• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2016
Season #: 1, 2
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Sep 21, 2016
    100
    This Is Us (from "Crazy, Stupid, Love" screenwriter Dan Fogelman) methodically weaves four seemingly disparate stories into a believable and emotional whole through tiny telling details, relatable moments, and conversations and confrontations that are funny, tender or painful, or all three at once.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Sep 19, 2016
    100
    A 21st century thirtysomething for a TV generation that likes a splash of high concept in their shows and isn’t afraid of melodrama.
  3. Reviewed by: Gwen Ihnat
    Sep 20, 2016
    91
    The hour accomplishes what it set out to do. It creates characters so compelling that we compulsively want to tune back in to see them again.
  4. Reviewed by: Dave Nemetz
    Sep 19, 2016
    91
    With emotionally resonant dialogue and top-notch performances, This Is Us should fill that Braverman-sized hole in your heart.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 16, 2016
    91
    The pilot is beautifully shaped, the themes of building your own meaning in life are smart, and the actors already seem to know their characters.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 20, 2016
    90
    This Is Us is what TV people refer to (usually more in delusional wishfulness than real belief) as "relatable," meaning that you'll recognize the characters and their quandaries and triumphs from your own life.
  7. Reviewed by: Amber Dowling
    Sep 20, 2016
    90
    It’s a unique blend with four very distinct but compelling stories, proving there’s plenty of drama to be mined from real life. It doesn’t hurt that each of the actors is perfectly cast in his or her role, driving home the beautifully written scenes that often pose pertinent and universally relatable questions.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Sep 14, 2016
    90
    These characters feel real. Relatable. Sympathetic. Their stories are compelling. They interact in unexpected ways. And the Big Plot Twist in This Is Us feels right. And sets up what could be an outstanding series.
  9. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Sep 20, 2016
    88
    Anyone still missing "Parenthood," or "Brothers and Sisters" before that, should grab the tissues and settle in for tonight's This Is Us.
  10. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 16, 2016
    83
    This looks like a drama with a heart, a pulse and also the ability to skip a beat.
  11. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 15, 2016
    83
    Wile I’d like to see another few episodes to make sure, there’s something comfortably gooey right away about This Is Us, reminding us once more that amid all the high-functioning detectives, emergency-rescue personnel and secret-agent superheroes covered in cryptic tattoos, there are very few network dramas aimed at viewers who are simply interested in everyday people and how they feel.
  12. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 6, 2016
    80
    There's so much, and so many, to love in This IS Us, which even at its corniest somehow becomes four-hanky popcorn TV. [10-23 Oct 2016, p.18]
  13. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 21, 2016
    80
    Fogelman's charmingly intricate pilot benefits from strong performances.
  14. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Sep 20, 2016
    80
    All the acting is equally good, something you can’t say about most ensemble-cast shows. Basically, This Is Us is a well-designed emotion machine that, by the end (for the record, I freely admit I didn’t see the end-twist coming--you might, because you’re smarter than me), had me eager to see how this is all going to shake down in Episode 2.
  15. Reviewed by: Kevin Fallon
    Sep 20, 2016
    80
    It’s a lot of exposition, sure, but it goes by breezily. The scenes are all incredibly short, packing emotional jabs in rapid sequence all of which, after an hour of using your heart as a punching bag, leaves its intended bruise.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 20, 2016
    80
    Created and written by Dan Fogelman, This is Us manages the tricky task of telling emotional stories without getting too saccharine. And in each story, the characters are quite relatable.
  17. Reviewed by: Megan Garber
    Sep 20, 2016
    80
    This Is Us has settled on an effective solution: It has made characters who are flawed and surprising, and therefore relatably human.
  18. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 20, 2016
    80
    It’s unclear right now whether Fogelman’s effort will fully match Parenthood in terms of quality. But for viewers looking to TV for comforting fare that doesn’t sacrifice intelligence--in other words, for a show whose cast and creators don’t appear to be settling--This is Us might be just what the kindhearted baby doctor ordered.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Sep 19, 2016
    80
    It’s a lovely and lyrical premiere, studded with everyday detail, from the realities of soccer parents to the long-term effects of the Challenger disaster. If creator Dan Fogelman (“Crazy Stupid Love”) seems addicted to turning-point sentiment, the performances and the pacing keep each story from getting stuck in the stickiness.
  20. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 19, 2016
    80
    The first hour works its way efficiently through an economy-size box of tissues with cleverly turned dialogue and well-inhabited performances.
  21. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 20, 2016
    75
    The performances are nicely detailed and fully credible, contributing to the level of credibility necessary to keep the conceit of the show from seeming gimmicky.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 19, 2016
    75
    There's a great deal of humor and heart on display here, and a sense of empathy that draws you into all of the characters. You also get a wide range of fine performances, from Metz’s humor-tinged refusal to give in to self-pity to Brown’s expertly played conflict over how to deal with his father.
  23. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 16, 2016
    75
    Saccharine by jaded prime-time standards, this show still just might be the kind of sentiment lots of viewers crave at the moment.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Starr
    Sep 14, 2016
    75
    This Is Us has an appealing cast, solid writing and pathos aplenty.
  25. Reviewed by: Mitchel Broussard
    Sep 19, 2016
    70
    As far as pilots go, it’s not instantly engaging or worthy of praise higher than the somewhat tampered one I’m giving it now, but it is uniquely clever with much more going on under its surface than first glances allow.
  26. Reviewed by: Rob Lowman
    Sep 19, 2016
    70
    It’s off to a good start.
  27. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Sep 15, 2016
    70
    Fogelman's pilot introduces the pieces necessary to become a show that will make viewers laugh and cry and also relish the performances from Brown, Ventimiglia, Moore, Hartley, Metz and the rest, but it will need to settle into its identity.
  28. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 20, 2016
    67
    This Is Us brims with some mighty acting. ... Creator Dan Fogelman’s script, however, takes the sting out of some major moments with some minor humor. There’s a huge twist in the final moments tonight that might have you rethinking everything you’ve watched, or might have you feeling like you’ve been played.
  29. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Sep 21, 2016
    60
    Once you start looking at the individual characters’ storylines--Jack and Rebecca are going to be parents, Kate struggles with her weight, Kevin wants his acting career to have meaning, Randall tracks down his biological father-- they feel less like actual stories than like placeholders, characters to be filled in later. It’s hard to hold too much of this against the show when the characters are played by great actors, and when the pilot has a script as emotionally adroit [as] the one crafted by Dan Fogelman.
  30. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Sep 13, 2016
    60
    Though a final reveal in the pilot feels a little gimmicky, it’s also a signal that the real drama (and tears) can start to flow. If you were a Parenthood fan, this series appears to be in a similar vein. Mark it one down as the most likely candidate for the guilty (or perhaps not so guilty) obsession of the fall season.
  31. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Sep 21, 2016
    50
    "It all works out" seems to be the main takeaway from the pilot, but where things specifically go from here is one whopping question mark. Perhaps if this was an episodic anthology series with new characters flooding in every week and new arcs every season, This Is Us could repeat the mysterious highs of its subjectively mediocre pilot (depending on how you like that ending).
  32. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Sep 20, 2016
    50
    The show has promise, but its cynicism in terms of trying to evoke an emotional response is both what viewers will be tuning in for and its least accomplished aspect. If it could work to wring out a real response, not just an easy one, this might be a show worth watching each week.
  33. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Sep 19, 2016
    50
    The show is almost good, or at least exactly the sort of emotional drama networks should be trying to make these days. But it is so sure it is special, so convinced it has something to say that it sullies its basic achievements with self-satisfaction.
  34. Reviewed by: Sonia Saraiya
    Sep 14, 2016
    50
    It’s deceptively difficult to build a surprising and complete story in just 40 minutes with so many characters. Yet This Is Us manages to both craft an intimate series of portraits and stitch them together. ... But at the same time, waves of cloying sentiment threaten to submerge everything.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 183 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 35 out of 183
  1. Sep 21, 2016
    0
    Loved the comment n the NY Times review that called This Is Us more schmaltzy than a Celine Dion song.. Possibly the worst drama I have seenLoved the comment n the NY Times review that called This Is Us more schmaltzy than a Celine Dion song.. Possibly the worst drama I have seen in years but it should make great "Hate" watching for those looking for some big laughs. Overwrought mess doesn't even begin to describe this turkey. Full Review »
  2. Dec 8, 2016
    2
    "This is Us" should be called "What group do we have left to shamelessly pander to?" Critics are such lame ass, group thinking, mindless, NPR"This is Us" should be called "What group do we have left to shamelessly pander to?" Critics are such lame ass, group thinking, mindless, NPR listening losers. Its funny because they call themselves 'critc'' but critical thinking is usually the last thing on their agenda. This show is hardcore, offensively hackneyed poop. Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2016
    10
    Give it a chance, do yourself a favor, watch the pilot, you will be hooked! After watching the pilot, I was very satisfied and I hope theyGive it a chance, do yourself a favor, watch the pilot, you will be hooked! After watching the pilot, I was very satisfied and I hope they keep up the quality! Full Review »