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Most Fascinating People of 2016 – The Cast and Crew of This is Us
December 13, 2016

The Cast and Crew of This is Us.

I don’t watch a lot of television. I watch ‘CBS This Morning’ Monday to Friday, some news, some sports but I don’t have a lot of scripted shows I need to watch on a regular basis. I find I will start watching a show but will lose interest if it doesn’t hold my attention. I may not be in a position to comment on the ‘best shows on television’ but I know great television when I see it. Enter: This is Us.

I can’t remember why I watched the pilot of this show but I am glad I did. It has been a very long time since I came across a show that captured my attention like this one. If you haven’t seen this show it is very difficult for me to talk about it without spoilers as I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone.

Instead of talking about specifically what happens on the show let’s discuss what the show is about. It’s about us. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s about fitting into society. It’s about being colour blind. It’s about loving what you see in the mirror. It’s about all of that and more and it’s also about one of the best shows we have seen on television in a long time.

Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love) has created a drama that originally seemed like a ‘been there done that’ show, but was I ever wrong. The pilot episode of this show immediately established it as something we haven’t seen before. Entertainment Weekly made this new show a cover story as it was proclaimed as one of the ‘Best New Shows’ on TV and its nominations at the Critics Choice and Golden Globe Awards are no fluke.

The writers on the show have re-established my belief in network television. They don’t need four letter words or nudity to sell the show to an audience. They are achieving that with great scripts and fantastic acting.

These scripts are coming to life under the great direction of people like Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, Glenn Ficarra (Focus, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot) and George Tillman Jr. (Luke Cage) to name a few.

And how about that cast! What is most remarkable about the cast is that we have seen them before in other projects but this show has seemed to bring out the best in all of them.  Former pop singer Mandy Moore has 45 acting credits to her name but this show helped her land her first Golden Globe nomination. Sterling K. Brown just won an Emmy for his portrayal in The People vs. OJ Simpson and I suspect he will be nominated for his role in this show. Justin Hartley was good as Adam Newman on The Young and The Restless but his true talent as an actor shines on this show. It’s the entire ensemble that makes this show shine. Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones all deserve recognition as well.

What’s impressive about this show is that it doesn’t seem like episodes thrown together but a journey that we are blessed to share with these characters. We have scraped the surfaces of their stories and there are many layers. Sometimes the episodes end on a twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan proud and sometimes they end with us, the audience, reaching for a box of tissue. The characters aren’t cartoony or unrelatable but you feel like you’ve met people like them.

This isn’t a show you PVR and watch on the weekends; no, you park yourself in front of the TV and watch it live because a show this good demands that.

It’s way too early to compare this show to heavyweights like ‘Breaking Bad’ or ‘Six Feet Under’ – after all, those were cable shows. But I can’t recall the last time there was a network show as good as this. It doesn’t have zombies or resurrected kings but it is the best new show on television. Years ago NBC was the butt of jokes when it came to television award shows. This is Us could end that streak.

The cast and crew of This is Us have designed and produced a television show feels as real as anything on TV.  They have introduced us to characters we are invested in. I haven’t seen all of the shows on television but I know that this is one of the best.

These are the reasons why I find the cast and crew of This is Us fascinating.


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