(Spoiler warning: Do not read on if you have not watched the series premiere of NBC’s “This Is Us.”)
The most talked-about twist of the new fall TV season has finally been revealed.
A time jump is the big secret at the center of “This Is Us,” NBC’s new drama about a group of seemingly unrelated people who are all about to turn 36 years old and who all share the same birthday.
Turns out, the stories are set in two time periods, present and past, and the three present day characters (played by Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz) are all siblings, while the 1980 characters, played by Milo Ventigmilia and Mandy Moore, are their parents.
The explanation for why they all have the same birthday is rather simple too.
Moore’s character Rebecca goes into labor on her husband Jack’s birthday, and when one of their triplets dies during childbirth, Jack is convinced by their doctor to channel their grief into something good — prompting the couple to adopt an abandoned baby, who grows up to be Brown’s character Randall.
The true setting for Jack and Rebecca’s story is revealed when a man is seen smoking inside the hospital hallway, a clearly outdated practice. Suddenly, doctors, nurses and everyday people all appear in period garb.
Meanwhile, in modern-day “This Is Us,” Metz’s character Kate is struggling with her weight, and reaches out to her twin brother Kevin (Hartley), who’s struggling with his own life and career as an actor seen as nothing more than eye candy. Their brother Randall, who has had issues with being adopted, finally confronts the biological father who left him in front of a fire station at birth.
Anticipating that there will be much to talk about for fans of the much buzzed-about series — whose trailer broke viewing records — NBC announced it will air the “This Is Us Aftershow” after each episode online and on demand.
Tonight will probably be a good night to check that out, as show creator Dan Fogelman talks to his cast about everything that just went down.
“This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.