“…life is full of colour, and we each get to come along and add our colour to the painting.”
Finally, after months and months of pressure from this one friend of mine that kept on insisting and borderline coercing me into watching this show ‘that would leave me emotionally broken forever’, I finally gave in and started on This Is Us. I had read reviews about it online, most of them saying how emotionally charged the show was and how to get through a single episode without shedding a tear would be an incredible feat, but I thought that was just promotional hogwash. However, by the end of the pilot episode, I found out how wrong I was! And what an incredible and emotional rollercoaster it took for me to find this out!
The show is really well developed with the main plot focusing around a small number of characters, mainly three siblings, whose experiences growing up, interactions with each other, their parents along with other people, the struggles they had to face all boil down and how all of that past and history shaped them into the people they currently are. What the show manages to do blissfully and with striking deliverance is to tell the stories of the characters in a distinct and unique way, where each character’s story and experience is captured on its own, though at the same time, overlapping with the stories of all the others, thereby creating an interwoven mesh of emotion and human connection, almost like a messy painting with numerous colours on it, with each colour having a distinct and unique story of its own, yet at the same time being part of the overall fabric and with life being the whole painting.
What this manages to do is to make the characters relatable, and you inevitably cannot avoid being emotionally invested, as you watch the characters going through different experiences and challenges, and getting a background context into how that situation came to be, through a clever interplay and overlap of scenes from the past and from the present throughout each episode.
Apart from the relatability of the characters, the other reason that makes this show a must watch is the development of the story. Unlike in other modern shows, where the highlight of the show is the ending to each episode, This Is Us manages to make the story itself the main focus, rather than the ending, leaving viewers enthralled in the journey rather than the destination. This gives you a chance to know, understand and appreciate the characters, to understand why they are the way they are, to appreciate their inadequacies and insecurities to the point where they are no longer just fictional characters in a hit TV series, but till we start to see a little bit of ourselves in each of them.
Another definite reason that makes the show what it is, is its strong theme on the family. As stated earlier, the show revolves around a family, both in its past and present form, meaning there are quite a bit of real issues that are there in our own families such as sibling rivalry, loss of a loved one, betrayal, family secrets and so on. This particularly adds to the relatability of the characters and watching how the characters deal with all of these issues and ultimately come back to each other as family, with support, friendship and kindness, will leave you emotionally distraught and almost make you want to pick up the phone and call your own family.
The show also has a right balance of drama, emotion and humour, with there being some particularly funny and light-hearted moments, but be warned, even these will make you want to cry just as much as the dramatic emotional scenes.
The show has also very limited amount of nudity and very little strong language content, meaning you can watch the show with your family without having to worry about the little ones being exposed to too much.