his Is Us is the collective sigh of relief we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the show we as a society have not wanted but rather needed even when we didn’t know we needed it. It gives the world permission to say, “I don’t have it together, but it’s ok, because they don’t either.” It’s the assurance that no matter how perfect a parent we are our kids, who live in a fallen world will still have insecurities and addictions and pain they still have to process on their own.
The show is also unique in that we get a glimpse of what it is like to be an overweight woman in a society obsessed with weight. We get a glimpse of what it is like to live in an overweight person’s world. We also get to know what it is like to live in a black person’s world. Randall, no matter how successful he is in life, will always be the suspicious black man in an unfamiliar neighborhood. No other show even attempts this as skillfully as Fogelman does. This show is a unique perspective into ordinary lives of people who may share the same struggles but not as perfect as we think they are.
Russell Moore, author of the Washington post article, Why We’re Obsessed with the Hit Show This is Us says,
“This rings true because we all tend to see our lives as narrative and, like the characters in this series, the narrative is often murkier than we would like. Some of us had relatively idyllic childhoods. Some of us grew up in the specter of violence or addiction or abuse or some other awful reality. Some of us grew up wondering, as we do as we see some of the secrets of the back stories of this series unfold, whether the family figures of our past are heroes or villains or a mixture of the two. The switching back and forth between the 1980s and 2016 reminds us that the narrative of our lives is not a straight line. Our childhoods aren’t just “back there,” but they intrude on our lives now, sometimes in picking at old scars and sometimes in reminding us of the small mercies that have brought us safe thus far. We wouldn’t be who we are if not for the stories that have made us — stories we love, stories we hate, and sometimes stories we long to peer into but leave us in mystery.”
Jennifer Dukes Lee, bestselling author and fan of This is Us, wrote a blog post about why this show has garnered such acclaim: “This is Us” gives us faith in humanity again. It reminds us that we belong to each other. It fills us with delight, at a time when the world seems to be drowning in peril. It reminds us that we are all broken and whole – capable of laughing and crying in the same hour, or even the same minute. This Is Us works, because this is us. It works because we are them.”2
This is really us indeed.
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