This Is Us brings a surprisingly refreshing feel to the network television drama.
It is hard to believe that a story about regular people in regular situations can make for engaging television. In a time when we want our stories to have high stakes and life or death situations, This Is Us is a gimmick free show that will keep you on the verge of tears one minute and laughing out loud the next.
Some of my favorite television shows are character driven, and I love a show that focuses on character development and gives special attention to character arcs. But looking at the shows I like there always seems to be another factor that drives the actual story or plot. Zombies or drug dealers or crooked lawyers or horror elements or time lords.
Even shows that I don’t watch use some sort of special element to drive the stories within the show. Doctors or cops or firemen or not crooked lawyers.
So when I saw the commercials for This Is Us it didn’t grab my attention as a must watch show. Even when my wife watched the first two episodes OnDemand and told me I needed to see it I was a little skeptical and she had to convince me to watch the first episode one night after work.
I am glad I watched.
After three episodes I am hooked and I find myself caring about every single character that has appeared on the screen.
The show does such a good job because the writing is damn near perfect and the actors are fantastic. Watching a brother and sister sit on the bathroom floor questioning how their lives got the way they have doesn’t feel forced or cliché at all. It feels real. In fact, everything these characters do and experience feels real and genuine.
The first episode did have me asking a few questions. There was nothing wrong with the storytelling and they aren’t glaring questions that demand to be answered, but I did find myself wondering why certain details were the way they were.
And in the last two minutes of the episode we are hit with a twist that answered my questions and really makes you say…
Oh. My. God.
The second episode is just as good as the first. By now we are up to speed with the dynamic that plays between most of the characters and we know what each one is going through. But by the end of this episode we are asking a few questions that do demand an answer. Questions that really grab you and keep you hooked.
Before watching the show I didn’t hear much about it. I saw the commercials and I noticed an article in Entertainment Weekly. Be warned… If you have the magazine you don’t want to read that article before watching the show because there are serious spoilers.
Even now I don’t see much chatter about the show.
But I have seen it mentioned here and there, and when I bring it up people agree that it is a great show. I have a feeling that as word of mouth spreads we are going to see this show blow up.
So if you haven’t done so yet, make sure you catch up on This Is Us and set your DVRs because it is a show that will have you emotionally involved and will connect with you on many different levels.