This Is Us still manages to get me reaching for the tissues, but its attempts at realism during its third season haven't been the best. Despite butting heads over financial and logistical concerns, Randall and Beth continue to drop money on last-minute cross-country flights, and Randall seems doomed for eternal traffic jams while commuting between New Jersey and Philadelphia. Their tension about these issues is understandable, although the factors causing them aren't the most plausible. Viewers are getting agitated about how the two are handling this, and one This Is Us fan came up with the perfect solution to Randall and Beth's money problems.
In case you've lost track of the details during the couple's long-winded disagreement, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is beginning his city council job as Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) has taken up work as a dance instructor. Both jobs pay less than their previous positions, and Beth's classes are mostly at night, meaning that Randall would either have to beat rush hour traffic in order to look after their girls or they have to find quality, albeit expensive childcare. Their original plan of asking Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Miguel (Jon Huertas) to babysit was shut down when the older pair revealed they were considering a move to California to help Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) with the new baby.
By the end of March 12's This Is Us episode, Randall and Beth were confident that they'd figure out what to do, even though they never really aired out their feud about whether Randall thinks Beth's work is unimportant. Given the pair's ominously vague status in the show's future timeline, it's totally possible that this story is leading to their divorce or at least a separation. Their underlying tension about each other's passions may hold up for a while, but a fan on Reddit has presented a believable, easy solution to Randall and Beth's money troubles.
Reddit user dontrememberu wrote on a thread:
I wondered why the girls don’t just go to Beth’s ballet school with her after school? They could take ballet classes (most likely discounted or free since mom teaches there), or, if they have no interest in taking classes, they can hang out and do homework, or bring something else to keep themselves occupied.
Seriously, why haven't Randall and Beth discussed this? As some users point out, perhaps employees' kids hanging out at the dance studio is frowned upon.
But even in that case, many viewers see Deja (Lyric Ross) and Tess (Eris Baker) as old enough to look after themselves and Annie (Faithe Herman) — do they really need a babysitter for a few hours on a couple of weeknights? If they're old enough to keep themselves busy at the studio, they can probably manage heating up dinner and finishing their schoolwork without adult supervision at home. Fans on the same thread also believe that Randall and Beth could downgrade on a few lavish elements of their lives in order to afford a decent babysitter.
In the long run, people have a hard time believing that Randall and Beth's finances are as dire as they say, but that's the wonder of TV. Even if fans think otherwise, anything goes. We'll have to wait and see if Beth and Randall calm down from the stress of this situation and consider an option like mother-daughter dance nights.
Season 3 of This Is Us continues on Tuesday, March 19, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.