From the very beginning of This Is Us, we know that our main characters are going to share the same birthday. I don’t know anyone with whom I share a birthday with and quite frankly, it’s soul crushing, so if you were born on March 28, please email me immediately. But for our This Is Us characters, they do not have this particular problem as we have four main characters who share the same birthday. What are the odds?
Let’s meet them all.
First up is Jess, I mean, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) formally known as Jess on Gilmore Girls. He has made an extremely poor decision to shave all his chest hair but he seems to really love his wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore), so we forgive him for his over-zealous man grooming.
Jack and Rebecca are deeply in love and want to have sex even though his wife is extremely pregnant with triplets. Mothers all over America laughed so hard they cried at this scene.
Anyway, they were gonna do the deed, but then Rebecca’s water breaks. And off to the races we go.
By now I’m sure if you haven’t watched the show, you’ve read the spoilers, but when I was viewing the pilot I had no idea there was a twist, so the entire time Rebecca is in labor I cannot even begin to fathom how they are not just doing an emergency c-section. Like, seriously? What is wrong with this doctor who seems so comforting but is obviously there to kill the third baby just to further the plot of what could be a really great TV show? I still don’t quite get it because it’s not like they were in 1870, in 1970s there was modern medicine.
Viewers are told early on that one of the babies is positioned poorly, and then we get the pep talk of all pep talks from Dr. K (Gerald McRaney). It was a beautiful pep talk obviously written to inspire tears and such. It was very good. Then Jack gets to give his talk about how he has three cribs for three babies and we know baby #3 is doooooooomed.
And we are right.
Dr. K gives Jack the news of his dead baby and we all cry (quite frankly, I was more relieved that Rebecca was alive than sad that baby #3 was dead). He also gives a beautiful speech about how he had lost his first child and he never got over it, but he used it for good. How he made lemonade (he said this much more eloquently, but I’m paraphrasing). We love Dr. K and are sad he’s most likely not a recurring character, and are also sad he’s not an actual person who can come hold your hand when you are in medical distress. But he did his pilot duty and we are hooked on the show.
From Jack and Rebecca we meet Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz). Twins! Triplets and then twins! They are celebrating their 36th birthday and are both having some serious life-crisis about this. Here’s what we know:
Kevin is The Manny, a shirtless nanny on a bad TV show and he feels as though his artistic integrity has been shot. He is also an extremely caring brother to Kate.
Kate is a large woman whose weight rules everything in her entire life. There was a very brave scene where Kate is about to step on the scale and we see her naked from behind. I commend Chrissy Metz for this. I would not have the guts.
They are close siblings but have a lot of growing to do. Kevin needs to figure out his professional life (he quits The Manny in a huge blowout), and Kate needs to grapple with her love life (she thinks she’s too large for love).
We get a taste of Kate’s love interest, Toby (Chris Sullivan) who I immediately loved and want him to be my best friend for life. He’s quite funny and has some serious game. #teamtoby
Kate and Kevin have some really great storylines ahead of them. Kevin needs figure out how to come back from meltdown that you know made all the headlines, while Kate will be navigating dating in a world where she doesn’t think she deserves to be happy #fatshaming. These two siblings seem so different, but work together so well. Twins forever!
And last but not least we meet Randall (Sterling K. Brown). He’s a very rich dude with adorable kids, a beautiful wife, and a missing birth father. He also is a very nice man. Randall finally tracks down his birth father and after telling him off for leaving Randall at a fire station, he then seems to forgive his birth father and invites him into his home and allows him to meet his granddaugthers. I liked how Randall couldn’t believe his actions, but did them anyway. When he was hugging his wife and laughing kinda crazily, I was chuckling.
Sidenote: I like it when TV shows have kind characters. I feel like that is so rare. Why is it funny when people are mean? (I mean, it can be funny, but why? This is a genuine question).
We know that Randall got lucky and was adopted and had a wonderful family life and obviously was very smart, and we breath a sigh of relief. But then we find out his biological father only has a few months to live and we feel sad again. We are on a rollercoaster I tell you!
So we have now met Jack, Rebecca, Kevin, Kate, and Randall. And we wonder, what can they all have in common besides seeming to be kind, beautiful, and decent people with enough life challenges to make an interesting TV show and also, who randomly share a birthday?
Turns out, they are all related. And here’s how.
After Dr. K gives Jack the speech with all the feels, Jack goes to see his babies (two of them). He’s standing looking into the nursery window when he runs into a firefighter who is dropping off an abandoned baby. The firefighter offers Jack a cigarette (just say no!) and then we see the 70s clothing, and for a moment, I was so confused and then I realized, Randall is baby #3. We’ve been going back and forth in time!
Jack and Rebecca are parents to Kate, Kevin, and Randall. We are family!
This Is Us was a surprisingly good pilot and I am officially hooked. They definitely have a lot to live up to in the next few episodes, but I’m optimistic they can do it. I also can’t wait to find out how they navigate the time zones. Will Jack and Rebecca be present in present day? Are they still alive? Is Randall as close to Kevin and Kate as they are to each other? Why didn’t I wait to watch this show until it was over so I could binge-watch it? I hope to answer all these questions soon.
So what’d you think? Do you enjoy TV recaps? I love hearing what other people think about TV shows so holler at me if you share my birthday or my love for our new TV family.