Fall TV 2016 – Inside NBC’s Charming Hit, ‘This Is Us’

Some shows rocket to the top of the ratings. Others shoot straight into your heart. After just two episodes, NBC’s new series This Is Us has done both. If you haven’t watched yet, lucky you. Head straight to XFINITY On Demand. You get to experience the enjoyment of discovering these characters first the first time and then start the second episode without pause (the rest of us had to wait a week, and it was torture). If you have already watched, you’re like us and waiting for next week’s episode (more torture) and in need of a between me-we-and-three fix. So here you go:

During a summer interview at TCA, series creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman was asked what the storylines were going to be going forward. He responded:

“[Executive Producer] John Glenn and I describe it as, like, a dramedy version of “Lost” where you have to understand how everyone’s connected and then kind of explore these people as they move forward. They’re interconnected. Milo and Mandy’s storyline jumps around in time. There are going to be different looks. The only way I can describe it is I sometimes think about the fact that I have a great-great-grandfather out there somewhere who I never met nor do I know his name. But in his own way, he’s kind of affected my life because he raised my grandparents who raised my parents who have raised me. I think that’s what that show is.”

The chemistry is real. Stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia met during the audition process and clicked immediately.  “As an actor, it’s your job to dig a little deeper and find that intimacy and try and make that connection,” Moore said at TCA. “But then sometimes it’s just sort of right there on the surface.” Added Ventimiglia, “ I know Mandy and have had a bunch of conversations about Rebecca and Jack as a couple and our commitment to them. I’d said to her basically, ‘From action to cut, you’re my wife, so let’s make something beautiful and hopefully entertaining and something people can connect to.’”

Asked if the series reflects a larger message about fate or destiny, Fogelman said:  “I’m not a super spiritual person. I think sometimes things happen in your life when you look at the big picture of your life, and you kind of break it down to the 20 moments or the 50 moments where you are, like, ‘Wow, this was a big, gigantic thing I was a small part of.’ And I think that’s part of what we are trying to sell here. It also sounds a little highfalutin and artistic’y. And that’s not what we are, but I think that is part of it. It’s romantic, and I think life can be romantic when we are not, kind of, waddling in the shit.