I just committed a dangerous sin that I should’ve never even thought of doing at such times like these days when I’m on a tight deadline regarding my thesis progress: binge-watching a TV series that goes for 18 episodes in the first season. But, Lord, is it all worth it. This Is Us is basically an enlarged version of all types of rom-com movies I’m very much into, hence every second spent staring at my laptop’s screen was the utmost guilty pleasure experience.
But the reason why I even type this post is not simply because this is a well-thought series worth reviewing. This is something beyond. I’m not really a movie-goer kind of millennial, there are many awesome movies people in average would’ve watched but I haven’t, so when I decide to write a review or even afterthoughts after watching something, the thing must’ve been exceptional. And everyone who has survived watching This Is Us until this year’s new season must’ve agreed with me. All those nights of tears and box of tissue papers were entirely worth wasting.
One thing for sure, I just can’t even get how they manage to pull a whole plot in which not one, not two, not even three, but each one of at least eight major characters in the series has such an aspiring and inspiring life to look up to. The perfectly imperfect parents who make me realize what kind of parents I want to be when my time comes, the heartwarming families that deal with each of their own’s rain and storm but always manages to sail out of the troubles safe and sound at the end of the day, and every precious little thing in-between. I just don’t understand how those people behind the screen first got the idea of combining all these flawed, cranky scenes into one intertwined life worth living in. In a very beautiful way as well.
My favorite character is undoubtedly Randall Pearson. He’s a black who was left by his single father in front of a fire station 36 years ago and then immediately adopted by a white, middle-class family who had two other newborns and was actually struggling with their financial stability at first. If you haven’t watched the series, this might sound like a soap opera in the first impression. But, Lord, the way those people deliver the stories, it almost feels like this could be something common that actually happens in real life. Every movement was just so delicate and subtle, and every act was so pure and raw. I felt sorry, unhappy, uneasy, and concerned watching Randall dealt with the ups and downs of his mid-life crisis, and glad as well when the occasional rainbow finally shone above him.
Randall is such a creature rich of emotions, and every single trouble and breakdown he’s having makes me feel that I want to strive for it, too. He’s a black who was raised in the whitest environment possible, he’s been a very contrasting minor throughout his life, he’s had occasional anxiety attacks, but it doesn’t change the fact that he lived a blessed and gifted life because of his parents who chose him. For most of the time, we think of family as people we don’t choose but is destined for us, but in Randall’s case, he was chosen yet destined to be meant for them as well.
My favorite scenes are the ones showcasing Randall’s past and present alternately. Two contrasting lives of a gifted man who had the sourest lemon in life, and took it into something resembling the sweetest lemonade possible. It’s such a touching moment to see little Randall who does very well at school but tries to hide it just because he doesn’t want his brother and sister to feel inferior–and he wants to feel accepted by them as well. It’s very heartwarming to see the teen Randall who never even seemed to get close with any girl actually loves and wants to protect his un-biological Mom so much and within his silence tried to comfort her when she hit her lowest point. It’s heartbreaking to see the adult Randall who always seeks for perfection, for once had the life slipped out of his grasp and the world making no sense for him. But at the end of the day, Randall that we have today is a successful man with complicated past that has accomplished many levels of ups-and-downs most people cannot imagine about. There he is, with an exceptional wife he dated since he was 19, a dying biological father he was willing to forgive since the moment he met him, two adorable little daughters, an un-biological Mom who has been lying to him for solid 36 years, and two un-biological siblings who didn’t always be the nicest people to stand up for him. Sounds like one heck of a life, doesn’t it?
I think deep down, I simply want to survive as much as Randall did, too. And I think I should have a pretty good start because I never had to deal with any of those troubles he had, so it’s supposed to be easier for me to do damn well in life.
Shoutouts to all Randall Pearsons of lives out there, who was raised as a minor but manages to do something major in life, something that the majority of us can triumph about.