The NBC smash hit series “This Is Us” is a television show that is simple in its premise. It is about a family and the lives and journeys that each of these family members take. The family itself is unconventional in that there are boy and girl twins (Kevin and Kate) and an adopted child (randall). Randall is African American while the rest of his family is white. Following in the footsteps of a show like “Parenthood,” this weekly series allows families to sit down and watch a show that is grounded in reality. There are no explosives or vampires, but stories about a woman’s weight problems or a man finding his estranged father can be just as exciting.

The show gives a voice to marginalized characters

One thing that this show does very well is, give characters that are often caricatured, a chance to have a real story arc. Kate (played by Chrissy Metz) is an obese woman who starts out the series contemplating getting a weight loss surgery. A plot point that often used, the writers have allowed Kate to grow and given her depth in showing what events have led her to weight she is currently at. She also gets to have a love interest who actually loves her, and by having more of these types of relationships on screen, it normalizes it and shows others that weight does not determine who you sleep with. The character of Randall is also one that is incredibly well developed.

As the main African American character, the fact that he had an absent father kind of bugged me. However, the Randall is by far the richest and most articulate of the three siblings. African American characters are normally cast to play second fiddle to their white counterparts. On this show, he is intelligent is not ashamed to say it.

Everyone needs a good cry now and then

The one thing that “This Is Us” does better than any show on television is it shows us that life is not all good or all bad. On almost every other television show, the main character is either fixed, a doctor in the most hectic of hospitals or someone on the quest for money. In this show, the main attraction is the family.

This show (at its core) is a reflection of so many families that live in your neighborhood or on your street. The father struggles with alcoholism, while Kate struggles with weight and Randall struggles with the possibility of losing his biological father. At the end of every episode, the show allows the audience to feel a sense of catharsis and shows them that it is okay to cry or feel angry. Don’t get me wrong; there are obviously moments of comedy. However, in those mundane moments, real life happens, and this show does an excellent job of illuminating that message.