When hearing the words family and drama combined, this usually leads to an exaggerated eye roll. We might as well watch the news or scroll down our Facebook feeds. A high IMDb score, an Emmy and recently also a Golden Globe made us decide to give This Is Us a chance. Awards and high ratings aren’t always deciding factors. This time however we’re glad we followed the general opinion and not our drama-free gut feeling.

This Is Us sure did our supply of Kleenex disappear as a puff of smoke. But the series never left us with a nagging feeling of emptiness. After having seen the pilot we didn’t want to grab a bottle of whiskey, the only thing we craved was more.

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In short…

This Is Us is both set in the past as present times and provides insight into the lives of the Pearson family members. The storyline is built around four characters who happen to share the same birthday. First there’s Jack Pearson, a father-to-be married to Rebecca who’s pregnant with triplets. Secondly there’s Kevin, an actor who appears most of the time shirtless on his sitcom. Next is Kate, a woman struggling with serious weight problems. And last but not least there’s Randall, the married Weather Trader who just found his biological father.

The cast

Who’d ever thought we would see Mandy Moore in an award-winning tv series… After that one 2000 hit single, we kinda forgot she existed. But the woman clearly has hidden talents. Milo Ventimiglia will always be remembered as hero Peter Petrelli (or Jess in Gilmore Girls for some, ourselves not included). In our wildest early 2000 dreams, Mandy and Milo would have been a perfect tv match. This Is Us makes our former fantasies come true as they play married couple Rebecca and Jack Pearson.

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The grown-up versions of The Big Three are performed by Chrissy Metz (Kate Pearson), Justin Hartley (Kevin Pearson) and Sterling K. Brown (Randall Pearson). Definitely Sterling K. Brown takes the series to a next level. Brown received an Emmy in 2017 and a Golden Globe earlier this week for his performance. And rightly so.

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Besides the main cast, there plenty of other talents playing an important part in This Is Us. Gerald McRaney is brilliant as Dr. Nathan Katowski, for which he also received an Emmy award. Ron Cephas Jones knew how to get to our emotions as William Hill. Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Sullivan are also great. We can honestly not come up with one single miscast in this series.

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Highly recommended

Television series often don’t genuinely excite us. There are the guilty pleasures you just watch to escape reality. Or the hypes you need to see because otherwise you’ll be excluded from conversations at work. This Is Us is an exception to the rule. Amongst the lawyers, superheroes, historic figures and other fictional characters it feels likes it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s about normal people, doing normal things and having a rather normal life. Nothing special and yet pretty exceptional.

Photo credits: This Is Us