A recap of the premiere of the NBC series. Major spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.
The buzzy, new NBC series “This Is Us” premiered Tuesday night. Here are five things we learned:
1. The twist ending is actually clever.
The threads of the plot:
Most Read Entertainment Stories
- Former Washington resident Stephanie Land's bestselling memoir inspires Netflix series 'Maid'
- R&B superstar R. Kelly convicted in sex trafficking trial
- 'SNL' returning with all but one incumbent cast member
- That magic moment 30 years ago when Nirvana and ‘Nevermind’ forever changed Seattle
- Delayed Van Gogh show gets a new opening date in Seattle though still no location
Randall (Sterling K. Brown), who was abandoned at a fire station as an infant, searches for and meets his biological father. He’s celebrating his 36th birthday.
Married couple Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore) are awaiting the birth of triplets. It’s Jack’s birthday.
Twins Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) are also celebrating their 36th birthday. She’s desperately trying to lose weight. He’s a successful actor who’s unsatisfied with his role on a mindless sitcom called “The Manny.”
Rebecca goes into labor. One baby is stillborn. The wise doctor relates a story to a devastated Jack about how he and his late wife lost their first baby. Inspired by that loss, he became an obstetrician. His career helped turn one of “life’s sourest situations into lemonade.”
Jack visits the nursery. A stranger asks which is his baby. Jack points out the twins. Jack asks about his child. The stranger says he’s a fireman who just brought in a baby he found at the fire station. The camera pans back, and the extras’ clothing reveals we’re in the early 1980s. Surprise. Jack and Rebecca are the parents of Randall, Kevin and Kate.
The couple take home the abandoned baby along with their twins. The third crib is filled. This is their lemonade.
2. It’s funny. There’s an absurd scene when “The Manny” attempts to breast-feed a baby. Oh, and Alan Thicke makes a cameo.
3. It will make you cry. The father and son reunion is poignant. Randall’s anger is palpable but so is his longing to get to know the man, who is dying.
And when Jack tells Rebecca about their stillborn baby … it’s a tear-jerker.
4. Justin Hartley is still shirtless. Hartley just finished a stint as Adam Newman on “The Young and the Restless” where he spent many episodes sans shirt. Apparently, there isn’t much difference between daytime and prime time.
5. There are unanswered questions. Will the show go back and forth between the present and the past ala “Lost”? How did Jack and Rebecca get custody of Randall? Are Jack and Rebecca still alive in the present day?
I’m intrigued enough to watch Episode 2 to find out. What about you?