Home Celebrities Farewell, This Is Us: The Sensational Schmaltzfest We All Needed | Television

Farewell, This Is Us: The Sensational Schmaltzfest We All Needed | Television

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

It is over. After 106 episodes of emotional gutting, This Is Us (Amazon Prime) has called the time. And like Randall at his mother’s funeral, I want to find the right thing to say. Weekly, this heartbreaking family story about the big three—the triplets Kate, Kevin, and Randall Pearson—made millions cry, myself included. It’s been an emotional juggernaut for six years, a guilty pleasure to watch as you sob on the couch. It was comfort TV at its cosiest: a winning combination of twists and turns that left you hooked and caught off guard, with fantastically fleshed-out characters delivering endless hokey speeches (Randall, you’re the king!). It may have been a shameless schmaltzfest, but what we needed the release of a show as big, messy and delightful as life itself.

We’ve seen Randall, played by the wonderful Sterling K Brown, go from anxious mathlete to dweeby dad to viral video star (after dancing topless in his office) to top politician. We’ve seen him struggle with being adopted by a white family, meeting and losing his biological father, and communicating with his biological mother’s ghost in a lake. We’ve witnessed his breakdowns, his triumphs, and his lifelong love affair with Beth (the comic dynamite that is Susan Kelechi Watson).

Randall and his children in This Is Us
The king of hokey speeches… Randall with his daughters in This Is Us. Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

His sister, Kate, played by Chrissy Metz, has gone from being a hesitant teenage singer to meeting her future husband Toby at a weight loss group. She then became a mother, and her blind son led her to her calling as a music teacher for visually impaired children. We even saw her brother Kevin (Justin Hartley) come full circle, the narcissistic womanizing sitcom actor who ends up with his teenage sweetheart Sophie.

And their parents! Jack (the lovely Milo Ventimiglia) is essentially America’s No. 1 sire, a perfect mustachioed specimen who always spits cheesy lines over lemons. If the first two seasons led to Jack’s death, the last was about the matriarch, Rebecca (a spectacular Mandy Moore), and her painful descent into dementia, where two of her three children couldn’t even look in her direction because of the scale. she had become.

The last batch of episodes was masterful, with Rebecca dying and saying goodbye – only this show could take a train ride to the end of your life – and it was all scheduled on a T. Most of the last episode, with the Pearsons playing having a quiet day at home was filmed years ago. What a vision.

Ca'Ron Jaden Coleman as Randall and Mandy Moore as Rebecca
Heartbreaking… Ca’Ron Jaden Coleman as Randall and Mandy Moore as Rebecca. Photo: NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

What have the writers failed to address? What heartbreaking twist have they failed to pull? Interracial adoption, disabilities, obesity, sexuality, teenage pregnancy, teenage parenting, alcoholism, addiction, panic attacks (Kevin leaving his play to plop down next to Randall was unforgettable), pandemics, Black Lives Matter. It’s no small wonder they kept the surprises in check until last, only to deliver two or three more shocked sobs.

Dan Fogelman, the show’s creator and writer, spoke this week about the “Sopranos fade-to-black” moment, the lingering mystery of what will become of the big three — and whether Randall will run for office. , maybe even the highest. But by not pulling Six Feet Under and flashing ahead to everyone’s future, This Is Us has shut us down and stayed true to its core message: Everything is now; the present is all there is.

This is a TV that showed the big things that make life bearable, hopeful, awful and wonderful, while also begging us to cherish the little things: those mundane moments when you forget the chaos and just breathe in your loved ones. This Is Us reminded us to cherish those moments.

So thanks, big three. Thanks, all Pearsons. You did so well. Now – Randall for President!

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