This Is Us: Helping Us Make Something Resembling Lemonade
For my first post here, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite shows- NBC's 'This Is Us'. Though it may not be as popular as sitcoms such as Friends or Big Bang Theory, when I first watched this show, I found myself glued to the screen, binge-watching the first two seasons in just three days. This show is not only the ULTIMATE tear-jerker (barely any episode that doesn't leave me crying) but is also unlike the cliched content that we see today. Full of unexpected twists, it follows the stories of three siblings- Randall, Kate, and Kevin- who share the same birthday. It views life from a dynamic point of view, with ongoing successes but equally constant failures. An interesting aspect of the show is that it is not set in one single continuation- linking back and forward to different points in the character’s lives.
One aspect that I love about the show is how they've taken up a plethora of mental issues but give each its due importance. A wide range of shows these days- ranging from 13 Reasons Why to our very own Sabaat-misrepresents and romanticizes mental illnesses. This Is Us shows the actual reality of how such illnesses can be dangerous and all-consuming, depicting the toll of combating it on the person and their loved ones. Issues relating to trauma are often discussed, including weight and self-esteem issues, child-loss, and parental abandonment. Some of the other characters also battle with addiction, anxiety, and depression. While all of this may sound like the show is very dark and gloomy, it is quite contrary. One of the show's best aspects is balancing essential issues like mental health, sexual identity, and racism without it seeming too intense for their viewers.
In the five seasons that have aired so far, one of the major themes is character development. No character is the same as it was at the start of the show-having all gone through their ups and downs; all aim to be on the journey of becoming better versions of themselves. The characters are all very real- moving away from the perfect ideals that were once portrayed- struggling with real issues, insecurities, and battles, making the show extremely relatable and apt for the current day.
Sorry if I made the show sound gloomy; trust me, it really isn't! Each episode leaves you wanting to know more about the storyline as you become so invested in the lives of fictional characters, who don’t seem so fictional anymore.