6 Reasons Why We Are Obsessed With 'This Is Us'

by Christine Burke
This Is Us
Courtesy NBC

Back in September, my News Feed started to fill with excited people gushing about a new show on NBC.


“I can’t wait until next week. I need to discuss right now. Who watched tonight?”

“I am sitting here absolutely wrecked. Wrecked. Damn you, This Is Us! *shakes fist at sky*”

Seriously, these were actual posts in my News Feed. Sorry, not sorry, friends who know who they are.

With every post, I’d roll my eyes and scroll on by. I mean, I love a good TV series just like the next gal but never enough to post on Facebook and use all the exclamation points to dramatically express my deep abiding love for a show.

And unless you live under a rock, undoubtedly, you, too, have seen someone gush on social media about This Is Us or light up like a Christmas tree at the mere mention of the character Toby.

Last week, I found myself a free evening and I decided to sit down and see if my social media connections actually know what good TV is. It couldn’t be that good, right?


So good, in fact, that life was basically cancelled in this house until I could catch up on all 10 episodes immediately, if not sooner.

So good that I had to text everyone I know and tell them that they needed to drop what they were doing and jump on the This Is Us train.

So good that I had to announce in ALL CAPS on Facebook that I was now joining the This Is Us party.

So good, too, that my mother-in-law stayed up until 2 a.m. binge-watching the show because I raved about it like a lunatic on Facebook.

And don’t get me started about Gerald McRaney. Just don’t. I can’t stop swooning, and my husband is getting jealous.

I am a woman obsessed with this show and judging from my Facebook feed, pretty much all of humanity is too.

The appeal of This Is Us is layered and multifaceted. You have nostalgic flashbacks coupled with flawed characters. You have glimpses into your own family drama and the realization that no family is perfect. There is laughter, there are tears, and as soon as an episode ends, you can’t help but want more.

What is it about This Is Us that has us so spellbound? The reasons are endless, but here are a few:

1. We are all Kate.

At one point or another, we’ve all struggled with our weight. We’ve stood in our closets and tried clothes on that have gotten too tight and have gotten frustrated with slow weight loss after having babies. Kate’s open, honest struggles with her obesity give a voice to what we quietly say to ourselves every day. We are cheering Kate on because we secretly hope we’ll win our weight struggles too.

2. Everyone wants a boyfriend like Toby.

Seriously, Toby is the boyfriend we’ve all dreamed of for infinity. He’s funny, he’s witty, and when he asked Kate if she wanted to be “fat friends” with him, we all swooned. He’s certainly not perfect, and though he sucks at dieting, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’d leave my husband for him and his romantic ways.

3. The show reminds us that the ’80s was the greatest generation ever.

In the flashback scenes with Jack and Rebecca, we catch glimpses of what life looked like in the ’80s, and I’ll be honest, it makes me yearn for the days of tube socks and big hair. Whether it’s Rebecca’s jean skirt or Randall and Kevin’s bedroom décor, This Is Us is a walk down memory lane, and we get to revisit our childhood when we tune in week to week.

4. America needs a big, collective ugly cry.

Let’s face it: The last year has been a shitshow. Real life family drama over politics has caused us all deep pain and grief. Friendships are forever changed, and we are all healing from words we can’t take back. This Is Us gives us a safe space to feel our emotions and let our tears flow. I mean, if you can remain stoic during the scene where Dr. Katowsky gently tells a grieving Jack Pearson about his own experience with losing a child, well, then, you don’t deserve to watch This Is Us.

5. That Pearson family “Big Three” chant is the cutest damned thing in the history of ever.

Admit it, you yell “Big Three!” to the television screen. Stop lying. We know you do.

6. The Pearson family gives us permission to admit our faults — and love our family members despite theirs.

These days, life seems to be “Facebook perfect”: We see our friends and family smiling on social media and assume their lives are perfect. But if you look behind the lens and really pay attention, there is true heartache in every family. The Pearsons gently expose their flaws and their real feelings to us and give us pause to see ourselves in their struggles. At any given time, we have felt trapped in our jobs or feel the need to overachieve at the holidays like Randall. Rebecca and Jack remind us that parenting is damned hard and that there’s no guarantee your kids won’t turn out to need a little bit of therapy when they get older.

If you haven’t already, start watching This Is Us right now. If for no other reason than you will understand your Facebook News Feed as we all gush about the details of every damn episode.

You guys, it’s just so good. Trust me. Just watch.

This is not a paid advertisement. Seriously. It’s not.