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If you, like me, were eagerly anticipating NBC’s This Is Us, which premiered on Tuesday, you probably waited with bated breath to see what the new show was about besides the basic premise of everyone having the same birthday.
If you didn’t watch the show, stop reading this article and go watch it. It’s available to stream on NBC’s website and on Hulu. Then come back and read the article. It won’t hurt my feelings. Because this article is full of spoilers.
For those who did tune in to the show were in for a complete shock at the end when it was revealed that the show was operating in two different timelines: Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) storyline taking place in the late 1970s and twins Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) storyline was taking place in the present day.
And, if that’s not enough to make your mind explode, it was also revealed that Jack and Rebecca adopted Randall after he was dropped off at the hospital by a fireman who found him abandoned at a fire station. It was also revealed that Kevin and Kate were the two biological children of Jack and Rebecca, making everyone related in the show.
Dan Fogelman, the creator of the show, talked to Entertainment Weekly about the surprising twist and what viewers should expect from the show later in the season.
Fogelman praised John Requa and Glenn Ficcara, the directors of the first episode and executive producers of the overall show, for disguising the sets to make viewers think that everything is happening at the same time instead of 36 years apart.
He also said that there were little hints throughout the first episode that indicated the show was operating in two different times. One of the first shots in the episode was a box that held family photos from 1975 to 1979. Fogelman also said that Kevin sent Randall an email for their birthday that is briefly visible to viewers before Randall clicks on an email saying his biological father was found.
Fogelman also previewed what’s to come this season, saying it’s harder for Randall to fit in with Kevin and Kate since they’re twins and also said that Kevin and Randall are “two different kinds of brothers” and that Randall may be the outside-looking-in sibling.
He also said that the show is going to be a focus on Jack and Rebecca at age 36 and Kate, Randall and Kevin and 36 and do a comparison of how the different people are living their lives at 36.
Fogelman said that the surprises aren’t done yet. “I think you get a bunch of surprises, but two big surprises. The start of episode 2 is a surprise, and the end of it is really a surprise …. So there are surprises and you’re unfolding this family a little bit, because now the cat’s out of the bag about the device of the show, and now we can start expanding the audience’s knowledge,” he said.
The show’s first episode had strong ratings for NBC, premiering to a 2.8 rating and 10.07 million viewers, according to TV by the Numbers. The show’s premiere was the best premiere on the network since Blindspot premiered last year.