The 6 Inevitable Stages Of Watching This Is Us

The 6 Stages Of Watching This Is Us

By Kate Kole

I was a faithful member of the unofficial Parenthood fan club while it was airing. The Braverman’s conflicts, crises, heartwarming conversations, and unwavering loyalty to one another seeped their way into my soul. My husband and I would casually chat about what the characters were going through each week like they were friends of ours. “What do you think will happen to Joel and Julia?” and “I can see both sides with Adam and Christina.” And “Do you really think Zeek and Camille will really sell the house?” became normal talking points.

I looked forward to sitting down each week with a box of tissues beside me, knowing that I’d undoubtedly have all the feels as the hour of Parenthood unfolded. It was therapeutic. And I was more bummed than I probably should have been when the series came to a close. I’d make sweeping dramatic statements like, “I’m never going to love another show like I loved that one,” and “Now what am I going to do on Tuesday nights?”

With the help of Netflix, and the company of my own actual family, I managed to successfully move on from my bad breakup without Parenthood.

And then, This Is Us premiered.

I was skeptical. And still, intrigued enough to give it a go.

By the end of the first episode, through a mess of ugly tears, I blubbered something about how it had potential. And week after week, I became more invested in the Pearson family. I started talking about the fictional characters on a first name basis. I began the recruitment process of urging other people to start watching too. Slowly but surely, it was happening. This Is Us was becoming my new Parenthood. 

I’m far enough in now that my viewing behavior has become somewhat predictable. Regardless of the week, or the storyline at hand, I sink into our leather couch and repeat the same sentiments aloud.

“I’m not gonna cry tonight.”


I don’t know why I feel it necessary to make this declaration, and yet, I always do. Like my dogs really care how many times I have to pause the TV to blow my nose.

“No. This is not okay.”


Essentially anytime there is any scene hinting at Jack’s death, I start saying this as if it’s my mantra. And as if saying it will cause the writers to throw out the script and start again with Jack and Rebecca living together, forever.

“I can’t even.”


Once I come to my senses and acknowledge that the storyline will not be changing, I begin throwing out some combination of literally, cannot, and even.

“This is the best show ever.”


And “oh my God, the acting is incredible.” And “how do they come up with this?” And “they deserve to win every award in existence.” Since, all of a sudden I’ve become a self-proclaimed member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

“I’m gonna cry.”


It’s always through a slew of tears and a stuffy nose that I say this. As in, I’m not gonna cry, I am crying. Hard. And I probably will be until the show is over, and they’ve previewed the scenes for next week, and some other program is 10 minutes into playing.

“Because, like, this really is us.”


I essentially say this to justify how hard I’m crying. I always hit a point where I’m a little embarrassed and so I feel like comparing their lives to ours makes up for the fact that NBC owns my emotions for a solid hour and a half each week.

I write all this to say: If you’re ever sitting on your couch, with an empty pint of Ben & Jerry’s beside you, what’s left of your mascara running down your cheeks, and your significant other staring at you with a look of concerned bewilderment, you are not alone. I see you. I feel you. This Is Us.

{Featured image via US Weekly}

4 thoughts on “The 6 Inevitable Stages Of Watching This Is Us

  1. Katie - Hot & Sour Blog says:

    I LOVED Parenthood as well, and I was so sad when it ended. I definitely feel the same way about This Is Us. The show tugs at all of the same heartstrings, and it’s the type of show that I look for when I’m looking for a new show to watch. My husband likes to watch shows about super heroes and science fiction. I like to watch shows about families.


  2. Ali says:

    You are so flippin funny. It’s like we’re sisters, but you got the genes to find things in the internet, and post just the right pics!! Love it. (PS one of Dad’s teaching strategies was to share comics he found touched on
    Educational reform and whatnot, so it runs on your blood).


  3. monselovesblogging says:

    I have hesitated to watch This Is Us for some time now but this review made me really want to watch it! I just watched a few clips on Youtube and I got hooked! Thank you for this review! By the way, I am watching Parenthood right now. I just watched an episode from season4 when Kristina made the video for her children and I sobbed my eyes out! Have you watched Gilmore girls?
    Also, I just started my blog and I would appreciate if anyone would check it out! I write book reviews!


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