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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 20, 2016
Season #: 1, 2, 3
This Is Us Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Dan Fogelman dramedy features people (Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, and Milo Ventimiglia) who share the same birthday and how their lives cross each other.
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama

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This Is Us

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  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: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Lowman
    Sep 19, 2016
    70
    It’s off to a good start.
  7. 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.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 27
  2. Negative: 9 out of 27
  1. Apr 4, 2018
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The structure of the show includes scenes from the triplet’s childhood and then will flash forward to a later time in life or the present day. This type of set up holds the audience’s attention throughout not only the episode but also the series as a whole. Each episode reveals an event from the past that provides an explanation for why each character behaves in the present day, such as the reason for Kevin’s addictive personality due to his father’s alcohol addiction when he was growing up. The “flashback” configuration is used in the majority of the episodes but not all. Sometimes an entire episode will be dedicated to one character’s life journey. For example, the audience is introduced to Randall’s biological father, William, in season one and we see him in various episodes but his story comes full circle when there is an episode solely about him. It begins at his birth and depicts his major life events up to the present, as viewers have known him until this point.
    Another aspect of This Is Us that I find appealing is the varied character choice. There are a range of ages, races, genders, etc. that allows the show to be more relatable. Although it requires a certain amount of emotional maturity to understand, I believe it still appeals to a more expansive audience than other shows of its kind. The issue of race relations is a huge issue in our world today. We see how Randall never feels like he is truly part of the Pearson family. Even when he grows up to be incredibly successful with a big house and fancy car, his Caucasian neighbors still closely monitor him and his family’s every move. In addition to the diverse cast, the depiction of a family structure is not uniform. In my opinion, this is an attractive characteristic about the show. No family is perfect. Therefore, portraying an assorted collection of family structures makes the show more relatable to a wider range of viewers.
    The final and most attractive element of This Is Us is the storyline itself. The producers do an excellent job of making it easy to follow while being entertaining, heart-warming, funny and mildly suspenseful all at the same time. There are sad parts to it but not too sad. It’s just the right amount of television’s form of catharsis to leave viewers with a warm feeling afterwards. The overall gist of the plot is that everything happens for a reason or some things are just meant to be. Kevin may have never made amends with his mother without the help of his rehab therapist. Kate may have never met the love of her life, Toby, if she wasn’t overweight and attended the support group. Jack and Rebecca wouldn’t have adopted Randall if their third child lived through childbirth. The list of circumstances continues. It is comforting to watch the stories unfold and see that even bad situations can lead to positive outcomes.
    This Is Us is not a new type of show. There have been many others of its kind that have come before it, such as Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. Although they all depict the lifestyles of different loving families, This Is Us depicts a universe where accidents do not seems to exist. Friday Night Lights, on the other hand, contains a storyline based on the fact that bad things can happen to good people for no apparent reason, but we need to be strong and persevere. For example, Matt finds out his father died in Iraq during season 4 of the show. It wouldn’t be fitting for This Is Us to portray such a tragic and raw event such as that. Additionally, the filming of Friday Night Lights is more documentary-style contrary to This Is Us. Parenthood is more similar to This Is Us because of its softer storyline with less catastrophic scenes but it mirrors Friday Night Lights with the idea that terrible life circumstances are inevitable. For this reason, This Is Us has become more popular than both shows because it all comes together to make sense at the end. It also resembles real life but only to the point that makes us feel comfortable. There are sad scenes but nothing too tear-jerking. It’s the perfect coping mechanism for reality.
    Overall, the unique structure and organization of each episode, the dynamic character personalities and identities and the clever dialogue that leads viewers through the appealing storyline make This Is Us a truly enjoyable show. It receives an A grade for the perfect harmony of suspense, sadness, confusion, frustration and pure joy to leave viewers wanting more after every episode.
    Expand
  2. Mar 3, 2017
    10
    This is one of my favorite shows of all times. You fall in love with the cast. The writing is great, the way they make you feel like your partThis is one of my favorite shows of all times. You fall in love with the cast. The writing is great, the way they make you feel like your part of the family is something a TV show hasn't done for me in a long time. I can't wait to see where they go with this show Expand
  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! Expand
  4. Apr 14, 2017
    9
    Excellent show. Haven't finished season 1 yet(almost done with episode 7) but it's awesome. Great character development in just 40 minutes perExcellent show. Haven't finished season 1 yet(almost done with episode 7) but it's awesome. Great character development in just 40 minutes per episode. Expand
  5. Nov 19, 2017
    8
    I like the show and its uncommon characters (for American television). As a student of sociology and psychology, it always saddens me to seeI like the show and its uncommon characters (for American television). As a student of sociology and psychology, it always saddens me to see segregation and separation among ethnicities (and sometimes excluding mixed ethnicities) and social classes. Prejudice in certain social norms resulting several unfortunate outcomes, e.g. young black males having one of the highest unemployment rate in the US. I appreciate the writers in this show attempting to tackle racial issues, though not very well-executed. The scene on Thanksgiving when Rebecca answered "I will talk to them about it" after Randall said he felt uncomfortable that Rebecca's parents would take pictures of "just the twins" kept coming back to me. It's understandable how stressed out she must be, but she could've hugged him and ensured it won't happen again. Not to mention Kate and Kevin are surprisingly not very aware of racial issues even as adults... I felt extremely uncomfortable when Kevin kept mentioning Randall as his "adopted" black sibling, as if he never accepted Randall as his real sibling though they grew up together since day one. How I wish people will someday see race is really not what essentially makes us different from each other. Alas, often our ascribed status creates blind spots that we can't see. Overall, the show is more than decent in some ways. I was very impressed with the first episode. I hope this show will get better over time. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. Oct 18, 2017
    0
    Last night's episode with the story line of Rebecca's mother being outed as a racist just disgusted me. When I watch your show, it is becauseLast night's episode with the story line of Rebecca's mother being outed as a racist just disgusted me. When I watch your show, it is because I want to be ENTERTAINED, and don't need to have your political viewpoints shoved down my throat. Moving forward, please stick to entertaining your audience, and if any of the cast, crew, writers, directors or producers of the show want to spew their political views, then run for office. Otherwise, please keep it to yourselves. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews

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