The “Big 3” celebrate their 41st Birthday as THIS IS US begins its final season. It is an important day in history as well. The Challenger faced its final descent as the world watched in horror and disbelief. 

The creator, Dan Fogelman, and the writers of this series are amazing in how they captured so many highs and lows throughout Kevin, (Justin Hartley) Kate, (Chrissy Metz), and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) special day. We, as voyeurs, are given a gift of how each of them reacted to this catastrophe they watched in school. They witnessed their teacher’s tears and sadness. How would they process this moment? How do Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimigilia) help them come to the other side of life’s continually moving pendulum?

As a former teacher and parent, I remember that day in 1986 like “it was yesterday.” It was a moment in time that many young ones realized parents don’t live forever. Anything can happen at any time. Life is precious and fleeting, as Rebecca is also learning. Each second leads to the next, like an electrical current. If you can’t remember, due to early onset Alzheimer’s, how do you carry on? Do you still stay the same person you once were? It’s obvious now for Rebecca… I CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING. One simple loss of a word can toss her in a tither. How beautifully and honestly Rebecca’s pain and frustration were shown through a simple train ride. The blurred images and empty spaces were larger than any of us could imagine. It was a testament to Mandy’s acting skills to bring us to our knees with her.

My heart broke for Rebecca’s journey and her kids. As children or even as adults, Rebecca nailed each one and where their lives would eventually lead them. Randall, Kevin, and Kate have “miles to go” as a “Holden,” The Manny, or in a troubled marriage, but Kate can sense the light on the other side. She has enough hope for her two siblings. Prayers for “Splishy and Splashy.” I wish them all a gentle, peaceful ride as we end their stories this year. This was an insightful, creative, simple, masterfully produced premiere. 

THIS IS US is available to stream on NBC/PEACOCK television.  

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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