While I think I’ve made my thoughts on “This Is Us” pretty clear in previous posts (Randall is the absolute best, everyone else in the Pearson family is the absolute worst) I feel like it’s important to look at the show further. It doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon, with a rabid fan base seemingly sticking around for the current second season (at least until they find out how Jack died) and a shocking 10 Emmy nominations (and two wins) this past awards season. All of this leads to the biggest question of them all: Is “This Is Us” actually as good as all of the recognition and accolades imply?
I’m not so sure. In an era where so many television shows rival or even best what’s being shown in movie theaters, so much so that big-name movie stars like Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts have made or are making their way to prestige TV, it feels weird to lump a show like “This Is Us” into that quality category. Largely because I don’t necessarily think that “This Is Us” is good. It is good at making people cry though, which is a different thing entirely.
All you have to do is look at how “This Is Us” is promoted to figure out how NBC is pulling people in and keeping them there. Almost every preview indicates that the upcoming episode will have some heartbreaking, earth-shattering revelation (often at the expense of poor, undeserving Randall) that will leave viewers in a puddle of their own tears. And they don’t necessarily disappoint in that regard. Every episode culminates in some teary-eyed emotional speech, often geared towards whatever personal tragedy a character has faced that week. It’s tailor-made for tears and in a time where it seems like there’s a new real-life tragedy every week, viewers are often primed and ready for a good cry.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good show, in terms of overall quality. The dialogue is often clunky and corny and the acting talent of the leads is wildly uneven. Plus, its tear-jerking tone and weird way of revealing new tragedies can only last for so long before people are tired of seeing their favorite characters in a constant state of duress and want to see them just be happy for once.
Will “This Is Us” be able to stand on its own then? Or will it crumble when its Jack-centric mystery is solved and its “you’ll cry so hard you’ll flood your entire home and drown your loved ones” moment in the sun fades? Only time will tell. For now though, I stand by my belief that “This Is Us” isn’t necessarily good, but it is very very very sad. Ya’ll should have watched Dan Fogelman‘s other new fall 2016 series instead. Want to know what that series was? “Pitch.” It was “Pitch.” Did you really think I wasn’t going to mention “Pitch”? BRING BACK “PITCH.”
What do you think of “This Is Us”? Do you think it’s actually a good show? Do you think I should get over my weird vendetta towards it? Yeah, I probably should. It’s not like I don’t watch it. I just quietly whisper “I should be watching ‘Pitch’ right now” while I do. Tell me what you quietly whisper while you watch “This Is Us” in the comments. And, as always…