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This Is Us Season 1 DVD Review


“This Is Us” is better than the usual network fare.

In the 18 episode first season of “This Is Us,” the series toggles between different characters. There’s Jack and Rebecca who are expecting triplets in the pilot, an obese woman Kate looking to lose weight and fall in love, a businessman/father (Randall), and a TV star (Kevin) who is also the brother of Kate. To say anything more about who these characters are and what the central plot is about would be entering major spoiler territory. I will just say that the show is about family, marriage, sibling relationships, Kate and Toby’s romance, Randall and his biological father, time, Kevin having a career crisis, the past, Kate trying to lose weight, medical emergencies, Kevin’s romantic interests, Doctor K., marital woes, and death.

The family drama “This Is Us” (which is currently in its second season) was the breakout hit of network TV last year, but does it actually live up to the hype? It all depends on your perspective.

It’s easy to see why the show has amassed such a fanbase. It attempts to be an emotional and down to Earth story about family and people. It almost plays like a dramatic version of “Modern Family” if you think about it. With all of that said, however, the series does fall victim to the problems that many dramatic series have. The character drama can get heavy handed to say the least, there are clichés abound, and the writing can feel a bit like a soap opera at times.

What really makes the series work is the structure. Again, I’m going to avoid spoilers, but I will say the masterfully done twist ending of the pilot changes the show completely. It makes what would have been an otherwise mundane series interesting. Is it gimmicky and do the writers over rely on the structure to keep the story afloat? Absolutely, but it’s also what separates it from other series.

Cast wise, there are great performances across the board. Milo Ventimiglia (of “Rocky Balboa” and “Heroes” fame) shows some dramatic range here as does singer/actress Mandy Moore. The ever talented Sterling K. Brown shines as Randall and relative newcomer Chrissy Metz brings depth to her Kate character. The underrated Justin Hartley (who was fantastic as Green Arrow on “Smallville”) finally gets his due here and is one of the show’s highlights to be sure.


Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? The standard def transfer is fine, but I do find it odd there is no Blu-ray release given the show’s popularity.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The 5.1 track does the job quite nicely.

Extras: * Fox trailers. * “The Aftershow” for all 18 episodes which is a roundtable discussion between showrunner Dan Fogelman and the cast members. Discussions include characters, life experiences, themes, and a whole lot more.

September 27, 2017 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , ,

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