Arts & Entertainment

‘This Is Us’ Returns with Intense Season Two Premiere

Wikimedia CommonsThe second season of NBC's drama series "This Is Us" started with a bang last week.

NBC’s heartwarming, family-oriented show, “This Is Us,” returned to air Sept. 26 with “A Father’s Advice,” an episode packed with drama, laughs and answers to questions that have haunted viewers since season one. Kate (Chrissy Metz) is down two dress sizes, Toby (Chris Sullivan) has a beard, Kevin (Justin Hartley) landed a new role in L.A. while dating Sophie (Alexandra Breckenridge) in NYC and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) has “baby fever” while considering adoption.

“This Is Us” does a phenomenal job of connecting the triplets’ lives with their parents’ and all of their experiences in between. This connection was made in the first episode of the series and continues in season two. The premiere was consistent with the prior season’s with its rollercoaster of feelings — nostalgia that turns to joy, then a jolt of aching sadness. Much of the emotion in the episode is made more poignant by its excellent music, such as “45” by Bon Iver.

The season two premiere wasn’t without its faults. It needed to show Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) perspective more often and more clearly. It’s unclear what Jack was thinking about or doing, besides drinking, during his separation from Rebecca.

Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson) had a more prominent role in this episode. Watson is a strong actress who was overlooked in season one — there’s an undeniable want to see more of her this season.

It was disappointing to see less of the passionate, emotional scenes from Ventimiglia, which were prominent in the first season. The scene where Jack pleads for the bar owner to give Rebecca a solo performance feels half-hearted. It could be Ventimiglia portraying Jack’s alcoholism more prominently; however, it was still surprising to be let down by Ventimiglia’s performance, since he has held many hearts since episode one.

“A Father’s Advice” gives the viewer an idea of how the rest of the season will look, but the show always has twists and turns. Fans can look forward to Beth and Randall’s plans to adopt, Kate’s growing confidence and determination to be a singer and the slow-burning tension between her and Toby. Kevin’s life seems static at the moment with his job and steady relationship with Sophie, but it likely won’t be long until “This Is Us” spices up his life.

Overall, “This Is Us” captivated fans with this premiere, pulling them in for another exciting season of weekly episodes. The show is successful and entertaining — NBC surely made the right decision renewing it for another season.

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