This is Us may be an underdog in the Emmy race for Best Drama, but leave it to the cast to bring home the gold.
This year’s Emmy race for Drama Series has some of the healthiest competition we’ve seen in recent past. Shows like Better Call Saul, Westworld, Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale all made a substantial impact this past year and right there in the middle of the pack is NBC’s This is Us, which gained popularity because it’s a show we all can relate to in one way or another.
It may not have humanoid robots, creatures from the “Upside Down,” or mediocre lawyers in a downward spiral, but it makes up for it with real human narratives that touch our hearts each week: sibling rivalry, obesity and crippling anxiety are a few of the complex story lines This is Us tackles with humor, confusion and, sometimes, heartbreaking sadness.
Sterling K. Brown plays Russell, a family man on the verge of a breakdown, but is determined to keep up appearances, and is the one adopted sibling in a unique set of triplets. Chrissy Metz plays Russell’s twin sister, Kate, who, unlike her successful brothers, is the epitome of “I don’t know what to do with my life” as she struggles with the loss of her father and obesity. Justin Hartley rounds out the trio as Kevin, a good looking but presumably vapid actor trying to decide between sell-out fame and fulfilled obscurity. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia play the parents of these triplets as the series jumps back and forth from the childhood to adulthood, chronicling how those children became the adults they are today.
The story lines alone may not beat out the big contenders in the Drama Series race, but the true gems in This Is Us are the impressive performances by Sterling K. Brown (nominated for Best Actor), Chrissy Metz (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Dennis O’Hare (nominated for Best Guest Actor) who plays Jessie, Russell’s biological father’s gay lover, and Gerald McRaney (nominated for and has already won this year’s Best Guest Actor category), who plays the doctor who delivers the triplets and the series most poignant speech about the sourest lemon life has to offer. Perhaps this cast can take that lemon and turn it into Emmy gold.
Binge the first season of This Is Us on NBC on-demand now before the second season premieres on September 26 at 9pm ET.