By Grant Perry
- The Cast- The cast of “This Is Us” consists of a mix of renowned Hollywood actors and a few new faces. A-list celebrities Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia star as the two main characters, Jack and Rebecca. However, the newbies to the industry have not let us down. Chrissy Metz (Kate), Justin Hartley (Kevin), and Sterling K. Brown (Randall) have done an incredible job keeping up with their more experienced co-stars. All of the actors have embraced their characters struggles and successes so well that to the audience, it seems like the actors are actually experiencing the events themselves.
- The Messages- The writers behind “This Is Us” deserve just as much credit as the actors. Each episode tells stories of real life hardships that aren’t always easy to discuss. The show touches on all kinds of topics, including racism, body image, homosexuality, adoption, drug abuse, and death (just to name a few). While these all seem like pretty heavy topics, the show addresses them in a way that’s so compelling that it often leaves the audience feeling hopeful, rather than hopeless.
- The Cliffhangers- The writer’s’ strategy of utilizing cliffhangers in the plot is one of the main reasons “This Is Us” has been so successful. From the series premiere to the first season’s finale, there isn’t a single episode that ends without the audience wanting to know more. Whether it’s the overbearing question of how lead character Jack Pearson died, how Rebecca and Miguel (Jack’s best friend) get together, or whether or not Randall and Beth will really adopt a baby, the writer’s’ ability of totally captivating the audience is truly remarkable. They often give hints and clues to some of these topics, but they make sure to never reveal enough information for the audience to get the whole story. As a result, viewers come back week after week hoping to find answers.
- It’s Relatable- “This is Us” has done an impeccable job at addressing some of the most difficult issues in our society today. We see Kate go through significant troubles regarding her weight and body image. We see Randall struggle with the difficulty of being a black man in a white family. We see Kevin face career difficulties. We see Rebecca and Jack experience the everyday struggles of raising a family. And we see all of them deal with severe heartbreak and loss over the death of their father. All of these issues are things that people deal with every day. The topics that “This is Us” covers are universally relatable. Regardless of your age, gender, sexuality, religion, or ethnicity, everyone can find a way to connect to this show.
- It’s Unique- “This is Us” is a breath of fresh air for the entertainment world. Nowadays, scrolling through the TV guide offers very slim pickings. The options are mainly limited to trashy reality TV, sports, or cliché sitcoms. “This is Us” is unlike any show that’s currently, or ever, been on the air. It incorporates love, loss, and everything in between. It shines a light on some of the most difficult problems our society is facing today. Just like life, there isn’t always a happy ending, but it showcases a family that deals with the ups and downs of life together and that’s something worth watching.