If you haven’t seen This is Us, what are you waiting for? This is Us is on Netflix and has changed the genre of family drama as we know it. The plot unfolds the generational story of the Pearson family we follow the lives of ‘triplets’ Kate, Kevin and Randall whose only similarity is their date of birth.
The plot is told in a choppy, non-chronological order, which makes the show hard to follow if you have not watched from the first episode. This strategic method ensures viewers are intertwined with the content and storyline but also serves to capture viewers for further seasons which will most-likely increase ratings. A favourable outcome for those involved. Every viewer attempts to connect the dots between the past events and present conditions of the Pearson family. All of these plots jump from one to another with an economical rhythm that sometimes betrays the show’s more adept emotions.
The writers of this is us have managed to skillfully manipulate its viewers to care for each character we are introduced to, eliminating the traditional protagonist and antagonist dynamic from the series. It is through this very emotional manipulation we can find ourselves empathizing with the struggles of our main characters. These very struggles are ones that are predominant in today’s society : body image, self doubt, love, loss, addiction and the pursuit of perfection. Furthermore, we are enticed to stick around for upcoming episodes to see how these characters grow, evolve and deal with these issues. However, as found with any good direction the plot twists we encounter (much resembling those in er often find in reality) leaves our characters confused, heartbroken and disenchanted with their ambitions. The show is riddled with emotional scenes, and you are sure to find yourself under its sob inducing spell when we witness the disappointment and failures the characters encounter. Critics agree, One can’t help but appreciate the twists that Fogelman and his fellow executive producers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have integrated within the premiere and how well the script showcases the impressive talents of Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Gerald McRaney and Mandy Moore. They really are in top form here.
The show was nominated for five Emmys, with Sterling K. Brown, who plays the role of (adult) Randall, winning the title of outstanding lead actor for a drama series.
The promise of the show not only lies in its ability to tug on heartstrings but, also its effectiveness in portraying and conveying the everyday realities faced by families, everywhere. Whether you are a mother, father or child, This is Us leaves a message for all to identify with, and mostly celebrate the imperfection that is the familial structure.