I have a new favorite TV show. I can’t remember looking forward to watching a show more every week than I do with This Is Us (NBC). And apparently, I’m not the only one. This week alone I’ve seen more posts about This Is Us on Facebook and blogs than in the past four months combined.
There’s a reason why many are watching This Is Us. Right now it ranks as the top show on TV on Tuesday nights, especially among 18-49 year-olds. If you’re going to watch a TV show, make it this one, because it will help you love and appreciate your family and friends.
I love this show, and many of my friends do as well. Today I share 9 Reasons Why People Love to Watch This Is Us (and maybe why you should join us). Note: I’m trying to go as spoiler-free as possible.
1. This show flat out keeps it real. The characters and stories are real-life, and the show tells us their stories in compelling ways. There’s no sugar coating the plot lines, and the ending isn’t always happy. In fact, many viewers are destined to cry just about every episode, either because you’re sad or because you have tears of joy. The plot twists every week, but every story line is believable and draws you in. You’ll laugh one minute and cry the next. You will experience, as they say, “All the feels.”
2. This Is Us captures the struggles of life so well. Connected to my first point, this show tells real stories:
- Maybe you’re like Kate (and like me), and you struggle with food/overeating. You know the battle we face, all day, every day. In one episode, they show her eating a salad, exercising, and avoiding unhealthy foods. Meanwhile, her friend Toby does a half-hearted job of trying to lose weight. When the ‘weigh-in’ comes around, he loses eight pounds, and she loses a half-pound. Later they show her in the car bingeing on some donuts. I know the struggle all too well. Make all the right food decisions, and you don’t lose a pound. Meanwhile, someone else eats a salad one day and exercises for 15 minutes and loses all the weight. It’s not fair, and this show captures the reality of the struggles we all face so well.
- Or maybe you’re like Randall. You have the big home, the beautiful family, and everything fits inside a neat, little box. While it looks great on the outside, everything is breaking down on the inside. This show so beautifully and powerfully captures the struggle many of us face with anxiety and perfectionism.
- Sometimes I feel like I’m watching my family as siblings argue and fight with each other. You watch their kids become adolescents and see how the role of the parent changes. We’re walking through this with our twins as they become more interested in spending time with friends than with their parents. It’s sad, but it’s real.
3. This Is Us is very pro-family. The show centers around a few siblings and their relationships with one another, their parents, and their kids. The plot lines often show the characters wrestling through marriage, parenting, and sibling challenges. But all along the way, they esteem and value marriage and family.
- I find myself wanting to be a better dad and husband when I watch the way Jack Pearson loves and serves his wife and kids. As a dad and husband, I try to serve my family selflessly but often fall short. I love watching the way Jack leads his family (reminds me of Ephesians 5:25-27, Philippians 2:3-4).
- There are a few plotlines I don’t morally agree with and some decisions I wouldn’t want my kids to make in their relationships. But, those are rare and pale in comparison to much of the other garbage on TV.
4. Incredible acting. For the most part, the actors are fantastic. They convince you this is real life for them – they’re not just acting on a TV show. You feel like this is their true selves, lived out for us to see. I’ve never even seen or heard of many of the cast members, but the men and women behind the scenes did a great job of casting for This is Us.
5. This Is Us shows the viewer the consequences of personal sin and destructive choices. We witness the destruction that comes with drinking too much, overeating, or abusing drugs. We see what happens when we value work over family. On the flip side, we’re eyewitnesses to what (typically) happens when we make good decisions with our lives and families.
6. This Is Us develops depth in the characters. It couldn’t be any more different than the TV show Lost, but the way they focus on one or two characters in a full episode reminds me of the storytelling from Lost. You get to know the stars of the show. You care about them because the writers reveal the depth of their characters and the plot lines they’re walking through. The viewer gets the backstory for the main characters, so you begin to understand why they are the way they are. You understand why Kevin is insecure and why he walks through life with co-dependence on others. You see why Randall struggles with perfectionism, and why Kate might struggle with overeating.
7. The Pearson family is filled with family traditions. This is something I wish we had more of in our home. On This Is Us, we see birthday and holiday traditions, and it makes us long to do the same things in our homes with our families. I have some friends whose family has many traditions in place. Just like I want to be like the Pearsons, so I want to be like my friend’s family. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something so appealing and warm about a family who has great traditions in place.
8. The Pilot episode. Mind blown. Let’s just say I was hooked from the first episode. You had me at “Hello,” This Is Us. Without sharing too much so I don’t give it away, just watch this episode. The twist alone makes it worth the hour of your time. There’s much more I want to share, but I can’t because I don’t want to give away the plot and the twists.
9. They leave me wanting more. I think about it throughout the week, and I look forward to what comes next. I just read that we only get two more episodes this season. I’ll grab my box of tissues, snuggle up next to my wife, and enjoy these last two episodes.
I don’t watch much TV, and I don’t encourage others to watch much TV either. It says a lot when I would take the time to write up a post on a show or encourage you to watch TV. For all the reasons I loved Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, I enjoy This is Us. As I said in #8 above, just watch the pilot. In the end, if you don’t like it, you only lose out on one hour.
- How about you? Do you watch This Is Us? What do you think? Why do you think people love to watch it?
- Who’s your favorite character on This Is Us?