by Kelly Langevin
“This Is Us” revolves around the emotional tear-jerking Pearson family and all the difficult life decisions and heart-breaking challenges they face and try to overcome.
The show includes the mother Rebecca Pearson, played by Mandy Moore, the father Jack Pearson, played by Milo Ventimigila, and the big three, Kevin and Kate who are biological twins, and Randall who was born on the same day but adopted, making them “the big three” triplets.
The timeline of the show can be a bit difficult to follow, but the emotional set-up and clues draw the audience back in every time. In one episode, you can see the family in the past and five minutes later the children are back in their 30’s. The depth of each and every character and the way the show brings real family issues to life is the reason the show has been taking off, and also why it has such a huge fan base.
As adults, Kate is played by Chrissy Metz, Kevin is played by Justin Hartley, and Randall is played by Sterling K. Brown. The children are played by a variety of actors that illustrate their age progression in the flashbacks.
For starters, Jack and Rebecca were supposed to have triplets but they lost one baby at the hospital due to complications. While Rebecca is recovering, Jack goes over to look at all the babies when a fire fighter comes over to him and says an African American was left on a doorstep. “This is Us” tackles a controversial topic that other shows may shy away from. However, they capture what it’s like to be a white family with two white children and an African American child in the 90’s, while bringing all the hardships and racial issues they face to life.
The show, as it continues, centers around the biggest issue of them all. How does Jack die? It is another emotional roller coaster that makes the show so real and authentic. It shows flash backs of Jack being the children’s, as well as Rebecca’s, biggest role model in the world and being the best father the big three can ask for. He does everything he can possibly do as a father, helps Randall with school, football and also helps their only daughter Kate with her weight issues, which is an ongoing struggle throughout the show.
No family is perfect and the Pearson family nailed that one. Randall, struggles with finding his biological father and mother, while dealing with racial issues along the way. Randall also gets praised by Rebecca for being so intelligent at such a young age. That’s where Kevin and Kate, come in. Since they are biologically related, they share a special bond that Randall doesn’t and that’s shown clearly in every episode. Kevin is amazing at football, but not strong in academics and feels like he is looked down on by his parents, while Kate wants to pursue music but feels she isn’t good enough because of her weight.
Even with all of these problems and life-wrenching circumstances, their father Jack was there to take them by the hand and walk them through it. Jack was the father every child dreams of having, and any child is beyond blessed if they are granted with one. The Pearson family was lucky enough to have such an amazing, down to earth father, that when he died their world fell apart.
Season 2 of “This Is Us” revolves less on vacations and high school football games, but more of the impact of Jack’s death and how it affected the family.
Jack’s death was even more haunting than fans expected. The family’s house caught on fire from a Crock-Pot, and having no batteries in the smoke detectors (learned from a previous episode), their house went up in flames. Only Jack, Rebecca, Randall and Kate were in the house; Kevin was with his girlfriend.
Jack went back in the house while everyone made it out safely to save Kate’s dog and ended up dying at the hospital from inhaling too much smoke.
Now that the death had been revealed, “This is Us” captured what it’s really like to lose a parent. The Pearson family struggles with guilt, hatred and finding out how to live their lives without their super-hero dad.
It’s an intense battle between the family and an emotional stream of tears each episode, but it’s the story that keeps the audience right their grabbing onto their loved ones.
“This Is Us” is truly a masterpiece that has to be followed episode by episode, but the journey it brings you on is worth every second. It teaches you not everything in life goes as planned, but it’s the people you’re with that makes life worth it.