This is Us is an American television drama that aired on NBC since September 20, 2016.
"This is Us" follows siblings Kate, Kevin & Randall as their lives intertwine.
Kate and Kevin were originally part of a triplet pregnancy, conceived in a bar, Froggy's, bathroom during Super Bowl XIV. However, their biological brother was stillborn. While their due date was October 12, 1980, they were born six weeks early on August 31, 1980.
Their parents, Jack and Rebecca, intent on bringing home three babies, decide to adopt another newborn named Randall, a child who was born on the same day and brought to the same hospital after his biological father abandoned him at a fire station.
The episodes weave through the stories of the past and present of the characters, with most scenes taking place in 1980, 1989–1990 & the present day (2016–2017).
The flashback scenes take place in Pittsburgh, while current scenes are typically split between Los Angeles, New Jersey, and New York City.
Main Cast Edit
- Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson
- Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson
- Sterling K. Brown (modern day)/Lonnie Chavis (age 9) as Randall Pearson
- Chrissy Metz (modern day)/Mackenzie Hancsicsak (age 9) as Kate Pearson
- Justin Hartley (modern day)/Parker Bates (age 9) as Kevin Pearson
- Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth Pearson
- Ron Cephas Jones (modern day)/Jermel Nakia (in flashbacks) as William Hill
Recurring Cast Edit
- Faithe Herman as Annie Pearson
- Eris Baker as Tess Pearson
- Jon Huertas as Miguel
- Gerald McRaney as Dr. Nathan Katowski
- Janet Montgomery as Olivia Maine
- Jill Johnson as Laurie
- Milana Vayntrub as Sloane Sandburg
- Denis O'Hare as Jessie
- Adam Bartley as Duke
- Alexandra Breckenridge (modern day)/Sophia Coto (age 10) as Sophie
Guest Stars Edit
- Alan Thicke as Himself
- Brad Garrett as Wes Manning
- Katey Sagal as Lanie Schulz
- Jami Gertz as Marin Rosenthal
- Seth Meyers as Himself
- Jimmi Simpson as Andy Fannan
- Elizabeth Perkins as Janet Malone
- Mario Lopez as himself
Season overview Edit
Commitment to diversity Edit
Fogelman intentionally recruited behind-the-scenes talent that would reflect the diversity of his cast, with the goal of bringing greater authenticity to the dialog and storylines. These include black directors Regina King and George Tillman, Jr. and black female writers Kay Oyegun and Jas Waters (part of a 30% black core writing staff that far outpaces the industry standard of 5%). In addition, Fogelman's sister Deborah, whose struggles with weight were one of the initial inspirations for the show, serves as a consultant.
The first season of "This Is Us" has received critical acclaim, with critics praising cast performances and series plot. The Simpsons.
On Rotten Tomatoes, it has fresh rating of 90% based on 50 reviews with a weighted average of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Featuring full-tilt heartstring-tugging family drama, This Is Us will provide a suitable surrogate for those who have felt a void in their lives since Parenthood went off the air."
On Metacritic, the season has a normalized score of 76 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "Generally favorable reviews".
TVLine gave the series "A-" saying, "With emotionally resonant dialogue and top-notch performances, This Is Us should fill that Braverman-sized hole in your heart."
TV Guide placed the show at ninth among the top ten picks for the most anticipated new shows of the 2016–2017 season and called it, "a well-acted drama about love, life and family."
The series generally received positive reviews to date from various media outlets and critics.
Writing for The Star-Ledger, Vicki Hyman lauded the series and said, "This Is Us (from Crazy, Stupid, Love screenwriter Dan Fogelman) methodically weaves four seemingly disparate stories into a believable and emotional whole through tiny telling details, relatable moments, and conversations and confrontations that are funny, tender or painful, or all three at once."
Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen wrote, "A 21st century thirtysomething for a TV generation that likes a splash of high concept in their shows and isn't afraid of melodrama."
Gwen Ihnat of The A.V. Club also reviewed the series positively saying, "The hour accomplishes what it set out to do. It creates characters so compelling that we compulsively want to tune back in to see them again."
In a review for Boston Globe, Matthew Gilbert said, "The pilot is beautifully shaped, the themes of building your own meaning in life are smart, and the actors already seem to know their characters."
The Washington Post critic, Hank Stuever said, "While I'd like to see another few episodes to make sure, there's something comfortably gooey right away about This Is Us, reminding us once more that amid all the high-functioning detectives, emergency-rescue personnel and secret-agent superheroes covered in cryptic tattoos, there are very few network dramas aimed at viewers who are simply interested in everyday people and how they feel."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's TV critic Rob Owen wrote, "Created and written by Dan Fogelman, This is Us manages the tricky task of telling emotional stories without getting too saccharine. And in each story, the characters are quite relatable."
James Poniewozik of The New York Times also gave the series positive reviews and said, "The first hour works its way efficiently through an economy-size box of tissues with cleverly turned dialogue and well-inhabited performances."
Critics at other publications such as USA Today, The Atlantic, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Los Angeles Times reviewed the series positively.
Some were more critical towards the show.
Daniel D'Addario of Time wrote, "The show has promise, but its cynicism in terms of trying to evoke an emotional response is both what viewers will be tuning in for and its least accomplished aspect. If it could work to wring out a real response, not just an easy one, this might be a show worth watching each week."
Chief TV critic of Indiewire, Ben Travers quipped, "It all works out seems to be the main takeaway from the pilot, but where things specifically go from here is one whopping question mark. Perhaps if this was an episodic anthology series with new characters flooding in every week and new arcs every season, This Is Us could repeat the mysterious highs of its subjectively mediocre pilot (depending on how you like that ending)."
In a moderate review of Variety, Sonia Saraiya said, "It's deceptively difficult to build a surprising and complete story in just 40 minutes with so many characters. Yet This Is Us manages to both craft an intimate series of portraits and stitch them together. But at the same time, waves of cloying sentiment threaten to submerge everything."
"This is Us" has received critical acclaim since its premiere, receiving nominations for "Best Television Series – Drama" at the 74th Golden Globe Awards and "Best Drama Series" at the 7th Critics' Choice Awards as well as being chosen as a Top Television Program by the American Film Institute.
The cast has received accolades with Mandy Moore & Chrissy Metz receiving Golden Globe nominations for "Best Supporting Actress" and Sterling K. Brown receiving a SAG nomination for "Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series."