Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

‘This is Us’ a comforting story of connection

('This is Us' Official Facebook Page)

(‘This is Us’ Official Facebook Page)

Family is one of the most popular themes for many television shows. Most successful series on cable television focus on friendships that act as a newfound family. However, “This is Us,” NBC’s new dramedy, emphasizes the importance of one’s roots and upbringing. Blood relation or not, a person’s childhood drastically impacts who they will come to be in time.

“This is Us” unfolds as if the audience is entering into a new relationship with the series, slowly learning more and more about its past with each date/episode. What has been revealed in these first few dates is shocking and extremely entertaining. Revolving around four central character plots, the show delves into the importance of family. Each character faces their own struggles, and whether they are with obesity, abandonment, alcoholism or complete disillusionment with their career, the characters turn to their families for help.

The appeal of family is nostalgia. Everyone has some sort of dysfunctional family, and watching one on screen provides an outlet to see a family be able to work out their turmoil – unlike most realistic situations. If only life could be scripted, and a solution to relationships could magically become available. The conflicts in “This is Us” arise from a character’s own insecurities, rather than a reaction from another person’s actions.

The show opens with the separation of each main character. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) are the head over heels couple expecting their first child. Then there’s Randall (Sterling Brown), a man that finally finds the identity of his biological father who abandoned him as a baby.

The dreamy Kevin (Justin Hartley) hates his career because he is only known for his perfect body. It definitely does not hurt to look at him, but that is his main conflict in the show thus far. Only his family sees past his handsome features and recognizes his talent and depth.

Lastly, there is Kevin’s twin sister, Kate (Chrissy Metz). Unlike Kevin, Kate feels her body is inhibiting any success and just wants to feel comfortable and secure in her own skin.

“This is Us” does not break the recent trend in series focusing on larger casts, stronger actors and less plot, but it goes a little further. The connection between the characters is not given immediately unlike most. This adds momentum to the plot as to what motivates the characters, and leaves the audience wanting to find out more with each episode.

Tears and laughter will mix together here as they did in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” series writer and creator Dan Fogelman’s earlier work. Fogelman’s talent lies in his ability to link characters and their lives together seamlessly.

He also is able to dig deep into the forbidden mystery of relationships. The nervous and uncontrollable laughter that erupts from Randall when trying to explain to his wife why he has brought the man that abandoned him as a helpless infant into their home is a perfect example of Fogelman’s talent at exposing trauma and other less visible struggles.

These characters have an incredible human and realistic quality to them. Most of the actors gained their experience in melodramatic series or movies, and demonstrate their mastery in intricate and complicated performances.

Everyone has their troubles, and sometimes it is nice to escape into someone else’s as a distraction. “This is Us” not only provides that sweet escape, but also a comfort that it will be there for you, just like family.

Hudson Smith can be reached at hudsonsmith@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “‘This is Us’ a comforting story of connection”
  1. suki nixon says:

    You do know the technology exists to create dreams and visions.

    Suki Nixon

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