This Is Us: Randall's Drive to Philly Is Longer Than It Looks — Here's Everything He Could Be Doing Instead


The real mystery of This Is Us‘ third season isn’t “Who is ‘her’?” — it’s “How in the world does Randall travel so quickly between Alpine, N.J., and Philadelphia?”

This Is Us Season 3 Randall Alpine Philadelphia DriveThough the NBC series treats Randall’s commute from his Garden State home to his Pennsylvania campaign grounds like a mere run around the corner, the approximately 110-mile trip actually takes roughly two hours by car. (And that’s one way, with no traffic.)

Since the start of Season 3, Sterling K. Brown’s Randall has made five round-trip drives to the City of Brotherly Love. That’s 20 hours of time on the road, and about 1,100 miles on the odometer of that car he bought with cash.

Look, we’re glad the show hasn’t subjected us to a real-time depiction of Randall’s time behind the wheel; TVLine’s headquarters are in New York, and we’ve logged enough miles on I-95 to know exactly how mind-numbing the trek can be. But as longtime East Coast drivers, we also want to make sure that viewers have the appropriate perspective on Randall’s extended commute.

In the time he’s spent on the road this season, Randall could have:

This Is Us Season 3 Randall Alpine Philadelphia Drive* Run four marathons (based on a 5-hour average time, something we’re guessing longtime runner/Type-A personality Randall could probably achieve)

* Made some (admittedly small) inroads into learning Korean, perhaps via DuoLingo?

* Helped Tess and Annie recoup some of their lost Girl Scout Cookie sales by canvassing the neighborhood with the girls — if they walk a 20-minute mile, say, they could cover upwards of 40 miles and still have time for ringing doorbells and slinging cookies

* Listened to a really long audiobook, like John Grisham’s The Reckoning (17 hours, 36 minutes), Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (15 hours, 40 minutes) or Michelle Obama’s Becoming (19 hours, 4 minutes), or gotten about halfway through the complete and uncut edition of Steven King’s The Stand (47 hours, 52 minutes).

This Is Us Season 3 Randall Alpine Philadelphia Drive* Knit a baby blanket or two for his forthcoming niece or nephew (we’re assuming Randall doesn’t know how to cast on and such, so we built in a little time for mounting the learning curve)

* Watched The Haunting of Hill House straight through… and then gone back and watched again for the ghosts

* Brushed up on his preferred style of humor, maybe via a podcast like Tony Conrad’s Bad Dad Joke of the Day

“Yeah, but time is nothing but a meaningless human construct?” you say? OK. The distance Randall has covered so far this season is equivalent to the distance between New York City and Topeka, Ks., or Baton Rouge, La., or Des Moines, Iowa; or Lincoln, Neb. It’s also equivalent to 19,360 football fields… even the ones with Kevin giving a tearful monologue under the goal posts.

Have you been wondering how Randall got to and from Philly so quickly? Or is that a detail you hadn’t really noticed/cared about? Sound off in the comments!

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