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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Characters' pasts revealed in latest episode of 'This Is Us,' NBC's new hit
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/TV/2016/1019/Characters-pasts-revealed-in-latest-episode-of-This-Is-Us-NBC-s-new-hit
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe