I remember watching the pilot for This Is Us. I thought it was fantastic. Six years later, I still think the show is fantastic. It’s ending next week on the 24th, and I just wanted to write about how great this show was. I do believe it will go down in history in many ways. I wrote about it years ago after three episodes were out, and here we are now, days away from it being over.
On top of being a quality show (more on that in a second), it had the unique ability to tell an intergenerational story. Episodes constantly were jumping around timelines showing parallels between family members and how life changes over time. It was so cool. It was so well done. Usually when shows try to do flashbacks or something, the result is crappy wigs and plot holes. But not This Is Us. They managed to flawlessly show characters from babies to old age. The casting was phenomenal (like, freaky good) and it made the jumps in time so smooth so you stayed invested in the story.
And the story, by the way, was great. The creator had said years ago that he had a six season plan, and that’s what we got. No forcing storylines out past its prime, no cast members leaving because they got sick of it, no dips in quality. I have to respect NBC and the showrunners for delivering the show this way even through popularity. It would have been so easy for the show to lean into more drama and make it cheesier, but they didn’t. They kept it honest and real and emotional all the way through. I can’t think of a single plotline that got forgotten or story that didn’t pay off. Even when they touched on more sensitive or timely topics, they did it in a way that didn’t feel forced or fake. It all worked organically. I’ll admit, in the later seasons, I wasn’t tearing up every episode the way I was in S2 or S3, but I still thought the episodes were solid.
I’ll miss this show. I’ll miss watching it with my old roommate. I miss seeing the characters grow. Since This Is Us began, there’s been a handful of shows that try to mimic the story and serve us something emotional each week. I watch a lot of them, and while they’re somewhat entertaining and provide quality time for me to spend with my mother, they’re not even close to being as special as This Is Us. Shows and networks can continue to try and even attempt the stellar time jumps, but it’ll never compare.
If you’ve never given This Is Us a try, I wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s sappy and there are a lot of big emotional speeches (and they know it), but it is genuinely a good show. Good writing, great storytelling, award-winning acting, amazing characters, and top-notch entertainment that spans comedy and drama perfectly. It’s one of my favourite shows and I’m glad I got to watch it every week (truly, it’s a show best not binged).
P.S. Hey, and speaking of TV, to the handful of people who participated in my 2021 TV guessing game, thank you, and here are the results (scores at the bottom)!