Back for Season 3 of A Million Little Things
Oh, the madness of timing. Last year, I was overjoyed when one of my favorite series from 2018, A Million Little Things was given the golden time slot in Shondaland right between, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder. It was a move that allowed me to give gratitude to Shonda Rhimes — something I’d rather not do under any circumstances. I spent much of the end of last year alternately watching it and The Good Place one week and streaming the other. Then because I got focused on the final episodes of the latter show — with good reason, I might add — and with other series getting in my way, I ended up missing much of the second half of Season 2.
However, in this new world, I’m welcoming old friends, and I’m glad to see the group has survived — albeit with more trauma. Eddie (David Glutnick) spent much of the back half of Season 2 trying to figure out another mystery of his past that may have involved a murder when he was drunk. Just as he seemed to resolve it, he was the victim of a hit and run while he was still on the phone with Katherine (Grace Park). He managed to survive it, but is now facing the possibility he might never walk again.
Rome and Regina spent much of last year trying to go through the process of adopting a child. I well remember how opposed Regina was to the idea in the half of Season 2 I watched, so I don’t know how much effort it took to win her over. I do know the end result — the birth mother backed out at the last second, and now Regina and Rome are dealing with the consequences in different ways — Rome is angry, Regina is depressed, and their shaky marriage is starting to crumble.
But I think the most devastating blow for me was learning that my favorite couple of the group Greg (the remarkable James Roday) and Maggie (Allison Miller0 broke up at the end of last season. After going through remission last year, you really thought they could handle everything, but I guess life and all the other aspects came to a blow. Maggie went to London on a fellowship to try and write a book at the end of last season, and is now in the process of trying to distance herself emotionally from her friends and Greg in particular. Greg has moved on with a friend of the family — physical therapist Flora — but some part of me is still rooting for them.
I won’t lie to you; A Million Little Things can often be a hard watch — at times, it can make This Is Us seem like a positive cheerfest by comparison. But there are rewards. The deepness of the friendships that have been built through so much tragedy, the often great comedy that can come more often than you’d think, and the mysteries that always seem to be there. More than that, the friends are getting into stages where they can move on from some of the darker moments. I wish we’d see a bit more of Delilah, the widow who basically brought everybody together in the opening season, but it still plays well. I do think we’d be better off with some of the darkness — I don’t know who the driver is who tried to kill Eddie in the Season 2 finale, but it looks like at least a fair amount of the next few episodes is going to be spent dealing with him and the fallout.
So yet again, I find myself reluctantly giving credit to ABC and Shondaland for putting this brilliant series right up behind the two last series of Rhimes’ work on the network. I look forward to the day that they’ll have the confidence to let A Million Little Things stand on its own two feet, because not only can it really do so, the level of creativity and emotion don’t even belong in the same universe as Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a beautifully sculpted series, the kind that you’d think that Peak TV would and should have more of.
My score: 4.5 stars.