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Kevin Pearson

Justin Hartley stars as Kevin Pearson in the hit NBC drama “This Is Us,” which was nominated for an Emmy Award in July for Outstanding Drama Series.

Hartley recently wrapped production on “A Bad Moms Christmas,” and is currently in post-production on “Another Time,” in which he stars alongside Arielle Kebbel and also executive produces.

Previous film credits include “Red Canyon,” opposite Norman Reedus and Christine Lakin; “Spring Breakdown,” opposite Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey; “A Way with Murder,” opposite Michael Madsen; and, most recently, the boxing indie “The Challenger.”

Born in Knoxville, Illinois, and raised in Orland Park, Illinois, Hartley attended Southern Illinois University and University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in history and theater. He landed his first regular role on the daytime soap “Passions,” a role he held for four years.

Hartley moved to primetime for the first time in the role of Oliver Queen (the Green Arrow) in the hit series “Smallville.” After recurring for two seasons, he became a regular in the show’s eighth season. He was also able to showcase his talents behind the camera while on the young-Superman drama in both writing (“Sacrifice,” Season 9) and directing (“Dominion,” Season 10).

Hartley went on to appear in a handful of hit series, including “Chuck,” “Castle” and “Hart of Dixie,” and in 2012 became a series regular on the medical drama “Emily Owens, M.D.,” opposite Mamie Gummer. Throughout 2013-16, Hartley worked on a handful of TV projects, appearing in 13 episodes of “Revenge” and 16 episodes of “Mistresses,” and taking over the role of Adam Newman on the top-rated CBS daytime soap “The Young and the Restless.” Hartley was nominated for a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for lead actor in a drama series.

On the charity front, Hartley has been a supporter of The Water Project for several years.

Hartley, who loves spending time with his daughter, Isabella, currently resides in Los Angeles.

This Is Us

A Manny-Splendored Thing Season 2 Episode 2 Editor’s Rating 3 stars *** Photo: NBC/Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Beth and Randall are the best of us. They’re also the best of Us. See what I did there? Even when This Is Us is at its schmaltziest, we can always count on Beth and Randall to provide an affecting and authentic look at marriage. They’re loving, hilarious, flawed, beautiful angel people. Or, as Randall put it in last week’s episode, they are “perfectly imperfect.” As they navigate the tense waters of the adoption process, I can’t help but wonder: Can Beth and Randall adopt me?

Even when Beth and Randall are arguing, you know they love each other. It’s good to keep that in mind throughout “A Manny-Splendored Thing,” as the adoption conversation hits an unexpected bump in the road. Yes, Randall is having second thoughts. Beth is just as annoyed as you are.

As the entire Pearson clan heads to sunny Los Angeles for a very special taping of The Man-ny (even Kevin can’t believe he’s “returning to the scene of the crime”), Beth begins to question why her husband is dragging his feet on the paperwork they need to fill out to start the fostering process. Randall finds the questionnaire a little invasive: Why do they need to know if he feels sexually gratified by his partner? (For the record, Beth tells him she answered that question with “Generally, yes, except when I want a quickie and my husband needs too much romancing,” because Beth is an exceptional human being.) But as Beth finds out when she corners Randall in The Man-ny backlot, the real reason he’s avoiding the paperwork is because he’s scared. Now that they’ve decided to foster and eventually adopt an older child, it’s hit him that this child may come with some real baggage. Drug and alcohol abuse, physical and emotional abuse, some really intense stuff that Randall worries they might not be prepared to handle. Beth is not amused by Randall totally Randall-ing out. And anytime you use someone’s name as a verb, it’s usually a bad thing.

Beth has had enough of Randall overthinking things, thank you very much. Not only did he drag her across the country for a taping of show she does not particularly enjoy, but after months of begging her to get onboard with bringing a new child into their lives, he is backpedaling. Help comes to Beth from the person she least expected: Kevin.

Beth’s annoyance that Kevin Pearson is her brother-in-law is one of the best running jokes on This Is Us. Part of Beth’s wariness around Kevin is in part due to Randall and Kevin’s sometimes fraught relationship. Just as Toby announces to Rebecca that he is forever and always #TeamKate, Beth will always be #TeamRandall. But some of it, I’m sure, is just Beth being an authentic human who has no time for Kevin’s actor nonsense. Whatever the reason, it’s mainly enjoyable because you know Beth considers Kevin family — she may get annoyed with the guy and his dislike of blueberries, but she loves him, too. Susan Kelechi Watson walks that tightrope so well.

When Beth takes shelter from her infuriating husband in Kevin’s trailer, she ends up spilling her guts to the Man-ny himself. If there’s anyone who understands how infuriating Randall can get, it’s Kevin. He reminds Beth of things she mostly already knows: Randall doesn’t attempt anything without being sure he’ll succeed at it. He’s an extreme perfectionist. He also reminds Beth of the one time in Randall’s life where he did take a huge risk: When he called Beth (with secret assistance from Kevin) and asked her out, even though she was way out of his league. The whole story is very endearing, and honestly, if we don’t eventually get to see the Big Three in college and watch Randall and Beth’s first meeting, heads will roll. We need this.

Kevin’s story reminds Beth just how good she and Randall are together. And then, Beth reminds Randall of that fact with a big ol’ run-into-his-arms romantic kiss on the back lot. They can do this. It’s going to be okay. The whole thing is gorgeous and I’d like to stay here forever. But we can’t. Well, I guess you can if you have DVR, but we can’t here in this recap because believe it or not, some other things happen to other characters in this episode.

Let’s chat about Kate. She’s spiraling hard because her mother is in town. We know Kate and Rebecca’s relationship has always been strained, but this episode finally digs a little deeper: We see the genesis of this tension by visiting with Little Kate, who wants to sing in the school talent show, but is ultimately scared off by her overenthusiastic, intimidatingly talented mother. After a visit to the Teen Big Three era, we see that small seed of resentment has burrowed a hole in Kate’s heart, who has snide remarks on top of snide remarks for her mother, the queen. And, of course, we see how this resentment and intimidation is still very much an active part of Adult Kate’s life. She’s hypersensitive to anything her mother might say that could be construed as criticism.

Yes, Rebecca does make Kate’s first real singing gig (she’s filling in for the house band at a dive bar) a little too much about herself. But doesn’t the way Mandy Moore says, “Sound check?” break your heart a little? And yes, Rebecca watching Kate sing “Landslide” must bring back a huge wave of nostalgia for the woman, but you can also see that Rebecca is filled with immense pride watching her little girl — her little bug — up on that stage. Her post-show comment about Kate eventually learning how to sing through a crowd doesn’t seem malicious, just misplaced. It certainly doesn’t deserve Kate’s cut-to-the-core response about Rebecca’s failures. Only Chrissy Metz could be a dick to Mandy Moore and still come out likable.

Rebecca can’t really do much about Kate’s problem with her “existing,” and Kate’s issues with Rebecca are more about Kate’s insecurities anyway. Still, parents are easy targets for kids to lash out on when needed. Kate’s cutting words are extreme but understandable — or at the very least, human.

Though it’s hard to watch Kate tear down her mother, the episode does a decent job at revealing just how complicated Kate and Rebecca’s relationship issues are. Too complicated, of course, to resolve in one episode. Unfortunately, the whole thing ends with Rebecca declaring her approval for the uncompromisingly supportive Toby, which, like, come on Rebecca, you’re better than that. As a means of self-soothing, I’ll just go back to watching Rebecca watch Kate sing because Mandy Moore being proud of someone is nature’s medicine.

This Is the Rest

• A quick Jack update: We learn that the first time Rebecca asked him to kick his drinking problem, Jack did so through sheer will, boxing out the pain at the gym, and some sweet reminders that everything will be okay from Kate. This time, he vows to be more upfront about his alcoholism: He tells his daughter (and sons, but later and probably less emotionally stirring) and starts going to AA meetings.

• True Life: I can’t hear Milo Ventimiglia say “Katie girl” without tearing up. It doesn’t matter the context, Jack calls his daughter Katie girl and I am ruined.

• Sophie has become very endearing! Even when they were little kids, she has always inexplicably found Kevin hilarious. Apparently, he’s always been performing for her. Aw. But she also is willing and able to put Kevin in his place. When he goes on his “I must channel George Clooney returning to ER” rant ahead of his very embarrassing return to The Man-ny, she is quick to remind him that this is his least attractive quality. Bless you, Sophie.

• Was anyone else expecting weird tension between Sophie and the Pearsons? At least with Kate? Last season, the show was setting it up that way, but they were all pretty chummy on the set of The Man-ny.

• Can we all agree to stop putting grown men in giant baby diapers? They did it on Lost, it happened on This Is Us, enough. It is very off-putting and no one has asked for this. Not to my knowledge, anyway.

• Kevin should feel threatened by how good Randall is at his “Man-ny say what?!” catchphrase.

• Annie and Tess are the best packers in the family. I love them so much.

• Miguel is slowly winning me over with his enthusiasm for pigs in a blanket and sitcom tapings. Please pray for me in my time of need.

‘This Is Us’ Fans Have a Wild New Theory About Kevin’s Mystery Woman and It’ll Blow Your Mind

While This Is Us takes its fall hiatus, fans have to fill the void somehow. The fall finale left too many questions to let sit until the January return. Theories about Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) health, Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) falling out are among the top three theories keeping viewers busy.

However, the biggest mystery revolves around Kevin’s pregnant fiancé referenced in the 9-month flash-forward. The latest theory about who she is will have you rethinking every episode of This Is Us so far.

Kevin Pearson’s relationship timeline is messy, at best

Justin Hartley as Kevin | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

To say Kevin has a few options in the relationship arena is, to put it mildly. As the star of The Manny, Kevin grew accustomed to the limelight on, and off, the stage.

As previous episodes indicate, Kevin may revel in good looks and muscle on the outside, but his insecurity and low-self-esteem have always gotten in his way.

Even in childhood, Kevin felt the need to compete with adopted brother, Randall, for Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s attention. He’s the twin that never felt good enough, seeking validation everywhere he could find it (or falling victim to dangerous vices to cope otherwise), so he sought solace in relationships.

Fans know and love Kevin’s greatest love story, Sophie, whom he married and divorced out of high school only to rekindle that love twice over, and mess up, twice over. He developed feelings for the leading actress and screenwriter of the play he starred in, then Zoe, and finally Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison).

One of Kevin’s weaknesses is acting on impulse and falling too quickly, too fast. It’s never been clearer than the 9-month flash-forward shown in the tail end of the fall finale when, during Kevin’s 40th birthday, it’s revealed he’s not only engaged but about to be a father. It’s about to get complicated.

Here’s why it probably won’t be any of these women

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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Kevin with a baby carriage. What are your best Kevin theories for when #ThisIsUs returns?

A post shared by This Is Us (@nbcthisisus) on Dec 4, 2019 at 5:15am PST

It’d be a little too easy to guess that Cassidy is the mystery woman. the two may have just slept together before they parted ways, but This Is Us writers don’t tend to go for the obvious.

The next obvious choice is Sophie. Many fans say they’re endgame material, which isn’t completely off the mark. Kevin and Sophie have history, but just because they love each other doesn’t mean they should be together. Kevin hurt Sophie and she may not want to re-open those wounds.

If you go back into Kevin’s relationship timeline one more, you could guess he’ll end up with Zoe after all. He did just creep on Zoe’s Instagram with Cassidy. The fact that she didn’t want kids before they broke up doesn’t mean she won’t change her mind.

There are other guesses, such as Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) friend, Madison (Caitlin Thompson), or the girl he went on a date with right before he slept with Cassidy. However, there’s one new theory that blows all of these guesses out of the water.

The latest theory about the mother of his child is a wild one

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This is 40. #ThisIsUs

A post shared by This Is Us (@nbcthisisus) on Dec 1, 2019 at 5:15am PST

Take a deep breath before reading this one. Ready? On a post by the official, This Is Us Instagram account asking for “best theories about Kevin,” one commenter mentioned “Jack’s brother,” which, no, but another weighed in with a whopper.

“I’m thinking that Dejas Mom will get with Randall’s brother.”

Then another chimed in adding, “OMG that would explain why Randall and Kevin don’t talk.”

Once the theory was out there, it didn’t take long for others to comment in agreement. Though Kevin’s son in the season 3 flash-forward may not appear to be a child from Kevin and Shauna (Joy Brunson), it’s not that far out of the realm of possibility.

That kid could be adopted, one of multiple kids, or any other random scenario. Who Kevin intends to marry may very well be part of the rift between him and Randall — especially if it’s the mother of Randall’s adoptive daughter.

It might be far-fetched, but we have to say, it sounds more like something the crafty This Is Us writers would do to unsuspecting viewers. Now that we’ve put it out there, feel free to re-watch every episode with Kevin and Shauna to see if there’s any suspect chemistry in the works.

Yesterday after I wrote a post about not being entertained by sin, I wrote a summary from my experience watching a couple of episodes of This Is Us. (It’s a very popular TV show for those who have never heard of it.) I had been told it was a great show by Christians and that it didn’t have anything bad in it. It began with nudity, then a threesome. It had God’s name in vain, premarital sex, and homosexuality. Basically, it’s watching a godless family live their lives. After a few episodes, I turned it off since I knew it wasn’t something I should spend my time watching. I shared this on my Facebook page and many agreed with me until one woman. I want to share what she wrote and give my response to each portion.

“We enjoy this show and sure it can do without some scenes. The characters bring us through real life problems and situations adults encounter in every day life. This makes us realize how blessed we are and how graceful and merciful God is. It also helps us to have compassion for those who don’t live the same life style or have the same standards we do.”

So in order to be thankful for our gracious Lord and have compassion for those who live ungodly, we should be entertained by them? It sure isn’t what the Word of God tells us to do. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalm 101:3) We are told to dwell on the true, honorable, right, and true (Philippians 4:8). Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33). “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). I could give you MANY more but you get the idea. What she wrote sounds good but isn’t backed up by Scripture.

“Randall’s biological father is gay on the show, so what? We have co-workers and acquaintances that are gay and don’t agree with them but don’t shun them for it. My husband likes to put it this way: ‘If I like black coffee and you like yours with creamer, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you, can’t associate with you or we can’t be friends. It means you have your preferences and I have mine.’ (We are called to love like Jesus did; they know where we stand and that we don’t agree.) Just like Election, not all have the eyes to see and ears to hear which is why being chosen we need to take the gospel, wrap it in love and gently deliver it to those around us.”

Again, this all sounds great but it isn’t biblical. Yes, we are to love the homosexuals in our life but we shouldn’t be entertained by it or do anything to help promote it by watching it on TV shows. God destroyed two cities because of homosexuality. Be kind and loving to the homosexuals in our lives but lead them to Jesus. They need Jesus. We can’t lead some character on a TV show to Jesus. The main purpose of having a homosexual on a TV show is to normalize the sin Christ died for. God told Lot if there were ten righteous people in Sodom and Gomorrah, He would have spared them but there were not. Even Lot was “vexed (tormented) with the filthy behavior of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” (2 Peter 2:7, 8). We are called to FLEE all sexual immorality, not be entertained by it or normalize it. It’s a deadly lifestyle. Jesus loved but then told the adulterous woman at the well to “Go and sin no more.” We are commanded to speak the truth in love. We must never leave out the truth part as so many today want to do.

“It’s great to not watch if you feel convicted, but there are good life lessons that can be ‘observed from the outside’. It’s easy to find the bad when looking for it.”

We are told, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). What does this mean? “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). “Hate evil, you who love the LORD” (Psalm 97:10), NOT be entertained by it.

“From this ‘review’ I got the impression that you’re putting yourself higher than a godless family. With that said, we are all filthy wretches according to God, we are all sinful, and all have fallen short of the glory of God.”

On the contrary, once we believe and are saved, God calls us saints, new creatures in Christ, freed from and dead to sin and condemnation, His children, holy, righteous, transferred from the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of His dear Son, and sitting at the right hand of God. Please listen to Michael Pearl teach at “The Door” on Facebook and learn who you are in Christ!

“Being a Bible believing Christian (reformed) we know that we were chosen by God, are free in Christ and cannot be plucked from his hand. Life is messy, not everyone around us is a cookie cutter ‘Christian’ (which is a very vague word these days). I have seen wonderful examples of marriage, parenting, being a great friend and brother/sister, promoting adoption, to prioritize, listening to your heart (I’m more of a logic over feelings gal though), to be selfless as well as addressing and overcoming problems that us as humans face. Just this wife’s take on the show.”

No, thank you. I would rather obey the clear Word of God and how the Lord commands that I should spend my time. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise; Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16) There is nothing redeeming about watching a filthy, nighttime soap opera. I was convicted about watching soap operas when my oldest daughter was five years old and began to watch them with me and nothing will convince me that I should watch them ever again.

“We should not be entertained by the sins which Christ died.” (John MacArthur)

“So I say again, love for others must hate evil. Because evil hurts others directly, and evil hurts others indirectly by hurting you. Evil obscures the beauty of Christ. And Christ is our greatest good. Our greatest joy…hold fast to Christ, and abhor everything that dishonors him.” (John Piper)

NBC”This Is Us’: Why Catholics Should Be Watching This Family Drama

“This Is Us,” airing Tuesdays on NBC, may be just what network TV needs right now.

For years around Hollywood, at press events and parties, I’ve been preaching the same gospel to ABC and NBC (not CBS, which has always got it):

You’re never going to sit at the cool kids’ table again. Heck, HBO is lucky if IT doesn’t get kicked off the cool kids’ table. You’re probably not going to win many, if any, Emmys or Golden Globes going forward. How about we try to make some money and survive? How about programming to the vast middle of America, where people are starving for shows that resemble their lives, represent their reality and their values? They settle for mediocre or just plain bad stuff, because they’re desperate to find something they can sit down with their kids and watch. You can feed this audience better than just reality shows and the occasional sitcom. You’re leaving money on the table.

Somewhere along the way, NBC listened. In 2015, the network hit big with the TV-movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” and quickly turned around a 2016 sequel, “Christmas of Many Colors.” In between, it picked up “This Is Us.”

If you haven’t been watching, you can catch up on Hulu or at NBC.com. If you haven’t seen it at all, SPOILERS are coming, so look away now!

“This Is Us” stars Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore as Jack and Rebecca Pearson, a white couple in 1980ish that is expecting triplets. On the day of the birth, one of the babies dies. But, coincidentally, a newborn African-American baby was left at a fire station, and he winds up in the same hospital nursery ward as the surviving fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. Urged on by their obstetrician (Gerald McRaney), Jack and Rebecca decide to adopt the abandoned infant.

At the same time, in the present day, the show follows the triplets — twins Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley), and adoptee Randall (Sterling K. Brown) — as 36-year-old adults struggling with challenges in their lives. Chrissy desperately wants to lose weight while juggling a new boyfriend (Chris Sullivan); Kevin quits a successful sitcom because he wants more respect as an actor; and Randall has just located his biological father (Ron Cephas Jones), who is dying of cancer.

As episodes go on, “This Is Us” switches back and forth between time periods in the past when “the Big Three” are kids, and their thirtysomething present.

While the show has some adult elements (Randall’s father is apparently bisexual, as a male lover has appeared), and there is some brief partial nudity (mostly Ventimiglia’s backside — this is still network TV), but the show is generally suitable for junior-high students and up. It deals with a range of family issues in a slightly sentimentalized, but mostly realistic, manner.

It also shows supportive, loving marriages, both Jack and Rebecca’s, and that of Randall and his wife (Susan Kelechi Watson). In particular, it shows both Jack and Randall as strong, involved, intelligent fathers, who love spending time with their families — a stark contrast to the bumbling, lazy dads too often seen on TV.

The Pearsons are not overtly religious, but neither are they atheists. There was also a Christmas celebration, and a family funeral scene in which there was a Bible and prayers, so one can assume the family is at least nominally Christian.

But last week, the show hit a home run, especially for Catholic viewers.

The episode that aired Jan. 17, called “The Big Day,” written by series creator Dan Fogelman and Laura Kenar, was a prequel, charting the 24 hours before the birth of the twins and Randall. It also contained one of the most charming Catholic storylines I’ve seen this year.

It introduced us again to Joe (Brian Oblak), the firefighter from the pilot. He sat in confession with his priest, admitting that he’d lied to his wife about quitting smoking … and that his marriage was in trouble. He asked the priest for a miracle.

Later, when the baby appeared at the fire station, Joe decided to take him home and tell his wife that it was a sign, that they should adopt him. The wife didn’t go for that, instead urging him to take the newborn to the hospital. At first he’s disappointed, but over the course of the episode, we see Joe and his wife reconnect, rediscovering that made them fall in love in the first place. By the show’s end, they are back together.

There are lots more lovely storylines in this episode — and you’d have to have a heart of stone if Gerald McRaney doesn’t at least make you misty — but to see a Catholic turn to confession, ask for a miracle, not get the one he wanted but the one he needed, and put his marriage back together, was a beautiful thing.

I saw the episode at a screening. Afterward at the party, I asked Fogelman what inspired him to put in this storyline. He said that he wasn’t a religious person at all, but that the idea that Randall was destined for Jack and Rebecca had overtones of faith, so he brought in Joe’s Catholicism.

For a secular writer to have the generosity to add this, and to get it right, may not be the miracle Catholic viewers were hoping for, but it may be the one they needed.

At a present press event for the show, it was announced that “This Is Us” has been renewed for two more 18-episode seasons, bringing the total order so far to 36 (heh).

Also, Justin Hartley said something that emphasizes what the show is about:

To what Milo was saying about it being important, I’ll tell you a really quick story. Without saying any names, I have a friend who’s divorced. A lot of us have been divorced. He’s got two kids, a daughter, a son. His daughter is 15; his son is 12. He said to me, “We look forward to this, the three of us.” Obviously, they’re doing different things. These are three lives that are completely different, but yet they gather around the TV every week. And he goes, “It’s one of the only only things that we do together. We all enjoy it. We all look forward to it.” They all sit together, and they watch it, and it’s a thing that they do as a family. So, to your point it being important, that right there, that kind of stuff, floors me.

Click here to read the cast’s comments on the episode airing Tuesday, January 24, including this warning from Hartley:

“It’s heartbreaking,” cautions Hartley. “It’s gonna sit with you for awhile. It’s one of those things where when you turn it off, it’s gonna sit with you for days.”

Image: Courtesy NBC

Don’t miss a thing: head over to my other home at Family Theater Productions; also like the Patheos Catholic FB page to see what my colleagues have to say.

Recognizing Our Joy in ‘This is Us’

In a culture of streaming services and instant videos, This is Us has become something of a pop culture revelation. By now, most people are familiar with the NBC drama which has overtaken television. The simple series has no bells or whistles, it merelychronicles the lives of a single family. There’s Jack and Rebecca, a loving couple endeavoring to raise three children. Kate, their daughter, who suffers from compulsive eating. Kevin, their son and an aspiring actor, and Randall, the couple’s brilliant adopted child.

It’s no secret why the show has become a massive success. The whip-smart writing, emotional dialogue, and powerful performances could more than soften the hardest heart. However Russell Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention, believes there is a deeper message which has resonated with viewers. In an article for the Washington Post, Moore writes,

“The secret to ‘This is Us’ is less about ogling some other, strange, dysfunctional family as it is about seeing in it our own…”

“At the same time, though, we see them as children, and we see there’s not all that much distance between the two. We see a glimpse of the way the decisions made in private of a young couple who never planned to be parents reverberate through the years in the lives of their offspring.”

According to Moore, viewers are drawn to This is Us because it serves as a mirror for our own lives. We can empathize with characters such as Randall, who feels both deeply loved yet also as something of an outcast. In Kate, we recognize our own weaknesses and our struggles to overcome them. Even Kevin carries his own troubles, and like the failing actor, we can’t help but pick at the scars of the past. Still, there is much more to our lives than simply pain.

There are good things to be found in the past as well. We can remember the moments of mercy, of grace, and laughter we shared with others. Ultimately, we get a say in how the past can affect our future. We may not know where the story of life will take us, but we can decide what type of character we want to be on the way. That is why This is Us strikes such a familiar cord with viewers, because in a way, we’re on the same journey as the Pearson family. Moore concludes his article by encouraging both readers and audiences to reflect on this simple truth,

“We see the plot behind the plot, but the characters don’t. They learn to show mercy when they realize how much they don’t — and can’t — understand, even about themselves. Maybe we love ‘This is Us’ because this, in fact, is us.”

*Published 2/6/2018

Is ‘The Manny’ Based On A Real Show? The ‘This Is Us’ Series Is Basically A Rip Off

This Is Us started off in Season 1 with the Big Three at very different points in their lives. While the famous sibling, Kevin, was seemingly the most successful, he was probably the least happy working on a sitcom. But, is The Manny based on a real show? Kevin may have quit his job on This Is Us, but it’s back to haunt him.

Season 2, Episode 2 is titled “A Manny-Splendored Thing,” and as you can see in this sneak peek, yes, Kevin is returning to the show that broke him for one more episode. One of the funniest threads in Season 1 was Kevin’s various family members (particular from Randall’s side) loving and quoting the corny show back at him. It’ll be fun to see them support him in this critical time — and hopefully provide some levity after all of those sad Jack revelations and clues.

In case you forgot, The Manny was a multi-cam sitcom filmed in front of a live audience. Kevin played a male nanny who had a history of losing his shirt — there wasn’t really an emphasis on child care in the show at all. There was never a real show called The Manny on television, but if it feels familiar, you’re not wrong. That just means This Is Us is doing a great job at making the world feel real. There are tons of shows, both past and present, that have either had similar plotlines or similar vibes. Here are some examples of what might have inspired The Manny.

Who’s The Boss

Steven Brandt on YouTube

The popular ’80s sitcom starred Tony Danza as a retired baseball player who becomes a housekeeper. It’s literally Cheers meets The Nanny — and if there weren’t so many kids, it would be the most similar to The Manny.

Melissa & Joey

Okazaki on YouTube

Joey Lawrence plays manny to Melissa Joan Hart’s niece and nephew in this sitcom.

Baby Daddy

The Freeform series is the original “confused guy holds a baby” show.

Friends

gendersexuality on YouTube

In “The One With The Male Nanny,” Freddie Prinze Jr. is hired to take care of Ross and Rachel’s kid.

Full House

Jan Schmelter on YouTube

We didn’t get to see that much of The Manny on This Is Us, but it does seem like they had some signature “hugging on the couch” scenes that Full House became infamous for, and now makes fun of on Fuller House.

Jessie

dedicated2disney on YouTube

The Disney sitcom is also about a nanny — though it’s more The Nanny Diaries than This Is Us. There are actually a lot of shows about raising kids — take The Mick as a recent example. It’s a popular subject matter for televised shenanigans.

Growing Pains

TheGrowingPains on YouTube

The fictional series hired Alan Thicke as a guest star, which was likely a nod to this ’80s sitcom that also featured a man staying home. While Brad Garrett didn’t play himself in his cameo, Everybody Loves Raymond may also have been a thematic inspiration.

Any Chuck Lorre Show, Really

Mandel Olompic on YouTube

At the end of the day, The Manny is a multi-cam sitcom filmed in front of a live audience — so if you watch Mom, The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, or Two & A Half Men, you’re familiar with the form. That’s the feeling that The Manny was probably trying to evoke on This Is Us.

Even a beloved sitcom that goes on forever and pays better than well can cause an existential crisis. While The Manny isn’t real, and Kevin might argue that that’s a good thing, we know the type of show he’s talking about. Hopefully this special episode of The Manny will go smoothly, but knowing This Is Us, there are bound to be a few surprises. Fingers crossed that Kevin makes it out OK.

The 24 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2019

As the weather cools down, television will heat up. This fall will see the rise of several new streaming television platforms, including Disney+ and Apple+, to compete with streaming giant Netflix. Each has announced a slew of shows to premiere this fall. Where to spend your streaming dollar depends on your tastes. If you want to watch the Marvel and Star Wars sagas continue offscreen, Disney+ is a good bet. (See a full list of the upcoming Marvel TV shows here.) Apple’s first major launch, Morning Show, relies heavily on A-list talent, namely Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell.

Of course, the preexisting streaming services are vying to retain their share of your downtime. Netflix will launch its first show with prolific creator Ryan Murphy, The Politician, this fall, while Amazon is ramping up its fantasy content to try to attract Game of Thrones fans, beginning with Carnival Row. And traditional television networks won’t let you forget about them either: the CW is launching a Nancy Drew series that looks an awful lot like its megahit, Riverdale, and HBO’s extremely buzzy Watchmen adaptation from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof is sure to dominate the pop-culture conversation when it debuts.

That’s all to say that there are a lot of television shows on this list because there is, arguably, too much TV. We’ve chosen Labor Day Weekend as the unofficial cutoff between summer and fall, though popular, prestige shows like HBO’s Succession and Netflix’s Mindhunter that would have traditionally launched the fall season are vying for caché by returning to television in the dog days of summer (August 11 and August 16, respectively).

Once you’ve binged those dramas, there’s plenty to keep you occupied through the holidays. Here are all the new shows and shows in their final seasons hitting streaming services or traditional, old TV this fall.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Aug. 30 on Netflix)

Just in time for the long weekend, Netflix is launching a prequel series to Jim Hensons’ cult classic puppet fantasy film, The Dark Crystal. A ridiculously stacked cast will lend their voices to the puppets, including Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel, Mark Hamill, Keegan-Michael Key, Simon Pegg, Alicia Vikander, Andy Samberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Lena Heady, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathalie Dormer, Mark Strong, Awkwafina and Sigourney Weaver.

Carnival Row (Aug. 30 on Amazon)

Amazon is making a big bid for fantasy-lovers: They reportedly spent $250 million just for the rights to make a Lord of the Rings TV series. But first, they’ll offer a fantasy noir show, Carnival Row. Cara Delevigne stars as a mythical creature who has fled her war-torn homeland to a Victorian city populated by humans. As tensions rise between the mythical immigrants and the humans, she meets a police inspector (Orlando Bloom) tasked with solving the murder of a faery showgirl.

Unbelievable (Sept. 13 on Netflix)

The new miniseries Unbelievable is based on a true, Pulitzer-Prize winning story about a teen named Marie Adler (Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) charged with making a false rape accusation when the police in her town come to doubt her story. But in another state, two police detectives (Toni Collette and Meritt Wever) begin to investigate a series of rapes that share eerily similar details to Adler’s story. The show’s impressive creative team includes Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and novelists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.

Prodigal Son (Sept. 23 on Fox)

Greg Berlanti, the super-producer behind Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is bringing a new serial killer series to television. Michael Sheen plays a mass murderer whose son (Tom Payne) joins the NYPD to solve a series of copycat killings.

Mixed-ish (Sept. 24 on ABC)

The Black-ish universe expands with a prequel set in the 1980s when Bo’s family moved from a hippie commune to the suburbs. Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays adult Bo on the main series, will appear in some episodes, but the new show will focus on Tika Sumpter and Anders Holm as young versions of the character’s hippie mom and dad, along with Gary Cole playing the role of her grandfather.

Stumptown (Sept. 25 on ABC)

Cobie Smulders has starred in two of the biggest franchises of the last decade, How I Met Your Mother and the Avengers. Now she’ll headline her own show based on a graphic novel about a Marine vet-turned-Portland Private Investigator named Dex Parios. At Comic-Con, Smulders promised that the script mimics the complexity of the graphic novel, including dealing frankly with Parios’ bisexuality as well as the character’s PTSD.

The Good Place (Sept. 25 on NBC)

The Good Place (NBC) NBC

Michael Schur’s twisty comedic masterpiece about the afterlife enters its fourth and final season with stars Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden and Manny Jacinto all returning. Schur has said that after the show was picked up for a second season, the writers’ room plotted out four seasons’ worth of plot. It sounds like the series will be ending on its own terms, which is good news considering that it’s drawn inspiration from shows like Lost. Hopefully, the Good Place can better stick the landing.

Evil (Sept. 26 on CBS)

Robert and Michelle King elevated the network drama with The Good Wife and have been diligently producing a worthy successor, The Good Fight, on CBS All Access for the past several years. So there is reason to hope that their new psychological drama, Evil, about a clinical psychologist (Katja Herbers) who teams up with a priest-in-training (Luke Cage‘s Mike Colter) to investigate supposed miracles and demonic possessions can develop into something more than “exorcism of the week.”

The Politician (Sept. 27 on Netflix)

THE POLITICIAN Courtesy of NETFLIX

Glee, Pose and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy’s first Netflix show is an over-the-top satire starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and Benjamin Platt. The occasionally musical dramedy focuses on a wealthy teen with ambitions to become the president of the United States (Platt) who employs national campaign-level tactics as he runs for student body president of his high school.

Transparent (Sept. 27 on Amazon)

Transparent will end its five-season run with an unconventional finale: A musical. The show faced an uncertain future after its star Jefferey Tambor was accused of harassment, launching an internal investigation at Amazon. But creator Jill Soloway has killed off his character and written one, final dance-filled entry into the saga of the Pfeifferman family. Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass and the rest of the cast will return.

Godfather of Harlem (Sept. 29 on Epix)

Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is taking his talents to TV. He stars as real-life 1960s crime boss Bumpy Johnson, who operated against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. The infamous gangster struggles to retake the streets of Harlem, after he is released from prison, in a battle that brings him into contact with Malcolm X (Nigel Thatch) and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (Giancarlo Esposito).

Batwoman (Oct. 6 on the CW)

Orange Is the New Black star Ruby Rose will play television’s first openly lesbian superhero as the star of Batwoman. The show, which will join The Arrow, Supergirl and several other DC superhero shows airing on the CW, focuses on Bruce Wayne’s cousin, Kate Kane, who takes over as the caped crusader when Batman disappears.

Mr. Robot (Oct. 6 on USA)

MR. ROBOT — “shutdown -r” Episode 310 — Pictured: Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson USA Network—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Academy Award Winner Rami Malek returns one last time to the show that first thrust him into the limelight, Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot, the twist-heavy series about an anarchist hacker (Malek) who has a complicated relationship with his father (Christian Slater). Since the first season, the stakes of the show have become apocalyptic. It’s unclear whether in the final season, Malek;s Elliot will save the world or destroy it.

Nancy Drew (Oct. 9 on the CW)

Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fans, rejoice. Another beloved old-school character is getting a gritty update: Nancy Drew. In this version, teenage sleuth Drew is working in a diner shortly after the death of her mother when curiosity about her town’s mysteries get the better of her. The story will get supernatural: While the 1930s version of Nancy Drew tended to uncover the real criminals trying to scare her away with smoke and mirrors, in the TV show she will confront actual ghosts.

Living With Yourself (Oct. 18 on Netflix)

Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea in Netflix’s ‘Living With Yourself’ Eric Liebowitz/Netflix—Eric Liebowitz/Netflix

Paul Rudd takes a break from playing Ant-Man to star in this comedic miniseries about a man who undergoes a new type of treatment in hopes of becoming a better person. Though it’s comedic, the show gets heady when it asks what being better actually means, and what its characters are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve that goal.

Looking for Alaska (Oct. 18 on Hulu)

Charlie Plummer and Kristine Froseth in Looking for Alaska Alfonso Bresciani—Hulu

The duo behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, are bringing John Green’s young adult novel, Looking for Alaska, to the small screen. The story centers on Miles “Pudge” Halter, who quickly falls for a mysterious girl named Alaska Young after enrolling at boarding school. This being a Green novel, there are life lessons to be learned and tears to be shed. Charlie Plummer and Kristine Froseth star.

Watchmen (Oct. 20 on HBO)

Damon Lindelof, of Lost and The Leftovers fame, will not be adapting, but rather remixing, the famed graphic novel Watchmen. Everything that happened in the 1980s-set novel, Lindelof has explained, is canon. But this is an updated story that takes place in a modern era that looks to be more than a little inspired by the rise of the alt-right in Trump’s America. In the trailer, we see a group of people have taken up the mask of the right-wing vigilante character Rorschach, and the cops are hiding their faces too. It also looks like older versions of the antiheroes from the book, including Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias and Laurie Jupiter, will make appearances in the show. The show stars Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Hong Chau and Jean Smart.

The Morning Show (Nov. 1 on Apple+)

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston are co-producing and starring in a series that will go behind the scenes of a morning news show. At an Apple event the duo said that the show won’t be afraid to tackle the conversations that people have “behind closed doors.” Steve Carrell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass will also star.

His Dark Materials (Nov. 4 on HBO)

HBO is ready to fill the Game of Thrones-sized hole in your heart: The network has teamed with BBC to adapt Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy novels with a budget to accommodate an all-star cast (including James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Logan’s Dafne Keene) as well as an armored bear. Keene plays Lyra, a girl caught in a battle between religious zealots and scientists in a fantastical but dangerous world.

Back to Life (Nov. 10 on Showtime)

The British comedy that critics are comparing to Fleabag follows a woman named Miri (Daisy Haggard) who returns to her home in Kent after serving an 18-year prison sentence and is not greeted kindly by those who greet her there. The dramedy in which Miri attempts to restart her life is wrapped inside a mystery of what actually happened on the night of her arrest.

The Mandalorian (Nov. 12 on Disney+)

Disney/Lucasfilm

Disney+ is launching its streaming service with a splashy debut: The first live-action Star Wars TV series ever made. Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal stars as the titular Mandalorian, a gun fighter who hails from Mandalore (the home of fan favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett) and operates at the outer edges of the galaxy between the fall of the Empire (in Episode VI) and the rise of the First Order (in Episode VII). The story will exist in the same universe as the Star Wars movies but, as far as we know, characters like Rey and Han Solo will not appear in the show. Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito and Taika Waititi will round out the cast of the series, written by Iron Man and The Lion King director Jon Favreau.

The Crown (Nov. 17 on Netflix)

Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies Sophie Mutevelian

Okay, we’re cheating by adding The Crown to this list of debuts and final seasons, as it has already aired two seasons on Netflix. But the show will essentially become a wholly new piece of art when an entirely new cast takes over the roles, including recent Oscar winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II. The next two seasons will cover the years 1964-1970, during which Elizabeth’s sister Margaret (now played by the legendary Helena Bonham Carter) reportedly began an affair and Elizabeth’s son Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) met his eventual second wife, Camilla (Emerald Fennell). Season 3 certainly promises the potential of more palace intrigue than ever before.

The Witcher (Dec. 20 on Netflix)

The Polish fantasy series The Witcher has already been adapted into an uber-popular video game. Now Superman himself (Henry Cavill) is bringing the monster-hunting hero Geralt of Rivia to the small screen. The story will center on Geralt, a princess named Ciri and a sorceress named Yennefer.

The New Pope (TBA on HBO)

As Pope Pius XIII on HBO’s The Young Pope, Jude Law. HBO

Paolo Sorrentino reteams with Jude Law for a sequel series to the HBO show The Young Pope. Little is known about the series except that there will be two popes, one played by Law and another played by John Malkovich. (Not to be confused with the upcoming Netflix movie about Popes Benedict and Francis, The Two Popes.) Marilyn Manson and Sharon Stone will also appear in the miniseries.

Write to Eliana Dockterman at [email protected]

‘This Is Us’ Season 2 Intro Already Has Twitter Crying

This Is Us is back, and the show opened with a very moving intro over the reality of announcing your separation to your kids and a montage of our Big Three in present day on yet another birthday. The This Is Us Season 2 intro featured William writing a letter to his son, and boy was it a tear jerker.

Let’s set the scene for tonight’s opening. It’s the-the Big Three’s 37th birthday. Kevin is in LA, asking a tennis ball to marry him, while Ron Howard makes approving noises about how the tennis ball is moved. Kate is getting herself hyped for her first big vocal audition out in LA, with Toby as her Number 1 cheerleader. And Randall is having baby fever hardcore, to the point that the neighbors are having to politely remove their baby from his obsessive embrace.

Meanwhile, in the past, it’s 1996, and Jack and Rebecca have just told the Big Three that they are “taking a few days” and that Jack is moving in with Miguel. It goes over just about as well as you might expect, with Kate immediately wanting to go with dad, and Randall left to sit uncomfortably after Kevin chases her down when she flees the diner.

Meanwhile, William wonders how Randall feels about all this. Does he miss his father? Twitter couldn’t take it.

OK, well that one wasn’t one, it was Justin Hartley thanking us for watching. But that should just prep you for the tears to come. After all, he knows what we’re about to sit through.

Ron Cephas Jones has a voice a bit like a warm blanket. You can just wrap yourself up in it and feel safe. And if I were Randall, I’d be missing the hell out of him right about then. Both in the past and in the present. After all, while Randall is all about a baby, Beth is really not feeling this whole adoption thing. At all.

But it only gets better, because once the opening is over, Randall learns Rebecca originally said no to adopting him. (Well, he may have sort of suspected that — Jack was always the one who wanted children more than Rebecca did.) But that only strengthened Randalls resolve to push a baby on Beth. Oh, William, what would you have said to your son?

Yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Get with the program. here, have the tissues. (Passes tissue box.) (Sniffles.)

Personally, if the show decided to just go to William-as-narrator the entire season, I would not complain.

All the crying emojis y’all.

Considering all the Kardashian talk that followed in the next scene, this seems almost prescient.

(I couldn’t agree more. it’s very unflattering. Almost as bad as the jealous look that passes over Toby’s face when Kevin shows up and takes over Kate’s vocal prep.)

YES! Half of what makes the opening work isn’t just Willaim’s voice over. It’s the voiceover, plus the music, plus the other aural cues as the kids head into the diner and sit down, knowing that whatever news they’re about to receive, it’s not good.

Well, yes actually they can. Frankly, Jack punched out Ben and is lucky not to be facing assault and battery charges, not to mention the driving drunk. Yes, be emotional, but also put yourself in Rebecca’s shoes. She’s making the right choice.

We are proud of your resolve, but sometimes it’s alright to cry.

See, others aren’t holding back. Let the tears flow. (Passes another tissue box down the Twitter line.)

And now that you’re done, let’s have a laugh, okay?

You’re welcome, America.

Standin’ at the station, don’t know what to say? Starin’ out the window as you’re rollin’ away? Don’t worry — we can always come back to TVLine Mixtape: This Is Us edition.

In a single season, NBC’s hit drama managed to deliver a wide range of heart-wrenching, gut-punching emotions. We laughed, we cried, we obsessively searched for fan theories. And the show’s music played an integral role in warming our hearts (and exhausting our Kleenex reserves).

If you’re ready to re-experience the rollercoaster of Season 1 (beware of spoilers if you haven’t already watched!), the following mixtape was made just for you. We chose some pretty heavy moments from the Pearson family archives, so be sure to let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

EPISODE | “Pilot”
TITLE | “Watch Me”
ARTIST | Labi Siffre
ALBUM | Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying (1972)
WHY IT ROCKED | It’s the moment that made you fall in love: Jack and Rebecca may have lost a child, but the sight of baby Randall (née Kyle) in a “Big Three” onesie while the new parents smile above the three newborns cements the newly formed Pearson family.

EPISODE | “Moonshadow”
TITLE | “Moonshadow”
ARTIST | Cat Stevens
ALBUM | Teaser and the Firecat (1971)
WHY IT ROCKED | Rebecca ditches her date in favor of a performance gig — at the bar Jack is coincidentally about to rob — and her crooning catches his attention, effectively concluding his brief interlude with crime.

EPISODE | “Memphis”
TITLE | “We Can Always Come Back to This”
ARTIST | Bryan Tyree Henry
ALBUM | Music From the Series This Is Us (2017)
WHY IT ROCKED | A young William finally composes an original song, which cousin Ricky soulfully sings to a full bar. An acoustic version of the song is used later in the episode, when Randall’s biological father passes away in Memphis — where it all began.

EPISODE | “The Trip”
TITLE | “The Calvary Cross”
ARTIST | Richard and Linda Thompson
ALBUM | Live! (1976)
WHY IT ROCKED | While high on ‘shrooms, Randall struggles with his identity, calling himself a “replacement” for the family’s dead baby. Even as a hallucination, Jack reassures Randall — “the moment I saw you, I knew you were my boy.” Aw.

EPISODE | “Kyle”
TITLE | “Blues Run the Game”
ARTIST | Jackson C. Frank
ALBUM | Jackson C. Frank (1965)
WHY IT ROCKED | William’s addiction to drugs is chronicled through a series of experiences on the local bus. He transforms from a poet wooing Randall’s mother into a drug addict — and finally into a broken man who leaves his newborn son at a fire station, all while Frank’s mournful tune plays in the background.

EPISODE | “The Best Washing Machine in the Whole World”
TITLE | “The Wind”
ARTIST | Cat Stevens
ALBUM | Teaser and the Firecat (1971)
WHY IT ROCKED | While Stevens sings, the Pearson family’s history can be seen through the evolution of its washing machines — from a single couple at the laundromat to an entire family tackling an overflowing machine (“Pearson family bailout!”).

EPISODE | “Memphis”
TITLE | “Pharaoh”
ARTIST | Sidney Carter
ALBUM | The Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey, Vol. 1 — Voices from the American South (1997)
WHY IT ROCKED | William stares at his mother’s empty bed and leftover pill bottles, unable to comprehend a world without her. Her death is a tipping point into his drug use and the reason he doesn’t return to Memphis, his cousin or his music career. If William could voice his grief, we bet it would sound a lot like Carter’s acappella performance.

EPISODE | “What Now?”
TITLE | “Death With Dignity”
ARTIST | Sufjan Stevens
ALBUM | Carrie & Lowell (2015)
WHY IT ROCKED | You’ve fought with your wife, been shamed by your kid and downed half the bar. So yeah, Jack, “What Now?”

EPISODE | “The Trip”
TITLE | “If Only”
ARTIST | Maria Taylor
ALBUM | In the Next Life (2016)
WHY IT ROCKED | A young Randall clings to his father as Jack performs symbolic push-ups in the local dojo. It’s hard not to cry when Randall climbs onto the backs of the other black fathers in the room, whose push-ups represent their willingness to be supportive role models for Randall. (The swelling, strummy guitars of Taylor’s ethereal ballad don’t hurt, either.)

EPISODE | “Kyle”
TITLE | “Time After Time”
ARTIST | Cyndi Lauper
ALBUM | She’s So Unusual (1983)
WHY IT ROCKED | Toby encourages Kate to face her fear of singing in public — by booking her at a nursing home. After a rough start, she belts out an amazing rendition of the romantic tune. (Toby’s face says it all.)

EPISODE | “Last Christmas”
TITLE | “O Tannenbaum”
ARTIST | Ernst Anschütz
ALBUM | N/A (1824)
WHY IT ROCKED | One of the show’s best comedic moments occurs during its present-day Christmas festivities, while Randall watches William play the piano for Jesse. He’s curious about their relationship, to which daughter Tess points out, “Dad, Grandpa’s gay. Or at least bi.” Randall’s dumbfounded reaction? Priceless. The holiday carol? A traditional treat. Everybody wins!

EPISODE | “The Pool”
TITLE | “Someday Soon”
ARTIST | Alexi Murdoch
ALBUM | Towards the Sun (2009)
WHY IT ROCKED | After begging for his parents’ attention all day, Kevin’s near-drowning goes unnoticed by his family — to which he yells, “You’re so busy making sure Kate’s not eating too much and Randall’s not too adopted!” Is this where Kevin’s resentment for Randall began?

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‘This Is Us’: 3 Ways Milo Ventimiglia Is Really Like Jack Pearson Off-Screen

Have you ever wondered how similar Milo Ventimiglia is to the character he plays on This Is Us? We have been contemplating, too, if he really is a real-life Jack Pearson. When we get right down to the bottom of it, we have found that they are both very emotional men who are not embarrassed to show their feelings.

Both Ventimiglia and Pearson are trying to represent those good guys we are all looking for in life. Lastly, they both have sensitive feelings about the Vietnam war era. Let’s explore these three similarities further.

Milo Ventimiglia | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

1. Pearson and Ventimiglia are both openly sensitive guys

If you have watched any episodes of This is Us, you know that Jack Pearson shows us an amazing amount of emotional vulnerability. Watching Pearson have a break down on-screen really makes us ugly cry at home and love him even more.

That first moment in the series’ pilot episode, where he is openly crying in the hospital, really pulls on our heart-strings. Pearson is not afraid to show a full range of emotions and fans really love that about his character.

Off-screen, Ventimiglia also is not afraid of a good cry. On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, he revealed that he cries every time he watches Steel Magnolias.

He also told Cohen that he cries watching pretty much every single episode of his own show, “Pretty consistently, usually Mandy and I sit there together, on a lunch break. I’m in a fake something mustache and then we are like grabbing Kleenex.”

It looks like Ventimiglia is a pretty emotional guy, just like his character on This Is Us.

2. Both Ventimiglia and Pearson try to represent the good guys

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Jack Pearson in a turtleneck is something we didn’t know we needed. #ThisIsUs | : @daman_magazine, @mitchellmccormack

A post shared by This Is Us (@nbcthisisus) on Aug 7, 2019 at 10:13am PDT

One of the most asked questions about This Is Us is “Do men like Jack Pearson exist in real life?” Everyone is looking for their own Jack Pearson these days.

On the show, Pearson is a true family guy. He supports his wife and plays with his kids. He parents right alongside her. Pearson holds the door, buys her flowers, and respects her.

What does Ventimiglia have to say about the “Jack Pearsons” out there in real life? He told New York Times, “I also feel like those guys are kind of borrowed from me and men that I admire.” He went on to say, “I’m not without my mistakes as a person, as a man, but I’m also trying to represent the good guys that are out there.”

Clearly, Ventimiglia feels that these men, like Jack Pearson, truly do exist. He is trying to be one himself and he thinks that the show is helping to “raise the bar.”

3. Pearson and Ventimiglia have delicate feelings about the Vietnam War

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Peace Always. Nairobi, Kenya. MV

A post shared by Milo Anthony Ventimiglia (@miloanthonyventimiglia) on Jun 28, 2019 at 2:44pm PDT

On the show, Pearson has such sensitive feelings about the Vietnam War that he cannot even open up to his wife about it. This subject is the one thing we see really eat Pearson up on-screen that he is unable to talk about it.

Off-screen, Ventimiglia’s father is a Vietnam veteran, so he also is very sensitive to the time period. He told Good Housekeeping, “I think being a guest in a place where the history that we were telling actually happened, the history in the story, actually happened in reality … I know I had a little bit of weariness of wearing an American uniform while over in Vietnam,” Ventimiglia remembers. “I think we were all very aware of it …”

Clearly, both Ventimiglia and Pearson are sensitive to the controversial time period in history. They are both sensitive men who would like to be the good guys in our society.

Milo Ventimiglia Constantly Warns People ‘This Is Us’ Is ‘Gonna Make You Cry’

Milo Ventimiglia was expecting more of the same tear-inducing storytelling in the season three finale of “This Is Us”.

Kleenex can probably thank “This Is Us” and NBC for a surge in tissue sales. The actor opened up about Rebecca’s fate in an interview with Hollywood Life. “I was excited for Rebecca,” Ventimiglia said. “She’s gonna see Jack soon, maybe.”

RELATED: ‘This Is Us’: The Biggest Answers From The Season 3 Finale

“My warnings these days are like, ‘It’s gonna make you cry,’ knowing what we’re going to get into this fourth season” he teased. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work!”

The actor also touched on the fate of his own character, Jack. “Of course there’s always going to be some mystery to the show, to the character, to the family. But for me, it was nice when people learned about the circumstances of his death,” he said. “The wild part is, we know his end. We know he dies in his 50s. We met him as a young boy.”

RELATED: The Most Shocking Moments From ‘This Is Us’ Season 3 (So Far)

“So, we’re still getting to know him,” he continued. “But for me, I’m always trying to track where he ends up and be mindful of the choices that I make as an actor, relative to the worlds the writers are creating, to make sure that we’re always in line with where Jack is headed, which we already know.”

The season three finale of “This Is Us” aired April 2.