boards I suppose.

        • GB says:

          I agree with that on recaps or stories about specific shows because at that point it’s an article directly addressed at people who watch the show. However, Performer of the Week is an article that many of us follow week to week because sometimes our shows and our favorites are recognized while sometimes it’s a bunch of shows we don’t watch or don’t like for some reason. I don’t think that means we shouldn’t be allowed to share those opinions in the comments section.

          • Simon says:

            I see your argument. By the way this back and forth has been a great discussion. Maybe the turd sandwich and the giant douche who are both running for prez can learn a lot from us ;) lol.

  8. Jan says:

    LOVE the show and the whole cast of This Is Us. Certainly a well deserved honor for Ms. Moore this week!

  9. SassyAF28 says:

    yay glad meagan and evan got recognized! but, what about liza weil and viola davis!?

  10. HAP says:

    Have to disagree with those who say This Is Us is overrated. It is probably the best show on network TV right now. And I have always thought that Mandy Moore’s acting accomplishments have been underrated. Good choice.

  11. Temperance says:

    Moore has always been good. OK, her small part in The Princess Diaries was bad, but it fit with the rest of the kid roles outside of Hathaway.

  12. Shaun says:

    hmm,no Thandie and nobody from Halt and Catch Fire finale episodes.

  13. Mika says:

    I thought Viola Davis was great this week, but I realize with all the new shows, she’s yesterday’s news.

  14. Sarah says:

    Sorry, guys, Mandy was great in the flashbacks, but after the first scene at the door she completely forgot the “35 years older” part; without the difference in voice, posture and physicality, you can emote your heart out but you’re still just a 32-year-old actress in age make-up, not the 67- year-old character you want the audience to see instead.

  15. Eliane Omar says:

    Thandie Newton! Not even a honorable mention. Shame.

  16. Dolly says:

    Mandy Moore killed it indeed. But Thandie Newton won this for sure. Like have you not seen Westworld episode 2!? Evan Peters included here is laughable. He’s only here because he portrayed a gay guy tbh. Like seriously, can we viewers vote for this next time? Thanks!

  17. Kiera says:

    I agree with the others. Thandie Newton deserves this recognition more than Evan Peters. I adore Mandy Moore & This Is Us so I won’t complain on that.

  18. Cate says:

    Mandy Moore was good but This is Us is melodramatic and mushy for me.

    Thandie Newton was startlingly good in Westworld

  19. Spencer says:

    Justice for Thandie Newton.

  20. Nero tTVfiddler says:

    Good choices, and good comments as to other deserving nominees for Performer of the Week. But Mandy Moore is going to have a very big season on This Is Us, and a remarkable comeback as NBC’s ‘It Girl’ for the 2016-17 season.

    This is just the start… watch Mandy Moore throughout this season… at Golden Globe Awards in January, at Upfront in the spring, at Emmy nominations time next summer, at the Emmy Awards next fall. We are going to be watching one of the most remarkable comebacks on television, and it couldn’t happen to nicer person and actress.

    Congratulations Ms. Moore – welcome back.

    • Jules says:

      Hi Mandy Moore’s publicist!!!

    • jj says:

      hate to break it to you, but given This is Us is on NBC, she’s likely not to be nominated. The current trend is to nominate actors/actresses from cable or streaming shows (with a few exceptions like Viola Davis). Also what’s this about a comeback? Mandy Moore has been working steady, she never went away.

      • Nero tTVfiddler says:

        True, MM has been working steady, but I was thinking more in terms of the more widely watched/known television work she had done on Entourage (2005) and Grey’s (2010), not more recent voice work or short lived series Red Band Society.

        Yep, current trend is for Emmy nominations to come from streaming/cable shows, but not too long ago, actresses from NBC’s Parenthood were either nominated in the supporting actress category, or strongly considered. I suspect This Is Us may help NBC get back in the supporting actress Emmy nomination business.

        Regarding Golden Globe… I’ll be shocked if MM is not nominated, and the This Is Us series will be nominated. This series will gather strength as the season rolls along. Bet on it.

  21. Cactus Rose says:

    This is Us is different, that’s for sure. I was so confused at first. But now I think it’s an awesome show. No storyline like theirs ever before on TV! Mandy Moore is good but I must confess I had never heard of her before this show!