This 'Parks & Rec' & 'This Is Us' Connection Will Make Fans Fully Geek Out
Randall's city council campaign is in full swing on This Is Us, but he took a serious step in the right direction on the drama's latest episode. After hiring a campaign manager with government experience, Randall offered a struggling Beth a job on the campaign team. Whether or not the two are actually making money from this is a little unclear, but Randall's sweet gesture reminded fans of a beloved sitcom's similar moment. This Parks and Rec and This Is Us connection will definitely impress your inner geek, but does it mean that Randall has a victory in store?
Although she acted confident about her job search around Randall, Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) actually struggled more with her sudden firing than she let on. She became emotional during a job interview and then lashed out at Tess when she complained about Beth not being prepared for selling Girl Scout cookies. In the Oct. 30 episode "Kamsahamnida," Beth finally spilled about how difficult unemployment had been for her, prompting Randall (Sterling K. Brown) to remind her of all they had accomplished together. He then asked Beth to join the campaign team, insisting that his offer wasn't a pity job, and she accepted.
Thanks to the cast's foreboding hints about Beth and Randall's future this season, most viewers aren't feeling too optimistic about the couple working together. However, Reddit user virtualsalad found the pairing reminiscent of a fairly positive sitcom moment, writing:
Has anyone noticed how Randall hiring his recently unemployed and depressed wife in his campaign as he runs for city council is pretty much exactly what happened in Season 4 of Parks and Recreation when Leslie hired her recently unemployed and depressed boyfriend Ben as her campaign manager when she was running for city council? If that show is any indicator, hijinks will ensue but Randall will ultimately be elected!
The emotional This Is Us isn't exactly the sunny Parks and Recreation, but the coincidence of these corresponding stories is definitely noteworthy. While Randall's actual campaign manager is the experienced Koreatown resident that he won over with a heartfelt speech, giving the increasingly depressed Beth a job totally mirrors Amy Poehler's Leslie doing the same for Ben (Adam Scott). Although her campaign against local favorite Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) started out weakly, Leslie became a strong contender when she hired Ben to run her team, ultimately winning the election. Now that Randall has found an edge over incumbent councilman Solomon Brown, is his path destined for victory, too?
This Is Us producer Isaac Aptaker hinted about how the election will progress, telling Entertainment Weekly:
At first [Brown] underestimated Randall a little bit. As the guy who’s been in this community for over a decade and Randall’s coming in as a wealthy guy from Alpine, New Jersey, with a bit more of a tenuous connection to this community through William, I don’t think he’s worried at all. And then in this episode, Randall proves some real political savvy and hires this ambitious young campaign manager, and all of a sudden Sol Brown is going, 'Uh oh, maybe I have something to worry about here.'
Beth hasn't quite resorted to making stop motion films like Ben did during his depressive state, but following Randall's every whim in this campaign season might not go as smoothly as Leslie and Ben's partnership did. Can the Pearsons squeeze in a quick trip to Pawnee for advice on being a couple on the campaign trail?
Season 3 of This Is Us continues on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.