Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Wedding bells ring on This Is Us, unless they don’t

Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us
Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown in This Is Us
Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, May 25. All times are Eastern. 

Advertisement

Top pick

This Is Us (NBC, 9 p.m., season-six finale): One of the Big Three gets hitched tonight, unless maybe he doesn’t. Here’s Caroline Siede on the state of the Kevin/Madison union:

Like his big screen idol [Jerry Maguire], Kevin is impulsive and impractical with a tendency to leap before he looks. Instead of addressing Sophie’s very real concerns about their youthful marriage, teen Kevin sweeps them under the rug with a big Jerry-inspired “mission statement” about how their relationship will always be perfect, which, of course, we know it won’t be. Teen Kevin wants the romantic fantasy without actually putting in the work. But, on the other hand, it’s also telling that he can imagine a long-term future with Sophie in a way present-day Kevin can’t with Madison. Is that because he’s more pragmatic about love now that he’s a sober adult? Or is because he’s not actually in love with Madison?

What’s exciting is that I genuinely don’t know how this is going to pan out. I could see the finale going any number of different directions. And, best of all, I think (and hope) that this episode lays enough nuanced emotional groundwork that whatever happens won’t just feel like overblown melodrama.

It’ll just feel like This Is Us: earned melodrama. Watch for Caroline’s recap tonight.

Regular coverage

The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Superman & Lois (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Black lives matter

Here’s how the world of television is marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police.

Race Matters: America After George Floyd (PBS, 10 p.m.): In this special, PBS Newshour reflects on “what has changed, and what hasn’t, since the outrage and protests of last summer, focusing on Minneapolis as well as several other communities around the country that have also seen protests, police killings and hate crimes.”

Philly D.A. (PBS, 9 p.m.): In the penultimate episode of this Independent Lens docuseries, Philadelphia’s progressive District Attorney “must weigh on the decision to prosecute a Philly police officer who shoots and kills a disarmed Black man as he’s running away.”

The Conversation Remix (World Channel, streaming via the PBS app, YouTube, and on worldchannel.org): An offshoot of the 2015 New York Times op-docs series A Conversation On Race, this digital series of shorts from Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster reexamines and expands upon those original films through three specific lenses. For Our Girls: Conversations With Black Women exploresthe vital role Black women have played in the social justice movements while having their own plights denied and ignored. Learning to Breathe: Conversations With Young Black Men, a sequel to 2015’s Growing Up Black, asks the subjects of the earlier film to “reflect upon their naiveté, their morphing ideas on equity and their growing commitment to ensuring a re-imagined American future.” Good White People: A Conversation With White People “ponders whether white people are truly ready to address and dismantle white supremacy” by examining the widely varying viewpoints within one family.

Bars And Ballads For George Floyd (BET, 8 p.m.): BET begins a three-night series of programs honoring George Floyd and reflecting on the last year with an event featuring Jon Batiste, Nas, Anthony Hamilton, Rashad Robinson, Michael K. Williams, Trae tha Truth, and others.

Advertisement

After Floyd: The Year That Shook The World—A Soul Of A Nation Special (ABC, 10 p.m.): ABC follows up on the first Soul Of A Nation with two specials, the first of which airs tonight. Hosted in Minneapolis by Tamron Hall and T.J. Holmes, this hour “will feature in-depth interviews with Floyd’s family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, civil rights leader and founder and president of National Action Network Rev. Al Sharpton, Floyd’s pastor and Resurrection Houston Lead Pastor Patrick P.T. Ngwolo,” and others.

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!