We all have a void left by a show. Perhaps you’re longing for a good ugly cry ala Parenthood or a feel-good dramedy the likes of which you’ve been missing since the end of Gilmore Girls or One Tree Hill. If you’re like me, shows like these defined an era in your life. I graduating high school with Rory Gilmore. I struggled right alongside her with whether or not to stay in college. My brother married his high school love like Nathan and Haley Scott. I’ve learned that sometimes a sibling can be your best friend along with the Bravermans.
And now I’m in my 30’s, looking for characters to relate to as I wade through being single when everyone I know is married with kids. I’m adjusting to a life that isn’t anything I thought it would be at this point. If you’re looking for something similar, you’re in luck, because This Is Us is the perfect show to fill that void.
The pilot follows the path of 5 main characters: married couple Jack and Rebecca as they welcome triplets into the world, actor Kevin- whose mind numbing TV show has left him questioning his career, his weight-battling sister Kate who is determined to cut calories and find her way back to a life she wants, and Randall- married father of two who was abandoned as an infant and has rediscovered his birth father.
42 minutes might not be enough time to really feel out a show, but so far, creator Dan Fogelman is setting a good pace to bring us into the fold of his character’s lives and make us feel for them. One hospital scene in particular will have you not only reaching for the box of tissues, but reevaluating how you handle the crises in your life.
Although I found the premise of Kate’s potential love interest to be a little overworked (is the only hope for overweight people finding love on TV really at ‘Overeaters Anonymous’?) it is really my only complaint about the episode. With just a little bit of finesse, I think this minor cliched misstep can be easily put back on course.
All in all- I’m very hopeful for this series. Fogelman has set some high standards for himself (with equal parts charming, heart-warming, and hopeful moments, and a dash of gut wrenching scenes in the right places) but if the 10 million viewers for the pilot episode are any indication, the world is just as excited as I am to see where This Is Us takes us.
Photo credit: NBC