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This Is Us Series Review: Is It Worth Watching?

This Is Us Review
This Is Us Promo (Credits: NBC)

Created by Dan Fogelman, This Is Us is a family drama on NBC that follows the story of a set of parents and their triplets. The series first premiered on September 26th, 2016, and released its sixth and last season on May 24th, 2022. The entire show has moments of the present with flashbacks throughout the episodes to bring together the Pearson family’s history.

This Is Us stars Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson, Rebecca Pearson’s husband father to Kate and, Kevin, and Randall. Actress Mandy Moore, known for her roles in 47 meters down, The Princess Diaries, and A Walk to Remember, plays Rebecca Pearson’s character. Sterling K. Brown from the Black Panther series and Supernatural play the role of Randall Pearson, son of Jack and Rebecca. 

Chrissy Metz played the role of Jack and Rebecca’s daughter, Kate Pearson, along with Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson, son to Jack and Rebecca and brother to Randall and Kate. The story of the show, over its six seasons, evolves enough for these characters to grow into parents and grandparents, which has led the show to have an entourage of a star-studded cast.

The show follows the past and present of the Pearson family as they walk through life together. We go on a self-love journey with Kate, a journey of finding his original parents with Randall, and a meaningful journey of trying to find life’s purpose with Kevin. The show is available with all its seasons for streaming on Prime Videos and Disney.

This Is Us

Cast of the show, This Is Us (Credits: NBC)

This Is Us Show Storyline

The show had six seasons, with no more than eighteen episodes for each season. Over the seven years that the show aired, it managed to give its fans several heartwarming and wholesome moments, along with a good cry-sesh with every episode.

Season one of the show aired in 2016, and this brought us a brand new story about a brand new family. The show kicks off with Jack and Rebecca and shows flashbacks of them meeting each other on an accidental blind date.

The two seem to share a perfect relationship but that is only till we reach the present, where Jack has been dead for a few years now and Rebecca has married his best friend, Miguel. We are next introduced to Kate, who seems to be struggling with her weight loss journey.

She works with Kevin and has joined a weight loss retreat where she finds the love of her life, Toby. He eventually suffers from cardiac arrhythmia, and by the season’s end, she realizes her true potential.

Randall spent his time finding his biological father, William, and bonding with him. He suffers again when William ends up dying due to cancer. His death pushes Randall to make his life more meaningful, and he does so by quitting his job and finding his passion.

Kevin seems to be struggling too. His love life screams chaos, and his acting career is not bringing him the satisfaction he is looking for. Season one wraps up with the introduction of the family and the setting of their lives in motion.

Season two focuses more on Jack and Rebecca as parents and Jack’s death. Kate and Toby get married, and the entire family takes a moment to honor Jack’s life. Randall has made a decision that he wishes to adopt a baby and has nervous bouts related to it. We skip to the future and get an update on the siblings.

Toby is suffering from depression, and Kate is by his side, tending to him. Kevin seems to be in a relationship with Beth’s cousin Zoe and Beth and Randall are seen trying to get their newly adopted daughter to feel at home. We see the triplets all grown up and dealing with life as they go. The season ends with Randall and Tess, his daughter, talking about a woman, the identity of whom remains unknown till season three.

Season three continues to sway from the present to the future and then back to the past. We continue to get insights into Rebecca and Jake and the time they spent together. A little fast forward, but still in the past, the series shows more of Kevin’s drinking problem and Kate and Randall not going to college due to their father’s death. 

Beth, Randall’s wife, and Toby, Kate’s husband’s past, are also explored, helping us better understand their current personalities. Toby has apparently always suffered from anxiety and depression. Kate, on the other hand, had her dreams of being a ballerina crushed by her mother. At the present time, Beth and Randall’s marriage suffers extreme blows because of the differences the couple share. 

Randall runs for city council and wins, and Beth finally gets into teaching dance. The two barely spend any time together, and Beth refuses to quit her job, saying she feels like the only one making sacrifices. Where the viewers constantly feel that the two will end up splitting, they bounce back every time to resolve their issues. The couple also adopts Deja, and their daughter, Tess, comes out of the closet.

Kate and Toby have a baby, but it is premature. Kate names him Jack and bonds with him immediately. She also completes her education and gets the degree she never got. Toby gets off his antidepressants but suffers majorly because of it.

Kevin and Zoe seem to be managing their relationship well enough in Vietnam. Kevin confesses his love to her, and they move in together. He gets back into his alcoholic habits once again, and Zoe stays with him till he gets sober.

The two face another problem in their relationship when they find that Zoe does not want kids. Kevin agrees to adjust to her wishes, but Zoe breaks up and leaves him, telling him that she has seen him interacting with kids and she does not want to force him into doing anything against his wishes.

The season also introduced Nicky, Jack’s brother, and how he was drafted into the war and how he is struggling to cope with what he saw during his time in the war. In the present, he is struggling with memories of war and attempts to shoot himself, but with a lot of persuasions from Kevin and his family, he agrees to get help.

We find that the woman Randall was talking about at the end of season two was Rebecca. In a flash forward, we see her as really old and sick. The entire family is beside her, with a lot of them completely different than their present situation.

Season four takes the story ahead with Kevin having a son and a complex relationship with his mother. Kevin and Randall have a huge showdown by the end of this season. The latter suffers from major anxiety because of the responsibilities he finds himself in. Rebecca is in the initial stages of dementia, and Nicky is back living with the family. 

Where Kate and Toby’s relationship had been so strong throughout, season five hinted at a possible breakup between the two. Randall has started seeking therapy, and Kevin and he shares a deep conversation mending the big fallout the two had in the previous season.

The flash-forward scene for the three kids of Randall and Beth seems full of happiness and joy. We get to know Nicky more personally, especially his love life. Rebecca and how she ended up with Miguel still remains a mystery.

This Is Us

A still from the show, This Is Us (Credits: IMDb)

The last season of the show was all about tying the stray knots and wrapping up the stories. Randall and Beth seem to be going strong still. Rebecca’s dementia only seemed to get worse, and this season clears up the mystery behind how Miguel and Rebecca ended up together. She ends up passing in the penultimate episode. Kate and Toby, who had been through so much together, also ended up parting ways. 

Kate gets married to Phillip, and Toby moves on too. Kevin, who struggled to keep a relationship going, ended up with Sophie, his ex, and the two finally got married. We discover more about Miguel and how he ended up with Rebecca years after Jack’s death.

We are told that he had died before Rebecca, which is why he was the only one not present at her funeral. Nicky also becomes an important part of the family, eventually healing, meeting his wife, Edie, and taking care of Rebecca in her last moments.

This Is Us Show Review

This Is Us was an emotional ride and was a show that came directly from the heart of its maker, Dan Fogelman. With the entire industry focusing on fast-paced storylines with constant revelations and twists and larger-than-life characters, This Is Us stands out for being slow-paced and being a slice-of-life genre.

This is not to say that the show lacks in story, character arcs, or mysteries and tragedies. The show is just less flashy and gaudy. The story follows the entire life span of a family and their tragedies and traumas and journey through healing.

The show comes to us as a reminder to keep in mind the fact that all we have with us is the present moment and that time is limited. It is also a tearjerker, with all its episodes being utterly emotional but still full of comfort. 

The show follows a non-conventional format of mixing up the past, present, and future. It does its job of keeping the audience engaged and guessing. It did not have evil villains that served the purpose of ruining the main lead’s life, and neither did it have life-endangering situations that the leads were constantly trapped in.

It had a way of showing moments of life that seemed so normal that one could forget about them and make those seem precious and important. With a hundred and six episodes, the show has woven the story of the Pearson family so well that the finale of the show felt like a personal loss to many.

The ups and downs the family went through, the mental health issues a lot of the characters suffered from, the way Jack and Rebecca did their best raising Randall, but he still grew up resenting them, and the way the show addresses his resentment and race issue are things that felt all too real in the show.

Randall and Kevin together in the show, This Is Us (Credits: NBC)

Randall and Kevin together in the show, This Is Us (Credits: NBC)

The actors have done such a convincing job of playing their roles it is difficult to believe that the Pearson family does not actually exist. The show is a beautifully told tale of a life that addresses actual problems. Nothing in the show feels over the top or unreal. The way it has been portrayed, with its vast timelines and a huge ensemble of characters suffering because of life, has to be appreciated too.

The directors have done an amazing job at capturing the minute expressions on the faces of the actors or the sensitivity with which they captured the emotional moments between the family. The show feels like an ode to humanity and the legacy one leaves behind in the form of a supportive family, and precious memories shared with them.

The storytelling captures you and hooks you right in though the show may steer towards the cheesy and cliched “we are a loving family, after all,” space that may force your toes to curl, but for the most part, it does a brilliant job at relaying emotions in a balanced manner.

Our Verdict

The show has received critical appreciation for being an utter cryfest for its viewers, with some also calling it a cathartic experience. One thing that makes this show so real and relatable is the fact that it does not just focus on big life events like the loss of a loved one or somebody coming out as gay or focusing just on the character’s mental problems.

It also, without fail, includes the small happy moments of life like a family picnic in the park on Saturdays or small moments of lost and found family members bonding with other existing members and many more. The show feels like a constant reminder to appreciate life and the people in it. It is also interesting to see that no characters are one-directional.

Randall and Toby suffered greatly mentally, but the makers did not just keep their characters limited to just that with Kate’s body issues. She was also not restricted to being a fat girl with body problems. All the kids had problems of their own, ones they had to deal with probably, the rest of their lives, but they still had complex character arcs and growth and personalities.

The show also portrays how Rebecca and Jack learn to be parents to their kids and figure things out as they go. They tried their best with what they could, but the kids still grew up resenting them, especially Randall. It is refreshing to see how Rebecca and Randall manage their relationship years later and that the show did not put the blame on either of the two for the way things were.

The end of This Is Us left a hole in our hearts but was gratifying, still. Our beloved characters learned to move, and so did the audience. The show let out light one last time with its finale before fading away, and it was beautiful. We give this show a rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Also Read: How to Watch This is Us Season 6 Online?

Rating: ⭐ (4.1/5).

Written By

B.Tech. Final Year CSE Student Software Developer/ Programming/ Sports/ Sketching/ Technology/ Movies/ Series/ Web-shows

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