Characters' pasts revealed in latest episode of 'This Is Us,' NBC's new hit

A new episode of 'Us' explored more of the childhoods of the three characters at the center of the show. The program has become a hit for network NBC, drawing more viewers last week than NBC's success 'The Voice.'

Ron Batzdorff/NBC/AP
'This Is Us' stars Sterling K. Brown (r.) and Susan Kelechi Watson (l.).

A new episode of “This Is Us” continued to reveal more about the family at the center of the NBC hit show, and the program’s recent ratings have been impressive.

“Us” stars Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore as parents raising three children during the 1970s. Other segments that take place in the future show the now-grown children (Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley) struggling with their own problems. 

The newest episode, which aired on Oct. 18, showed how some of these problems originated during the children’s early years when the installment depicted parents Jack (Mr. Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Ms. Moore) taking their children on an outing to the pool.

While at the pool, Kevin (Mr. Hartley) felt like no one was paying attention to him after he came close to drowning in the deep water of the pool and no one saw it happen. Kevin felt like his parents were paying more attention to his siblings than him. 

Meanwhile, Kate (Ms. Metz), who is attempting to lose weight as an adult, was the subject of cruel comments from other girls while at the pool. Randall (Mr. Brown), who is African-American and was adopted by Jack and Rebecca, had asked his parents to go to that particular pool because he thought there might be other non-white children there. He had been feeling isolated with no one around who looked like him. 

“Us” has so far impressed industry watchers with its ratings, with the number of viewers it’s attracting showing that younger TV watchers can still be drawn to a family TV drama on a broadcast network. “Us” brought in more viewers 18-49 than the program before it, “The Voice,” which is the first time any TV show has attracted more 18-49 viewers than “Voice” before it. The most recent episode of "Us" achieved a level of viewership comparable to the show’s premiere, which is considered anomalous behavior for a new show soon after premiering.

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