Tuesday, September 20, 2016

'This is Us' Looks Promising

Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) in "This is Us." (NBC)
Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) in This is Us. (NBC)
TV SHOW REVIEW
NBC has pretty much kept us in the dark about its new series This is Us showing the same clips over and over again without explaining anything. And there is a reason for this which is explained at the very end of the pilot episode. Honestly, it wasn’t until then that I decided that I liked the show and can’t wait to see what happens next week.

Many have assumed that the show will be NBC’s next Parenthood, and it could be. It too is drama with some comedy and a tinge of mystery thrown in for good measure. At first, the show starts out kinda clunky showing us snippets of four different stories, each focusing on characters having the same birthday.

Gerald McRaney and Milo Ventimiglia - review of "This is Us"
Gerald McRaney and Milo Ventimiglia (NBC)

Story 1: On the day of Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) birthday, his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore), goes into premature labor and prepares to deliver the couple’s triplets. Doctor K (Gerald McRaney) is there to oversee the births and give some heartfelt advice. Though is featured heavily in the first episode, it appears that this will be his only appearance for the show, but you never know.

Story 2: Kate (Chrissy Metz) is overweight and miserable. She has joined a weight loss support group determined to get smaller and healthier, but there she meets Toby (Chris Sullivan) who might be the best thing for her, or the worst.


Justin Hartley - review of "This is Us"
Justin Hartley and "friends." (NBC)
Story 3: Kate’s twin brother Kevin (Justin Hartley) is a famous actor working on the fictional sitcom, The Manny. The show is terrible forcing him to film practically every scene with his shirt off and spew out bad one-liners. When we first meet him, he is supposedly “entertaining” two female “friends” which make him look like a pig. However, he isn’t interested in them. He overwhelmed that it is his birthday and wonders if there is more to life than the stupid Manny show. Alan Thicke stars as himself as a guest star on The Manny show.

Ron Cephas Jones and Sterling K. Brown - review of "This is Us"
Ron Cephas Jones and Sterling K. Brown (NBC)
Story 4: Successful businessman Randal (Sterling K. Brown) is struggling with meeting his birth father William (Ron Cephas Jones) for the first time. All Randal wants to do is tell the old man off for dropping him off at a fire station when he was just an infant, but for some reason, he can’t seem to let the guy go.

This is Us was written by Dan Fogelman who scripted the animated Tangled for Disney and Galavant for ABC and you can see some of his influence in the humor. None of the characters are perfect and some of them do or say something that is off-putting, but that might be the key to making this show work. They’re more real than they first appear. Kevin and Randal are rich while Jack and Rebecca seem to be scraping by. As for Kate, we don’t really know.

To tell you anymore about the show would be a disservice. Instead, why not you watch the first episode and then then tell me what you thought of it and if you will watch again? I will.

This is Us premieres on Tuesday, September 20 at 10:00 p.m. and then moves to 9:00 p.m. on October 11 on NBC.

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