Trying to make any sort of creative endeavor that focuses on multiple timelines, especially a television show, takes a lot of planning. Most times multiple storylines are set up as a failsafe; if you write yourself into a corner in the past you can show it all working out in the future before you come back. Most times they wind up being science fiction action shows that always have a convenient way out.
This is Us juggles multiple timelines and multiple character over a family. In the 1980s we have Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and their three children. In the modern-day Rebecca is a widow and her children all have various issues to deal with. It’s a fascinating show because of a number of things but the key is fidelity of character.
We see where the characters are now and when we hit the flashbacks we see the ways in which they got there. It’s a brilliantly written show because as it’s been progressing there aren’t any shortcuts or cheap ways to show how the passage of time affected the modern day. It’s impressive considering Jack, who dies at some point before the modern portion of the show, manages to still be a relevant character in the modern day (because of his influence) despite not being in any of the episodes.
This is Us is expertly crafted television in part because of how it showcases everything; this is character drama where the timeline of how characters have grown, adapted and change all makes sense and is coherent over the length of the show.
There’s an after show for every episode.
20th Century Fox presents This is Us Starring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Ron Cephas Jones, Jon Huertas, Alexandra Breckenridge. Run Time: 720 minutes Not rated . Released on DVD: 9.11.18
Tags: Alexandra Breckenridge, Chris Sullivan, Chrissy Metz, Jon Huertas, Justin Hartley, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Ron Cephas Jones, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us