Often, when I turn on the television set, I am usually met with stereotypical shows, full of flat characters and "happily-ever-after" endings. The plotlines of these shows tend to be filled with unrelatable drama or clean-cut solutions. There is no subsistence or value in these series.
However, NBC recently debuted a masterpiece that defies the television norm. This Is Us is a complex show, dealing with the lives of people who are different and similar at the same time.
Concentrated on the Pearson family, This Is Us explores a wide variety of very real topics in today's world. In the pilot episode alone, This Is Us tackles issues such as high risk pregnancy, the loss of an infant, interracial adoption, obesity, discontentment in life, reunification with a birth-parent, and a terminal illness.
The show introduces viewers to a cast of layered characters and their relationships with one another. Jack is a first time father whose wife is expecting triplets. Rebecca is a musician who puts her dreams on hold to become a mother. Kevin is an actor who feels exploited by the television show he works on. Kate is an obese woman who has dealt with her weight and self-esteem issues all of her life. Randall is a successful businessman whose biological father, a recovering drug addict, has just entered his life.
Masterfully, NBC manages to connect all of these characters in a believable way. Using flashbacks, the show first identifies the relationships and then explains them. With elements such as substance abuse, sibling rivalry, parenting, same-sex relationships, and racism, This Is Us is not afraid to venture into new territory.
I believe my favorite part of This Is Us is the realistic characters and story line. Once you watch the first episode, you are quickly drawn in and hooked. Viewers can relate to each of the characters. NBC portrays the Pearson's as a real family---something hard to manage on a television show. I have laughed with them, worried with them, and had my heart broken for them. There are not many television shows that evoke so much emotion from me.
With This Is Us returning to NBC following their mid-season break, I encourage you all to tune in at nine o'clock on Tuesday, December tenth. This Is Us is by the far the best television show I have seen in a long time. While you might shed a few tears, This Is Us really hits home on the importance of family.