Back when the Olympics were still a thing, NBC started peddling its new fall show, This Is Us, in the ad breaks. Between Michael Phelps' gold medals, we were introduced to Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls' Jess) in a promo for the show that promised to make us all ugly cry.
I watched the first episode last night, and am here to tell you NBC has delivered.
I sobbed, my glasses fogged up, my face was red and my nose was running. The tears started around the 28-minute mark of the show and continued until it finished, when the show delivered a twist the internet can only describe as "SHOCKING" and "TOTALLY UNEXPECTED".
And it was. Let me explain.
This is Us, created by Dan Fogelman, the writer of Crazy, Stupid, Love, follows a seemingly random group of people all born on the same day. Through different stories, we see them each celebrate their 36th birthday.
Before you go any further, watch the trailer below.
Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia play Rebecca and Jack, a married couple expecting triplets. You should also know the show opens on Ventimiglia's ass, which is not not a reason to watch.
We also have Kate, played by Chrissy Metz, whose entire storyline so far revolves around her weight. It's the show's only downfall so far, and we're hoping there's more to come for her character as the season goes on.
There's Kevin, played by Justin Hartley, who's Kate's twin brother and stars on a sitcom about a male nanny. He's very good-looking and is struggling with the realization people only like him because he's very good-looking.
Finally, there's Randall, played by Sterling K. Brown. Randall's a very rich family man, trying to find his birth father after he was abandoned at a fire station as a baby.
The show cuts between the characters frequently, but the transitions never feel awkward. It's worth mentioning that Fogelman's already promised this method of storytelling will continue throughout the series, so if you're easily confused it might not be your cup of tea.
While each character is likable—something that rarely happens in a show with so many main characters—I'm already much more invested in Rebecca and Jack's story than anyone else's.
This Is Us has just the right combination of humor, sadness and gravity to make it resonate with all kinds of viewers.
It's like a lighter Grey's Anatomy, only with fewer doctors. It's a family drama you can watch by yourself, sobbing under the comfort of your blankets (like me) or with your partner, or with your friends. It has an excellent, diverse cast, and expertly tackles real-life problems in a way we can actually believe.
As for the twist? I'm not giving any spoilers, but I didn't see it coming. At all. It happens at the very last minute, and all I'll say is that suddenly you find yourself wanting to re-watch the whole episode, to pick up on the many clues scattered throughout.
This Is Us needs to be on your watch list. Come for Milo Ventimiglia's naked body, stay for everything else.