[SPOILERS ARE IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE]
Tears. Pain. Emotional trauma. Just a few words that could be used to describe NBC’s This Is Us, the drama that aired this year and took pop culture over. Everywhere you went, people talked and raved about the show and how it would pull at your heartstrings in each episode. Much like how everyone and their mother fell in love with Stranger Things because of its fear factor, its drama, and its tension, people did exactly the same for This Is Us. This Is Us follows the Pearson family, a family that has one of the most colorful histories and background to ever be on television. You have Jack Pearson, the father, a man who did anything and everything to provide for his wife when she was pregnant, and continued that trend for their three children. You have Rebecca, the mother who loved all of her children no matter what challenges they faced. Getting to the kids, you have Kate, the daughter of the family, Randall, their adopted black son, and Kevin, the charismatic and charming child. The show spends the perfect amount of time detailing events that happened in the Pearson families past, as well as what is currently happening in the present. Kate is doing what she can to live a healthy lifestyle and lose weight with the help of her supportive boyfriend. Randall is married with two children and lives the life of a successful yet humble executive. And Kevin aka “The Manny” is a Hollywood star turned New York thespian working on a new play.
This Is Us managed to take all of these characters, their younger versions as well as their older versions, and give them meaning. We learn about Randall and how his biological father had a drug addiction and didn’t see it to be right for him to raise his son in that environment, so he leaves him at a firehouse where he then ends up with the Pearson’s. His father comes back into his life but not like how you’d imagine. Most movies or television shows select black father that re-enter their children’s lives as deadbeat dads that simply want cash and a comfy lifestyle since their child is successful. William, Randall’s pops, didn’t want that. He had cancer and just wanted to see what kind of man Randall became. He just wanted to spend his last moments with his son and his grandchildren. William cared about his son, and he cared about right up until the end. But because of the impact William had on Randall’s life, you can actually see the changes that Randall goes through by the end of the first season. He starts to grow a soul patch, he wears nice hats that are ever so slightly tipped to the side, and he let’s someone else make his bed (a reference you’ll have to watch the show to understand). Those seeds that were planted in the tail end of season 1 are seeds I hope grow into solid trees by season 2. Randall left his job after his father’s passing, so what is he doing when we see him again? Is taking life one step at a time, making the beat with his own drum? How is his Wife handeling that decision he made?
Kate was at an interesting spot by the end of season 1. She first meets Toby, a guy who truly loves her for who she is, despite him being on a different path health wise. That was a challenge she had to overcome but was able to do so after Toby showed her the respect she deserved by not being a roadblock in her life and saying how he couldn’t live a life without her. On top of that, Toby had a heart attack on Christmas that really puts a damper on the festivities (adding Sufjan Stevens “Christmas Time” to the background really made the scene even sadder). Toby managed to pull through his medical nightmare much to Kate’s delight, and they got engaged. Is there a This Is Us wedding around the corner in season 2? The actress who plays Kate has lost weight during the hiatus of the show, so that will clearly play a factor into how the story progresses. But to what degree? Does she still love Toby? What about the jag at the camp she was currently vacationing at, is he still making her life miserable?
And we finally get to Kevin. Kevin’s life was going pretty alright where we left him. He first started to date his co-star on the play he had been cast in, an actress that was a…..pretty awful human being. She looked down on others, treated people like crap, and didn’t have that same energy when others would call her out on it. After leaving that train wreck, he went on to date Sloane, the writer of the play and its eventual co-star, something that happens after Kevin’s ex goes off the deep end. Sloane was an awesome person, but ended her relationship with Kevin when she overheard him telling his ex that he was going to continue to date her since “its the right thing to do.” Despite them breaking up, Kevin and Sloane managed to keep their relationship friendly and professional as they went through with the play. Kevin then finds himself with Sophie aka “the one that got away”. Kevin and Sophie were in love back when they were 10 year-old kids, even got married, then dvicored after Kevin cheated on her (go figure), but get back together after Kevin declares that he’ll always love her and never treat her like that again. In season 2, will Kevin actually mean what he said? Will he truly change his entire being for the better so that he can prove to Sophie that he loves her? Or, will he constantly stay in his perpetual state of douchebagery, ruining the lives of the women around him that mean well, with no end in sight?
These are just some of the questions that I hope the writers for This Is Us will properly answer. These are the things I’m looking forward to the show when it makes its return. And for the love of God…
What happened to Jack?