It’s been a long wait since Season 1 ended on March 14, 2017. But The Pearsons are back this week! NBC’s This Is Us Season 2 premieres on Tuesday, September 26.
Fans of This Is Us can attest to this series’ ability to reach into the emotion of viewers. Dubbed “the crying show,” This Is Us brings tears to our eyes as the depth of the writing and acting of this drama is so powerfully real. The Pearsons are a family that uses its love for each other to help weather live’s storms. Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) are a young couple that suffered a loss no parent should ever have to suffer with the death of their infant son. But they turned their pain into something positive by adopting an abandoned baby boy. The fact that this baby Randall was black spoke to who Jack and Rebecca were as people; they knew that they’d face challenges in bringing a child of a different race into their family, but that didn’t deter them or lessen their love for their new son. And the writers of This Is Us didn’t gloss over this. One episode showed the Pearson family at a community pool where Rebecca was unsure as to whether she needed to apply sunscreen to Randall’s skin. Other episodes showed Randall having difficulty fitting in as he searched to find an identity as a black male in a white environment. As his father, Jack wanted to give his son a sense of belonging as well as a pride in who he was, enrolling him in karate classes taught by a black instructor. Rebecca wanted to protect her son but also feared losing him to his biological father William Hill (Ron Celphas Jones, Jermel Nakia). So, she made a decision to keep William from Randall. When adult Randall (Sterling K. Brown) discovered the truth that his mother robbed him of the chance of meeting his father when he (Randall) was a child, he was hurt and angry. I applaud This Is Us for these stories and the way they presented them.
Twins Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) dealt with their own identity crisis. Kevin, star of the sitcom “The Manny,” wanted to be taken seriously as an actor, while his sister Kate struggled with life long weight issues. She had a hard time believing she was beautiful because of society’s obsession with being thin. Fortunately, Kate met Toby (Chris Sullivan), who showed her that being fat or thin doesn’t diminish who you are as a person. What I like best about This Is Us is that neither the writing nor the acting comes off as preachy. This is a television drama, not a public service announcement.
The younger actors cast to play Kate, Kevin and Randall are perfect in their roles. Lonnie Chavis and Niles Fitch play Young Randall, Mackenzie Hancsicsak and Hannah Zeile are Young Kate and Parker Bates and Logan Shroyer is Young Kevin. Thankfully, these young performers have been upped to series regulars in Season 2 so we’ll get to see more of them.
Susan Kelechi Watson is Beth Pearson, Randall’s wife. I’m looking forward to see more of the development of the character of Beth in Season 2 as Randall and Beth consider adopting a child. It will be interesting to see if Randall will follow in his parents’ footsteps and adopt a baby of a different race.
But perhaps the biggest story line on This Is Us is the death of Jack Pearson. How did he die? Kate hinted that it was her fault. But was this her grief talking? I’m curious to see the mystery surrounding Jack’s death unfold in Season 2.
There is a cornucopia of stories waiting to be explored and brought to the screen on This Is Us and I can’t wait. Season 2 promises to be just as amazing as Season 1.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.
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