“This Is Us” (NBC)
NBC’s new hit series “This Is Us” airs every Tuesday at 9PM. This is the compassionately human show about family that has captured the hearts and imaginations of a wide range of people across the country. The stars of this series include Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown. They all act and interact beautifully with each other. It is a joy to watch each week’s episode and have your emotions toyed with so artfully.
By now most of us are aware the family consists of a mom, dad and their three kids. The parents were expecting triplets but one of the boys died at birth and immediately the parents adopted another baby that was born the same day and left abandoned at the local fire station. Through flashbacks we see all of these characters at various stages of their lives. As adults Kate (Metz) and Kevin (Hartley) are very close but not as much with Randall (Brown). He is closest with their mother (Moore).
Each week we are taken back in time to see the three children at various stages in their youth, and also their lives in present time. Each scene relates to all the others and there is usually a message to be found in these experiences. Some are vague, some are subtle, and some are spelled out clearly. Each message generally comes with a stab to our hearts.
As an adult Kate is overweight. It is something she struggles with but it is not her entire life. The beauty in the writing is that Kate is a total person and not a descriptive object with that description being fat. She is humorous, loyal, funny and a million other things. She has a boyfriend named Toby (Chris Sullivan) and their love is a wondrous thing to observe.
The most successful of the three children is Randall. He is a successful businessman and has a happy marriage. He and his wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are the parents of two girls. Kevin has probably made more money since he was the star of a successful TV series but now is an actor in a play on Broadway. Kevin does not have anyone special in his life.
The glue that holds the show together is the parents. They are two people in love with each other and in love with their kids. They have their moments of weakness but when the two are operating as one they are unbeatable. Moore and Ventimiglia have a natural easiness and warmth with each other and this solidifies the heart of the how.
“This Is Us” appears to be aimed at the audience grieving over the loss of “Parenthood.” What is great is this show satisfies that audiences’ needs and has drawn an even bigger crowd of people to the show. “This Is Us” is a verified hit and in my opinion deservedly so.
Jackie K Cooper