(Major spoiler alert: Do not read ahead if you have not seen the post-Super Bowl episode of “This Is Us” that aired on Sunday.)
Crock-Pot has been to hell and back because of Jack Pearson, and Milo Ventimiglia knows it.
The venerable brand of slow-cookers ended up taking the rap for the central tragedy of NBC’s “This Is Us,” the death of Jack (Ventimiglia) that was finally depicted in the show’s post-Super Bowl episode. Turns out the Pearson family patriarch died the night of a house fire started in the January 23 episode by a faulty switch on a very old slow-cooker.
“I mean you know everything that we had, had written about that episode was ‘slow-cooker,’” Ventimiglia told TheWrap on a post-mortem conference call. “It’s always been slow-cooker. It always will be slow-cooker. It’s unfortunate the assimilation to a well-known, well-loved, even by me personally-owned product, by the community online.”
Ventimiglia was of course referring to the intense backlash Crock-Pot received after fans first saw the Pearson home go up in flames when a slow-cooker turned itself back on once Jack had gone to bed at the end of the Jan. 23 episode. And this was before we had even learned his real cause of death. (Which was, by the way, cardiac arrest thanks to smoke inhalation, after he’d already made it out of the fire. We know, we know.)
“It was unfortunate and I think regardless of any kind of fault of anyone’s own, we were aware of the impact and that’s something that’s very true to our core on the show,” Ventimiglia continued. “We’re aware of the impact and we hope to never create pain or upset … but if we’re in a position to turn the car in a different direction, which we were with that Crock-Pot video, it’s like, ya — it’s easy for us to do.”
“It’s me learning a handful of lines, which I do on a daily basis,” Ventimiglia said. “And it’s [creator Dan Fogelman] picking up some footage of me doing that. And if it helps release a little bit of pressure from, like I said, as beloved a company as Crock-Pot is by a lot of people, me included, then of course, it’s always worth it.”
Watch the Crock-Pot ad featuring Ventimiglia below.
The next episode of “This Is Us” will air in its usual time slot, Tuesday at 9/8 c on NBC.