Okay, yes, NBC’s “This is Us” is decidedly not a period drama, unless you count modern America as “period.” It’s not about the super rich. It’s about ordinary people dealing with real, relatable problems, tragedies, joys, and relationships. It’s also been nominated for nearly 40 Emmy Awards, with four big wins. It’s one of the most lauded shows in modern network TV history, and if you’re prepared for a lot of tearful scenes and heavy emotional storylines, you just may fall in love with it.
“This is Us” thrives on the merit of its characters and their relationships. At the core it’s about three adult siblings, played by Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, and Sterling K. Brown. Those central protagonists are surrounded by a huge ensemble of talented costars, including Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, and Ron Cephas Jones. Throughout its six seasons, the show explores themes of family, trauma, loss, love, forgiveness, discrimination, and more. It’s a smart, openly heartfelt drama about how we treat the people in our lives, and how those behaviors are shaped by our childhoods.
This is not the show to watch for big, beautiful, historical costumes. But if you’re looking for compelling human drama, “This is Us” is one of the best.