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These are the Scenes That Basically Secured Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown’s ‘This Is Us’ Emmy Nominations

With no surprise, This Is Us totally crushed it at the Emmy Award nominations. Together the show received 11 nominations, which is almost unheard of these days for broadcast television. The last time one of the Big Four networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) received a nomination in the Best TV Drama category was six years ago with The Good Wife. 

Ron Cephas Jones and Chrissy Metz both picked up nominations in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories, but it was the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category that had all of the Pearson fans excited! Both Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown were nominated for their roles and Jack and Randall Pearson. While Brown was sure to be a shoe-in, Ventimiglia’s nomination was an added bonus for This Is Us fans.

Of course, any fan of the series is in no way surprised by their nominations. The two have been giving out heart wrenching and emotional performances all season. Let’s take a look back at the scenes that basically secured these two superb actors their nominations.

Sterling K. Brown – Randall Pearson

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When we first met Randall he had decided to confront his birth father who abandoned him at the fire station after he was born. It was an immediate introduction to the wonderful actor that is Sterling K. Brown. He packed an emotional punch right there in the pilot and you just knew that he was going to be perfect in this show.

The relationship between Randall and Kevin is one that is still being explored, but in the scene below Sterling really tapped into how Randall felt about never being accepted or loved by his brother in a way that allows audiences to fully understand his anguish. I’m not sure how many viewers could relate to being black and adopted into an all white family, but I can sure tell you that I felt his pain right along with him.

When Randall finds out that his mother had basically shut William out of his life, he completely breaks down at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s Brown’s calm demeanor in his confrontation that makes this scene even more powerful. While other actors may have chosen to go with more of an outburst, Brown did not. His timing, his delivery, and his emotion are truthfully unmatched here.

In what was one of the most heartbreaking episodes and scenes of the entire show, Randall must say goodbye to William who passes away after a season of fighting cancer. Brown doesn’t say much, but he doesn’t need to. It’s all in his face. The the moment when he replicates what his father always used to do to him when he was worried was a touching way to bring everything full circle.

Randall quitting his job was one of the most freeing and beautiful scenes of Brown’s. What I found interesting and incredible about this brief scene was his ability to capture both the spirit of William and Ron Cephas Jones. He is still Randall, but that essence is there in a way that it hadn’t been before. It marked a visible shift in Randall Pearson moving forward.

Milo Ventimiglia – Jack Pearson

Jack Pearson’s love for his family is his guiding lifht. Here, he promises to quit drinking and truly be there for them no matter what. Sometimes those promises are hard to believe, but the way that Milo delivers in this scene really makes you believe it. It was one of the first instances where you knew he was going to be a wonderful captain for this family and this show.

In what was probably Milo’s best scene of the season, he goes with Randall to karate class and does push-ups with him on his back as a way to prove that no matter what he will always be there to lift him up and support him. In this scene Milo totally transforms into Jack Pearson and the determination and fire in this performance alone deserved an Emmy nomination.

In another touching moment with Randall, Jack gives a speech about embracing your differences.  If there’s one thing Milo knows how to do it’s deliver a kick-ass monologue and in this scene he does a beautiful job.

At the pool, Jack notices that Kate is feeling insecure about he weight and tells her a story about a magic shirt that completely turns her mood around. Like I said, if there’s one thing Milo knows how to do it’s nail a monologue and this scene is no different. It’s a touching moment that was easy for anyone in the audience who was dealing with similar issues to resonate with.

In the Season 1 finale, Milo was given the opportunity to show off his more dramatic acting chops as Jack and Rebecca have a massive fight on Valentine’s Day. It’s a great scene for both Mandy and Milo and what makes it so intense is just how real it was. People had built Jack up so much in their heads that no one really wanted to seem him crack, but Milo manages to become darker while still maintaining those parts of Jack that people love.

Good luck to Milo and Sterling and all of the This Is Us family!