I really can’t say enough good things about this show, from the very first episode I was already invested in every single character I had been introduced to, even the side characters. I can’t remember the last time a show hooked me so hard from the first episode, and the last time I felt like I couldn’t stop watching a show and lost sleep over it.
The show manages to hit every important topic without making it cheesy, love, marriage, loss, adoption, dating, race, weight management, getting older and freaking out about it, sexuality and more. All of those topics are explored in depth and just so incredibly well done, it felt organic and real and sucked me into each of the characters backstory. I loved that every character was so thoroughly fleshed out even the side characters have back stories that make sense and that you actually care about.
I’m struggling to find the words to describe how awesome this show is and how much I would recommend it to basically every one. Unless you absolutely detest drama-comedies I cant think of much anything anyone would have to complain about. The acting is great, the script is great, the direction is great – everything about this show was well done.
The show opens with a couple and the wife is pregnant, the wife then goes into labor and has to be rushed to the hospital to deliver. The show then follows how the kids grow up to become 3 extremely different people. Randall is a hard working, meticulous very intelligent person who’s married with two kids. He’s adopted and it’s a big part of the show. I think I connected with this deeply because I’m also adopted but in slightly different circumstances – Randall is black and his parents are white and his two siblings are the parents biological children. So although my brother is adopted too and there’s no race issue, the issue of adoption always fascinates me and it’s not portrayed very often in tv or movies very well. This show does it very well with his struggle to find his birth parents, reconcile how he feels about his adoptive parents decisions during his childhood, and trying to form a relationship with his biological father once he tracks him down.
Kate struggled with weight her whole life, and the show opens with her trying to convince herself to go on a diet, get on the scale, and cope with how she feels about herself. This topic can be done poorly if not much thought is given to it, but again this situation was also handled really well and very realistic. Most of my family is morbidly obese and I watch them go through the struggles she faces and it broke my heart a little bit.
Kevin has always been the star growing up, attractive, athletic, and sociable he’s always been the popular kid. What I liked MOST about him though is he has depth beyond that. His own insecurities, his own failures, he’s extremely dependent on his sister for moral support and has a ton of issues despite “having it easy”. He’s also very smart in his own way, he’s a C grade actor on a rom/com show and he hates it because the director portrays his character as an idiot hunk whose sole purpose is to act like a moron and show off his body which doesn’t settle well with him at all.
The parents Jack and Rebecca have their own back stories and you get to see how they grew up, how they met, and their own problems as well. Jack had an alcoholic father and struggles with drinking himself although he strives to be the best husband and father he can be. Rebecca always wanted to be a singer but instead got pregnant and decided to stay at home and raise them and struggles with what she’d given up to do that. As well as her struggles to raise an adopted kid of a different race. This is all taking place in the late 70’s early 80’s and although we obviously still have racial problems now, raising a black kid back then as a white family came with different sorts of struggles.
IMDB has this rated at an 8.9 and Rotten Tomatos has it at 91% which I absolutely agree with, I have very little to complain about with this show. It’s funny, it’s heart warming, heart wrenching, fascinating, and extremely well put together. I really encourage people to check it out, I watched it on hulu, but it’s an NBC program.