I’m Sorry ‘This is Us,’ I’m Just Not Into You Anymore [OPINION]
I remember sitting in the Tropicana Evansville watching the upcoming season TV teaser trailers. We were at an American Advertising Federation meeting and we got a sneak peek at all the Fall shows. We probably saw 30 previews but one stuck out to me. I knew it would be a hit.
This Is Us premiered on NBC on September 20, 2016, and audiences were captivated. It was one of the most talked about mysteries in TV history since, "Who shot JR?" HOW WAS JACK GOING TO DIE? The writers weaved us through mystery, suspense, drama; and at the heart of it all was this beautifully flawed family. Their flashbacks made an entire generation remember our pivotal childhood moments and hug our families tighter.
So, here we are into Season 3 and I'm sorry to say, but I'm just not into you anymore, This Is Us. In seasons one and two, the heartbeat of the show was the glorious Jack Pearson. He took all the insecurities and bad attitudes of his children and wet mop reactions of Rebecca and spun them into something positive and uplifting. And I love Rebecca but any time one of her kids says something smart to her, she just looks at them with the most pathetic, sad, sorry face, like someone just kicked her puppy. Stand up to them sass mouth kids, REBECCA!
Anyway, Jack makes appearances now and then but the bulk of the show is left on the shoulders of the adult children and their families: a group of kids who apparently never got over the insecurities, bad attitudes, baggage, or (I'll say it) the idea that the world revolves around them and their gaggle of self-induced problems. Even Randall's birth father, William, brought a tone of lightness to the show that they've never recovered after he was written off.
Okay, to be fair, Kate and Toby's problems are very real and they are handling it all with grace and a sense of 'realness.' But Kevin Pearson, Justin Hartley's character, makes Justin Hartley a whole lot less attractive to me these days. Alcoholism is a big deal and something that truly effects thousands of people every day but unlike Jack who faced the problem with a sense of being a grown-up and betterment, Kevin uses it as a crutch and an excuse, much like he uses his dad's death. And granted, Jack's death happened at a crucial time in their lives but loved ones die and most families aren't freshly grieving twenty years later about it.
Then we have the epic fight between Randall and Beth. Did I mention that this show was presented as a Comedy-Drama? I can't remember the last time I laughed while watching this show. Anyway, the fighting. Oh, the fighting. I'm sorry, if I wanted to hear fighting, I'd fight with my husband. He's way more interactive than this group of entitled whiners. Who else wanted to throw the nurses phone at Randall AND Kevin last week? She should be nominated for SAINTHOOD.
Whew, I am getting way too worked up over a TV show! And each week when I stake my case about how frustrated I am with the never-ending circle of drama with this family, my husband asks if I want to watch something else and I inevitably say, "NO!" But, dear This Is Us writers, get it together! Get them out of their self-made pity and do something. Volunteer! Take a class! Get a real job where you sit at a desk for 10 hours a day! ...anything but sitting in a hospital waiting room for 36 hours being toxic to each other.
And maybe you are thinking... girl, this is real life stuff. Alcoholics many times project their addiction onto everyone else. Married couples fight. People in stressful situations bring down the ones they love. Yeah, truth. I know. I guess I just want my TV experience to be more than ordinary. I want it to be incredible. I want more emotions than sadness, sickness, self-pity, and anger from every single episode in a show. The writers are better than that. They have the ability to evoke joy, nostalgia, love, tenderness, and even suspense from the audience. I want that back.
Oh and one more thing, who has the money and time to fly across the country every time a sibling has a "thing" going on - especially when you are an Adellegram actress or are in-between jobs? I have a brother and sister who live on the other side of the United States and it's just not realistic to go spend a grand on plane tickets for us to go to a graduation party. It's JUST NOT.
Okay, I'm done. Agree? Disagree? Tell me!