Opinion: ‘This Is Us’ brings warmth to fall lineup

Lexie Little reviews NBC’s highly anticipated fall drama.

NBC, known for its drama series like “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights,” is once again investing a primetime slot on a family drama. Audiences are beginning to invest their hearts in the new show, “This Is Us,” from Dan Fogelman.  This new sweet and sour drama follows a familial story through twists of time and plot.

The story of Rebecca (Mandy Moore), husband Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and their children, “The Big Three,” has already earned a 91 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Justin Hartley (“The Young and the Restless”) makes a move from daytime television to primetime as struggling actor, Kevin, opposite Chrissy Metz (“American Horror Story: Freak Show”) as his over-weight sister, Kate. Sterling K. Brown, coming off his Emmy win for “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” brings his talents to the show as Randall, a successful businessman who has just found his biological father – a former addict who abandoned Randall at birth. Kevin, Kate and Randall share a birthday tying together a piece of their relationship.

The central plot, which will remain unrevealed here, is gradually tied together through the first two episodes, but the thread of the story is not woven in a pretty fashion. “This Is Us” manages to make the audience feel the entire emotion spectrum from uncontrollable sobs to contented sighs during the hour.

Vicki Hyman, reviewer at NJ.com said, “‘This Is Us’ is a wonderfully humane and hopeful family dramedy that should, in its first hour at least, make you laugh, cry, smile — and wince — in recognition and, best of all, it should surprise you.”

While romantics who are reminiscing on the heart-warming days of NBC past become hopeful for this new future, some critics believe the show is too much.

“It’s nice when a show’s emotional resonance is earned; but here, things begin to feel like gimmicky manipulation,” Sonia Saraiya of Variety.com wrote in her review.

The multiple storylines and varied chronology may hint that the writers are trying too hard to create a compelling plot by trying to weave this messy web of family and life. However, the story has captured audiences thus far. The journey has just begun, and no one knows where it will go or take these interesting characters.

Overall, “This Is Us” is exactly what we need this fall. With a “Gilmore Girls” reboot coming soon to Netflix, audiences already desired to reconnect with Milo Ventimiglia who played Jess on the hit show from 2001 to 2004. With the air outside getting cooler, there is no better way to find warmth than curling up and watching this new presumed hit drama.

The show moves to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting Oct. 11 on NBC.

Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Edited by Katy Hill