This Is Us is All of Us

Happy Tuesday! I don’t usually get this excited for a day to watch a TV show unless it’s Grey’s-day Thursday, but Tuesday has become my new favorite day for one reason: This Is Us, a new drama on NBC. When I first saw the trailer for the show, I thought two things: Milo Ventimiglia? Yes. Mandy Moore? Double yes. I should now preface the rest of this article by saying that if you haven’t watched the show, you might want to stop reading, go watch it on Hulu, and then come back to this since there will be spoilers ahead.

If you have watched the show, or at least the first episode, you have probably watched all of the episodes. So what is it about this show that makes everyone love it? Relatability. No, I am not talking about the surface level things like being a twin, having an adoptive brother, or being 36 (all things I am definitely not). This Is Us is special because I think that everyone can relate to more than one character in some way. In every episode, I am reminded that I have been Jack, Rebecca, Randall, Kate, and Kevin at some point in my life. And maybe you have too, which is why you are just as addicted to this show as I am.

Jack knows the feeling of loss but stays strong for his family

Although Jack and Rebecca both go through a time of loss together, I find how it affects Jack to be more relatable. He is absolutely distraught by the loss of their third baby, but he knows that Rebecca is feeling the same way, and he has to be strong for her. I think a lot of people have felt heartbroken by the loss of a loved one but have had to put on a brave face at times for the ones they love who are also struggling. This scene is a great depiction of Jack’s grieving process but also how people around you help you taste the sweeter side of a sour lemon.

Rebecca tries to do her best even when she has no idea what she is doing

There are plenty of times when we don’t know what we are doing but try our damnedest to make it look like we know. Rebecca constantly puts her children’s needs first even if she doesn’t totally know what those needs are. There is a scene in “The Pool” where Rebecca gets frustrated because another mother acts like she knows how to take better care of Randall. While Rebecca seems to be in a bit of denial, at the end of the episode, you see her admit that she doesn’t know the special things that Randall needs. She loves him so much that she is willing to ask for help because asking for help is better than just acting like she knows what she is doing.

Randall suffers an internal battle with himself over whether or not to forgive

The clip below makes me laugh and cry at the same time. I think it is fair to say that most people have someone in their life that screwed them over and never thought they could forgive. You can try so hard to stay mad at them, but in the end, that person could still be your best friend or family member and you end up forgiving them even if you really don’t want to. I love that Randall gets out his 36-year-old grudge against his father but can’t help but want him in his life and forgive him, even though he is trying not to.

Kate struggles with breaking a habit

When you are trying to break a habit, there are temptations everywhere, and it is easy to make excuses to continue with your bad habits. For me, Kate is most relatable when she puts a Post-It note telling herself not to eat her birthday cake but has another note underneath because she knows she is going to get rid of the first note. It’s like when I put my gym bag in my car so that I don’t have a reason to miss the gym, but then when I look at my bag, I make up some excuse like, “Well, I am really tired after work” or “I have a lot to do tonight” when really I am just going home to watch Netflix until midnight. She shows how hard it is just make the small steps in breaking a habit.

Kevin learns what it is like to feel lost

When you are used to a situation, you get comfortable, hence “comfort zone.” When that zone become altered, you start to feel confused and lost. When Kevin finally stands up for what he wants and he quits his TV show, it breaks him out of his comfort zone and he doesn’t know how to handle it. He is 36 and he feels like he is back at square one with his career. Whether it is your career, a relationship, or something else, it is easy to feel lost when you change a large part of your life. But what I think everyone needs to remember, including Kevin, is that the feeling of being lost is better than the contentment you may feel in that comfort zone and greatness will come.

Every episode teaches me that I am not alone in how I feel, even if it is a fictional character. I think This Is Us is great at being real and authentic, making the show that much more impactful and addicting to watch.


Photo from NBC

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