While the rest of the industry is vying for TV spots to tell stories of battles, espionage, racism, computer hacking, terrorism and dragons, This is Us is going the other way. Banking on giving viewers a break with a family dramedy, the new series has already made it to the list of must-watch series this fall.
Dan Fogelman, creator and producer of the new NBC series, has carved out a niche for himself in Hollywood by going back to telling stories about just some people.
This is Us tells the story of five interconnected characters turning 36 on the same day. The series aims to show the resilience of the human spirit during life?s most trying moments. Stars Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz headlines the new series.
According to Huffington Post?s interview with Fogelman during the 10th Annual PlayFest Fall TV Previews, real-life friends and family inspired the series. Originally, he conceived it as a film, but Fogelman realized he couldn?t contain the stories in a mere 90-minute rom-com. He decided to live with the characters for years instead and reformatted the script and sent it to NBC.
?We have a lot of heavy, weighty or dark stuff in our high-end entertainment these days,? he said. ?I think with everything going on in the world, maybe it?s a good time for a show with heart and some humor that is just about people.?
Post-it notes on food
Metz?s character, Kate, is particularly interesting as she tackles issues with her weight. She?s the type of person who covers food in her fridge with Post-it notes to stop her from premature eating, of say, a birthday cake. She?s also struggling in the romance department and has decided to take a chance at a support group for people with weight issues. ?
Fogelman relates the most with Hartley?s character, Kevin, though. He is a famous TV actor who is very close to his sister Kate. Despite the vast difference in their lifestyles, they retain a relationship that lets them count on each other no matter what. The Kevin and Kate dynamic closely resemble Fogelman?s own relationship with his sister whom he lived with after their mother passed away.
Fogelman?s aim in creating this series is to make a type of show that moves the audience. Perhaps this show has the potential to do just that. To be remembered not for its plot twists but for how it made its audience feel.
Watch the trailer below, and try to move past Ventimiglia?s birthday suit, no matter how distracting it is. The show premieres September 20 on NBC.