THIS IS US shared a very poignant story this week on parenting…specifically on being a father throughout your child’s life. Four viewpoints, all triangular and intersecting at once.
Every Mom or Dad worries about what will my child remember as they are growing up. Will they think of them as an absent parent, someone who is fun and caring, or will they ask, “Are you going to live at work?” Kevin (Justin Hartley) feels he is missing so much of the big moments. Toby (Chris Sullivan) lives part-time in another city and doesn’t understand the importance of naps and schedules. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) works long hours and can’t be present all the time for the triplets, and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) is going through growing pains with Deja’ (Lyric Ross).
So much authentic angst, frustration, sadness, pain, and acceptance was shown by these consummate actors. It wasn’t what they said; it was the facial expressions and tiny, silent, extra beats that made this episode work so well. Kudos to the writers who truly nailed all of these feelings and more. This is why THIS IS US is such an extraordinary show. It uses simple moments to help everyone understand the dynamics of being a family.
I can relate to this episode on so many levels. I was a single parent for almost a decade. I worried and fretted if I was doing enough…being enough. I know my son, Aaron, is thinking about how he will measure up as he begins his chapter on becoming a dad. Parenting is not for sissies. It is hard work most of the time as shown with this script, and sometimes after all you try to do, you still end up with peanut butter in your hair or laughing at Linda the ladybug.
Wise words from Rebecca (Mandy Moore) are still circling in my head and heart…”Until the day is over, you will always remember it for something else.” This gives me hope for fathers and mothers especially when THIS IS US gave us another glimmer of future Jack Damon (Blake Stadnik) all grown up.
I truly do not want THIS IS US to end. I am savoring and remembering. It is available to stream on NBC/ PEACOCK Television.