Family lying down looking at a laptop

From the first time the opening melody of This Is Us aired to the heartbreaking realizations unveiled in the latest episode, the NBC series has evolved from an instant phenomenon to a very dear friend. 

This popular TV drama is a beautiful snapshot of what it means to be a family and love unconditionally (as well as conditionally) while exploring the path of grief from the moment tragedy struck to its lasting effects years later.

“[There] are very few network dramas aimed at viewers who are simply interested in everyday people and how they feel.” wrote Hank Stuever. This Is Us is not focused on superhero abilities or true-crime shock and horror. Its power comes from its focus on everyday people, families, and issues that we can all relate to.”

We’re reflecting on why this show has managed to capture such a large, wide-ranged audience. In five seasons, the hit NBC show has worked its way into our hearts by simply exploring what everyone is looking for regardless of age, gender, and background: genuine connection.


Technology has made it so connections are everywhere. In seconds we can call a family member, dear friend, or coworker. However, this instant gratification has also had an alternative effect where these connections begin to feel less and less meaningful. Many of us are content to following someone’s life through a newsfeed.

How do we reconnect with others in a more meaningful way? Contrary to what many scholars say, the blame does not lie with the internet. The blame lies with us.

The internet has opened our world. By dissolving boundaries, establishing worldwide consumers, and providing a newfound opportunity to access nearly everything with the click of a button, the internet has built an unprecedented global community.

As a byproduct of that community, social media has replaced living rooms and rec centers, but it hasn’t rendered these things irrelevant.

Take the time to create more meaningful engagement on social media. Use the power of these platforms to connect with old friends, family members, or coworkers. We have the ability to flex our creative muscles, give a little more thought to what and how we respond to things and bring a new meaning to what we do online (and off).


This Is Us is also reminding us of something we tend to forget.

You don’t need much to have a lot.

It’s natural to become so focused on the bills, the work you should be doing, what you need to pick up from the store, that you miss all of the little things.

Our favorite moments of This Is Us are often the smallest ones and isn’t that the point? It’s the moments that last two, maybe three minutes that create the largest impact; the little parts of our past that compose the whole of our character.

This is Us is an exhibition of the human condition in the 21st century. It’s a delicate, thoughtful peek inside an American family that we can all find something in common with. For 45 minutes every week, we can put aside our troubles and remember what is really important: family, love, and hope.

“There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.”

Dr. K, This Is Us


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