A Prayer for My Emotions as This Is Us Embarks on Its 2nd Season

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, so luminescent and full of zinc and other elements available only in theory via the periodic table of elements, I come to you in supplication, oh Lord. Tonight, Father God, the second season of This Is Us begins on your network, NBC, as all network are yours, even VH1 and WE tv, Holiness, where drinks and chairs prove that you are the only masterful creator by showing inanimate objects be, um, animate (?) in flight, oh Lord.

But this ain’t about them tonight, Papa Spirit; this is about This Is Us, and he is I and I am him, and I’m not sure if any of us are ready for the emotional labor, oh wise one, that comes with watching a show that had me feeling e-moo-tions deeper than I’d ever dreamed of.

Last season I embarked on the mission to binge-watch the show via that free Hulu connection I borrowed from that free Wi-Fi connection I stumbled upon that could have only come from you, Father, for you are the giver of the $free.99 workout plan that Kanye raved about back yonder. With that free Wi-Fi, I watched all 18 episodes, and by the time I was done, oh Lord, I was a shell of my former self.


My emotions were all over the living room floor, all salinelike, as I tried to pull myself together. I’ll never look at ducks the same way again, ever, Lord. Just yesterday I was rolling down the street smoking indo, sipping on gin and juice, except the indo was really a chewstick and there was only orange juice, and a row of ducks crossed the road, and I had to get out of my car and sit on a curb because my tears were too plentiful and bountiful for me to continue driving.

Jesus be a fence around my heart tonight and every other Tuesday for the next 18 Tuesdays that will include episodes of the new season, unless there’s some sort of midseason break, which, ughhh, as I’m not sure just how much more emotion I have stockpiled in my spirt. Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and most of my clothes fit me well, your honor, so I’m trying to be strong like bull, but I just don’t know, man. I just don’t know. Like, HOW DID JACK DIE and how DID HIS WIFE GET WITH ... I can’t even do it, Lord. I’m still mad about it.

And Randall, Lord, and the kids and his wife, Lord, I love them so. And Kevin had what could be deemed several road-to-Damascus moments, Father. ... You out here turning Saul into Paul, and Kevin doesn’t have any real interchangeable-name options that work as cleanly—I see what you did there, God, with Saul and Paul—but he was a changed man by the time the season was over. In fact, the entire first season could have been called “Road to Damascus” and it would have made just as much sense, Lord.

Back to my emotions—Lord be a Kleenex of resistance and a beacon of Bounty absorption, highness. Also, I’d like to ask what else you might have up your sleeve in terms of black tears. Hear me out, Lord. You killed Mufasa, which I did not see coming, as a 14-year-old; they killed Cornbread—which, again, too young; Will’s daddy didn’t want him no mo’; you cut off Kunta’s foot; Ricky died; “Memphis” episode; G-Baby got shot; and even Lil Saint in You Got Served took an L. What more can you really bring to the fictional table, Lord? Don’t you think you should chill?


I’m not questioning your divine wisdom; I’m just asking the tough questions. Emotionally, fictitiously, we’ve been through a lot, is all I’m saying, one-third of the Holy Trinity. Or three-thirds, whichever you’re most comfortable with, God. I enjoy This Is Us for many reasons, most of which are the wonderful storytelling and the ENTIRE okey-doke the first episode turned out to be that set me like, “Oh, I see how y’all gon’ do ... I see you, boo”—it had me at hello. You hear that, Lord? The show had me at hello. Though I do wonder in today’s technologically fueled landscape if you can have folks at the text hello. That’s one of those QTNA—ya dig, Lord?

Speaking of more questions that need answers, just where is the Honeycomb Hideout? It’s not that important, God, so you can wait on that one. Mostly I’d just like you to tend to my emotions and keep me safe and sanctified as I attempt to watch this show, while remembering what it did to me last season, hoping to not devolve into a mess of tears while secretly hoping that I cry for the whole season because I actually didn’t mind how wrapped up in it I got, Lord. So ultimately, just be some cover, like the blood of the lamb or something, for me and my spirit so that I may watch with an open mind and a clear heart and appreciate the moments that influence my soul.


Also, and lastly, please, Lord, make sure this season is as good as season 1, since we’re all up on game; you know sometimes it gets hard to keep up with yourself. Do you think you can do that, Holy Fam? Cool. In Westside Jesus’ name we pray ...


Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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I took it as a source of pride that I had never cried at an episode of this show, and then they hit me with Randall’s Daddy’s backstory. wooo.