There’s only one way to deal with the return of “This Is Us” on NBC and that’s with a full box of Kleenex. The show that beautifully broke our hearts and brought tears with every single episode last season is back at it in this premiere, jumping through time to share the story of the Pearson family in all of its wonderful and heart-wrenching glory.
Rather than simply give a run-down of what happened in the premiere, TooFab is just going to single out the show’s most powerful moments, scoring them by how many tissues we tore through while watching them. Believe us, these are happy tears of anguish.
Randall and Beth spent the first season in marital bliss, and we found ourselves kind of wishing they’d get some strife if for no other reason so that the wonderful Susan Kelechi Watson could have more to do. Well, we got our wish as Randall tried to push his adoption dreams on his reluctant wife. She held her own, though, against the power of his will, and even knew when silence was the best way to get through to him. “Perfectly imperfect,” Randall described their marriage later, and it is. They aren’t always on the same page, but they know how to get to one they can both want.
0 Tissues, but damn girl, get it!
“I Don’t Care What Dress Size You Wear”
Kate overcame her fears and her anxieties and went for that audition, getting a few lines into “Nothing Compares 2 U” before being shut down. After refusing to be shut down for her size again, she got the best piece of advice she could ever get. Her size was irrelevant. She was rejected simply because she wasn’t good enough. That the guy took the time to tell her this, and even show a backup singer handle the song better, helped it sink it. This was a powerful moment for Kate’s journey, and a beautiful thing to see. Now maybe her stories can move beyond her size, too.
“He Pushed a Stranger on Me”
Determined to adopt a child and getting some pushback from Beth, Randall went to his mother to get the true story of his own adoption. He’d always been told that they took one look at him and they just knew, but it wasn’t that simple. Were it not for the vaunted tenacity of Jack, Randall’s life might have been very different. “He pushed a stranger on me and that stranger became my child and that child became my life,” Rebecca told Randall. “He became you.”
“A Father’s Advice”
It was perfect that the season opened with the wonderful Ron Cephas Jones narrating the poem his character, William, had written for his son. We got to see him twice in the hour; the second when Beth reminisced about a conversation they’d had, but it was his voiceover narration that opened and closed the hour, sharing the heartache of a father estranged but having never forgotten his son. It was a message of love and hope, the message of this show.
“Get in the Car”
After months apart, Rebecca showed up at Miguel’s house to tell Jack, “I shouldn’t have let you leave because that’s not us.” But Jack rebuffed her, revealing that he was drunk and had a drinking problem. He closed the door in her face saying he needed to face it alone, but she wasn’t having it. She knocked and when he opened it said simply, “Get in the car.” This is the bond that made these two America’s couple last season, so it was good to see them back together, even though…
We’re Getting Closer
We are closer than ever to the reveal of how Jack died, with tantalizing clues added like Kevin sporting a broken leg the night of the incident. But nothing topped the primal cry of anguish that escaped from Rebecca as she sat outside their home, gutted from a fire, with Jack’s personal effects in a plastic bag.
After an amazing first season that scored plenty of Emmy nominations (and a major win for Sterling K. Brown as Randall), the only complaint viewers had was that they didn’t deliver on showing us what happened to Jack. Producers have promised we will get the answer this season, so why don’t we just get it over with so we can move on with the rest of their lives?
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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