No matter what, there is Mandy Moore. In good times and in bad, certainly as long as I’ve been staying up late to write about stuff and long before that, there has been Mandy Moore. Yet I was almost perversely proud when the shots came out and people started tweeting at each other:

“Is… that Mandy Moore?”

It was, and it is. And after so. many. years of people giggling when I said her name and laughing at the fact that I cared, she was really quite striking last night. Eyebrows/Hair/Michael Kors. She didn’t blow away the theme but she definitely didn’t fall on her face. She got rid of all the mumsy makeup that has followed her around, and it’s no accident that it’s on the heels of her incredibly successful first season of her show, which has brought her back to the consciousness of people who didn’t know they cared that she’d been gone.

But that’s when I get a little heartbroken. Because while This Is Us is a lock not only for next season but the one beyond, we also found out tonight that Pitch, a show that is beloved and excellent, but not ‘popular’, is cancelled. It’s not cancelled because of This Is Us, but they were by the same creator so his time obviously winds up being spent in one place more than another. It was a hard sell, I guess, a show about a woman in Major League Baseball—but it was great, and you should check it out when it shows up on your streaming service.

Meanwhile, Mandy has arrived, finally. Finally people offer her a seat at the table, and I can see her leaning into this Mandy—the one who’s not obligated to be the nice girl—a lot more. I just wish it felt a little less like a small silver lining.