NBC’s newest fall drama “This is Us” epitomizes the true diversity found among American families. The show follows two story lines; one set in modern day and the other a flashback to 36 years ago. The family consists of parents Jack and Rebecca, who find themselves with an unusual set of triplets. The couple loses a son during delivery, but have a healthy baby boy and girl. As coincidence would have it, an abandoned boy was found at the local fire station and brought to the hospital on the same day as the birth of the twins.
Wanting to complete their trio, which they affectionately call “the big three,” Jack and Rebecca adopt the abandoned boy. However, he doesn’t bond right away with his new mother and siblings. The twins, named Kevin and Kate, have looks that resemble their white parents. Their adopted son, whose name is changed from Kevin to Randall, is African American. Jack has an easier time accepting Randall as one of his own kids, while Rebecca struggles to see past their racial differences.
[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F10%2F12%2F636118921563292743908880578_nup_174895_07351.jpg%3Fquality%3D65%26strip%3Dall%26w%3D780%26strip%3Dall&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=988&h=88af394daf3fa534d6cb3350188c70fc9a22f5590364733dff8b95eadf31a32a&size=980x&c=144310409 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F10%252F12%252F636118921563292743908880578_nup_174895_07351.jpg%253Fquality%253D65%2526strip%253Dall%2526w%253D780%2526strip%253Dall%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D988%26h%3D88af394daf3fa534d6cb3350188c70fc9a22f5590364733dff8b95eadf31a32a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D144310409%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]
Fast forward to modern time, and the big three are all grown up. Now 36, their lives have evolved and they’ve each taken their own paths. Kevin is a famous actor in a sitcom called “Manny,” but wants more out of his career. Kate works as Kevin’s personal assistance while struggling with her weight issues. Randall works in a prestigious law firm and is a happily married father of two girls. However, he is still haunted by the fact that he doesn’t know his biological parents. Jack and Rebecca have not been seen much in the modern moments, although it is revealed that Rebecca now has a new husband. In the flashbacks, Jack struggles with alcoholism while Rebecca is trying to find her way as a new mother of three. Somewhere between then and now, the two must’ve gone their own ways. Only time will tell what actually occurred.
This show opens the conversation to what defines a family. With a family of mixed races, Jack and Rebecca struggled to help all the children understand their relationships to each other and their place in society. Randall can be caught making references to the disparities between whites and blacks during modern times.
It also sets the foundation for looking at and discussing adoption. Rebecca choose to pursue a closed adoption, even though the biological father wanted to see his son. The show looks at what has happened as a result of the way Rebecca chose to raise Randall.
The conversation of healthy living and fitting into standard models is looked at through the eyes of Kate and Kevin. Kate is seen as the “fat girl” that has given up hope of finding love. Kevin wants to be viewed as more than just a good looking actor. The two, being twins, have the closest relationship which continues to develop over the years.
If you’re looking for a show filled with drama, desperation, and hope, this is it. The writers pull you in with the storylines and the actors carry you away with their emotions. While the series is still new, it has become one of the biggest hits on television. I see nothing but great things coming in the future for “This is Us.” Tune into NBC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. to catch one of the best shows to air on television.