What happens when the desire to follow your wildest inspiration runs smack into the reality of raising three kids? This Is Us‘ Randall and Beth are about to find out, the show’s stars and producers say.
“This is a really beautiful moment for them,” co-showrunner/executive producer Elizabeth Berger told journalists after a screening of the most recent episode, in which Susan Kelechi Watson‘s Beth realized that her childhood love of (and talent for) dance was something she wanted to pursue professionally as a second career. But Berger quickly pointed out that Beth’s revelation doesn’t live in a vacuum. “That being said, life goes on.”
Berger added that Randall is on the verge of starting a rather large, exciting and daunting endeavor of his own: a stint on Philadelphia’s City Council. In a recent interview, Sterling K. Brown called the endeavor “uncharted territory” for his character, who ran for the seat because he wanted to be “of the greatest service to the greatest amount of people” — not that the decision to become a public servant didn’t have some slightly less altruistic value, as well.
“For Randall personally, [it was] a connection to the black community, which is something that’s always been something of import to him and being seen as a part of rather than separate or distinct from,” Brown told TVLine. “But unwittingly, he put his family in a state of upheaval, so he’s working to reassemble what the new norm is for them as a collective.”
Viewers have seen Randall and Beth hit a few rough patches already this season, and at the same event where Berger spoke, Kelechi previewed that there are “more shaky moments” ahead. The EP added: “Her schedule is going to be changing; you’ve got three girls in the house. So as exciting as this is for them, real life is going to continue, and there are still going to be challenges that come up along the way.”
Perhaps chief among those new obstacles? Going from two lucrative professions to two… less-than-lucrative ones. But members of the series’ creative team said the Pearsons will stay financially afloat, at least for a while.
“Logistically, Randall was a highly paid weather trader, and Beth was an urban planner for a massive firm. So they have an amazing nest egg,” said co-producer Kay Oyegun. “But with that said… there will be a fork in the road that they’re going to have to answer those challenges coming up.”
Berger added: “We are going to be talking directly to that now. This is a very different situation in this house, in terms of two incomes that have drastically changed.” — With reporting by Dave Nemetz