This Is Us.
This pilot begins by introducing four individuals who share the same birthday and are all turning the same age, 36.
Kevin is an actor playing the lead called Manny (a male nanny), living an unfulfilling life. During this episode, he has a meltdown on set and quits his job.
Kate is Kevin’s twin sister and is obese and attend a ‘fat’ support group where she meets Toby.
Jack and his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) are expecting triplets.
Randall was left on the doorstep of a fire station 36 years ago. He is married to Beth and has two girls.
But the opening scene begins with Milo Ventimiglia as Jack in his birthday suit. Thank you, gods. I have a new
Rebecca – ‘I have triplets inside, I am Shamu.’
The episodes cross between characters. My favourite parenting scene was Randall watching is young daughter Annie play soccer.
‘Come on Annie, go get the ball hun.’
It cuts to Annie in the middle of the scene of the field braiding another girls hair.
‘Hi sweetheart, there’s the ball, your gonna play soccer?’
Randall leans over to his wife who is facing the
other direction watching the couple’s older daughter.
‘How’s she doing?’
‘Four boys crying and counting.’
‘That’s my little badass.’
Then the couple switch. When the mother, Beth, turns she asks.
‘… A french braid.’
‘Over under and through baby. At least she made a friend.’
Some seriously good and humourous dialogue.
We are then introduced more to Kate, earlier in the episode, Kate opens her fridge to post it notes telling her what she can and cannot eat and what calories are in particular foods. Then a scene where she strips completely to stand on the scales in hopes that the number would decrease. She falls off the scales and twists her ankle and calls her brother for help. This is the first time these characters a seen together and it’s revealed the Kevin and Kate are siblings.
At the support group, a selection of members explain the reasons they believe they are obese. Then another mysterious woman speaks.
‘I know I don’t have the same issues as everyone else, but you guys don’t know what it’s like looking like me and carrying around that extra seven pounds in your midsection.’
Now by this time we identify the speaker as a blond, twig bitch. And the host’s face is priceless.
At the end of the meeting, Kate meets Toby. Kate admits that this time, she will lose the weight whereas Toby declares that he probably won’t. Then Kate says,
‘I can’t date a fat person’
‘I guess I’ll lose the weight then’
AWWWWW!!!!! It was so adorable.
Randall receives an email from a private investigator that has located his biological father. So he decides that this day, his birthday and 36 years after his abandonment to confront him. Though he got everything off his chest Randall still made a connection and invited him to meet his children.
- Humour, some good writing and flow.
- The twist at the end of the episode.
- Milo Ventimiglia!
- That they have written a character who is obese. I am intrigued how they treat the character. At the moment Kate’s storyline reminds me of the storyline to Mike and Molly.
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW.
Finally, the triplets arrive. Unfortunately, after the first baby, a boy, things begin to go wrong for Rebecca and the doctor removes Jack from the room. After some time the doctor enters the hospital waiting room to announce that Rebecca is fine, and he has two children a boy and girl, but lost the third, a boy.
When Jack is looking down at his two children in the nursery another man stands next to him. He asks him which one is his, but the man reveals that he was just checking on a baby that was left at the doorstep of his fire station. The man offers him a smoke then the camera zooms out revealing that Jack and Rebecca are not from the same year as Kate, Kevin, and Randall then if you haven’t clued in yet. They are the children of Jack and Rebecca and that they were the family that adopted Randall.
As far as pilot episodes go this drama set up the characters well especially with emotional connections. However, there were a few things that I would have loved to have seen. The first being the three siblings calling each other on their birthdays, or even their father as this additional scene would have conveyed the unity of the family unit. Instead I question whether the parents are alive and whether or not they have a close relationship because the set up and dialogue leads me to believe they had a good, close, loving family but their actions suggested something else. Maybe it was just me but now I have some questions about future episodes and the overall storyline and where it is all leading to.
This will be interesting to see what the writers do with the rest of the season.
I recommend this drama for mums everywhere.