The new fall show for ABC "A Million Little Things" has quickly become one of the most watched television shows this fall. If you haven't heard of the show it surrounds a group of friends dealing with the aftermath of the unexpected suicide of one of their friend's. While shows such as "Thirteen Reasons Why" have received lots of criticism for its portrayal of suicide, "A Million Little Things" has skillfully dealt with one of the largest problems plaguing our nation today. Suicide isn't romanticized but the depiction also isn't unnecessarily graphic like in "Thirteen Reasons Why." "A Million Little Things" also succeeds because of its ability to address multiple different, wide-ranging issues.
1. It gives representation to males with breast cancer
One of the main characters, Gary, is in remission from breast cancer. Breast cancer is thought to be an exclusively female cancer, and while the vast majority of those with breast cancer are female men get breast cancer as well. Bringing this sort of representation to life is extremely important.
2. A classic cliffhanger
You know the type of TV show where you have to force yourself to watch every week? Well, this isn't one of them. At the end of each episode "A Million Little Things" leaves you craving for the next one. There is always some big surprise or twist that makes you wish you didn't have to wait a week for the next episode and keeps you tuning in exactly at 10/9 central each Wednesday.
3. Resources and trigger warnings
"A Million Little Things" provides trigger warnings to its viewers as well as resources to call or look up. These are incredibly helpful to anyone out there you is suffering from mental illness and needs help.
4. It has a mystery
The main underlying tension of the show is that nobody knows why John committed suicide because his assistant hid the letter that he left. This leads to all kinds of questions about what really caused him to end his life. Additionally, it causes questions about the motives of his assistant, Ashley. Is she a good person? Is she bad? Why is she doing this?
5. The characters are three-dimensional
All of the characters have flaws, but these flaws don't keep them from being unlikable. What is probably the biggest feat of the show is that they manage to make the viewer care about each and every single character. And they show that even the best characters aren't infallible.
6. It helps to destigmatize mental health and mental illness
In our society there is a stigma associated with mental health and mental illness even though increasing numbers of people are being diagnosed with mental health problems. "A Million Little Things" is helping create a conversation around mental health that shows people it is okay to get help and that you don't have to deal with these things by yourself. Medication is seen as beneficial and so is counseling and therapy.
7. Representation of alcoholism and LGBT+
One of the main characters, Eddie, is a recovering alcoholic. His alcoholism is not romanticized or trivialized, but is instead a problem he still has to deal with even after being sober for years. And Danny, John and Delilah's son, comes out as gay to Gary.
8. It touches your heart
No matter who you are there is bound to be some aspect of the show that you connect with. Whether it is losing someone to suicide, having a mental illness yourself, having cancer, having a loved one who has cancer, having a parent or grandparent with Alzheimer's, losing a parent, going through a divorce, or any one of the other number of issues this show addresses, "A Million Reasons Why" is sure to touch your heart.