1. It’s about people
Since mornings after the TV before are so often spent talking sensational or fantastical shows, it’s refreshing that a series about everyday people and how they relate is primed to bring water cooler convos back down to Earth.
2. It’s original
From the creative team responsible for thinking person’s rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love, This Is Us is so sharply written and cleverly constructed that although operating in a familiar genre, it doesn’t feel like anything you’ve seen before.
3. It’s seriously addictive
There have been plenty of quality family dramas, but few this compulsively watchable. Each episode expertly slots in one puzzle piece of the bigger picture after another, meaning that you should fully expect to be yelling “Just one more!” at the end of every hour.
4. It’s unpredictable
With its relatable characters and situations, you may think you’ve got This Is Us pegged. But the story takes such unexpected turns, and the characters often react in such delightfully unexpected ways, that you’ll quickly learn to leave your preconceptions at the door.
5. It sounds amazing
The eclectic soundtrack is a crate-digger’s dream. The pilot alone takes you on a musical journey from Sufjan Stevens to Labi Siffre, each track pitch-perfectly selected for maximum “What was that song from that scene?!” effect.
6. It’s good for the soul
You’ll laugh and you’ll cry, early and often, but This Is Us is so deftly written and acted that it manages to be emotional without ever feeling manipulative. If you manage to last the pilot without at least getting misty, we do recommend checking your pulse immediately.
7. It’s consistent
The pilot justifiably won rave reviews Stateside, but this isn’t a one-ep wonder. Balancing a multitude of characters and stories is no mean feat, and This Is Us not only manages it, but continually expands a larger narrative that only ever seems to get richer.
8. It’s got no weak links
Ensemble dramas always risk momentum being lost by those characters or storylines you’re less inclined to care about. This Is Us succeeds in making them all equally compelling, so you’re always in the moment, not wishing you could skip to the next.
9. It’s got legs
Hesitating to commit to a show that may not last more than a season is understandable. In the case of This Is Us, it’s also unnecessary – NBC has already commissioned it for two more.
10. It’s hopeful
With today’s political climate resulting in an oppressively gloomy outlook, there’s something incredibly cathartic about escaping for an hour into a show about relatable people with relatable problems, who even when handed the sourest lemons life has to offer, try to turn them into something resembling lemonade.