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“This Is Us” Premiere Review (WARNING: Spoilers)

This is Us

The television series This Is Us, shows 4 individuals that are born on the same day, celebrating their 36th birthdays. The story starts out and centers around 5 individuals: Jack, Rebecca, Kate, Kevin, and Randall.  

A couple of these individual’s lives intersect directly with each other at first glance. Although they are all at the same age, they are facing different battles at 36. Jack and Rebecca are a married couple that are expecting triplets. Kate is an assistant and is struggling with food while attending an overweight support group. Kate’s brother, Kevin, is at a crossroads in his career; he doesn’t feel his current role as an actor is filling up to his career potential. Randall has established a family of his own, with a wife, 2 daughters, and adoptive parents. Yet, he feels he needs to find where he came from and is searching for his birth father.

All of these lives that are seemingly interconnected stories comes together in the end. It is revealed to the audience that they all belong to one family; Jack and Rebecca are the parents, Kate and Kevin are their biological children that survived the pregnancy, and Randall is the third adopted child.

Towards the end of the episode, when Kate is making this revelation, she repeats a quote from her father. “Do you remember what dad would say when ever something crappy happened to us?” Kate asked Kevin. There is emphasis here on the word US, both as triplets and as a family as a whole.

During the flashback to 1979, the delivery doctor breaks the news to Jack about his and Rebecca’s third child. But the doctor also shines profound light on the situation, based on his own past experiences. “There’s no lemons so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade,” the doctor says. This not only sets a hopeful tone. It also allows the character facing the situation to visualize this concept through the actions that they take. An example of this is shown through Jack and Rebecca by taking home 3 children that day. This goes back to what the doctor said when he first told Jack that only 2 children survived. “If you can take the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turn it into lemonade; then you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital. Maybe not the way you planned,” the doctor says.  

Jack and Rebecca accept their role of being parents of three children. Even if the situation isn’t what they anticipated. This action proves that family is stronger than biology. Family is support and unconditional love for one another. Interconnecting stories of “strangers” connects into a single family dynamic, with various character arcs and paths running through them. This provides room for the story to open up. It also allows us to see these individuals in a new light. It allows the audience to see the connection the characters have with one another in the past, present, and future settings. This is life. 

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