film.: This Is Us, Takes a Nation Home.

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Tonight, the multi-nominated Emmy Show, This Is Us, begins its second season on NBC. To date the show has won 21 awards among 37 nominations. However, the award that it won first was that of the hearts of its viewing public, proved by viral clips, Facebook Fan Groups – this one 36,000 and counting secret group – which I’m among. And then, there’s a character allegiance that this series engenders in viewer to actor –  like the emotional pull seen in series of yesteryear like Cheers, The Cosby Show and Saturday Night Lights and Martin!

This Is Us wins because it is us, it is us as women, men, parents, adoptive parents, homeless, children, actors, dreamers, the ill, as broken in spirit at times. You take all these roles and nuances and then apply layers of storytelling audible, visual, flashbacks, throwbacks, and touches painting a picture that allows us to connect all the brushstrokes even though its presented as a full, complete painting. These strokes in communal settings over things commonly shared like coffee and tea. To watch Season One, was a work of cultural anthropology in its cinematic finest as certain topics of identity, sanity, belonging, desire happened over beverages consumed by billions of people daily. Yes, This Is Us is a work of art by creator and writer Dan Fogelman.

Among all its relatabilty, there are cameos of coffee in the kitchen at weight loss meetings. And there’s tea. These beverages hold a place as a character, as a comfort, as an anchor to get through while they themselves are getting through a moment at times at a time. Its intricately embedded into the reality of their lives, providing an anchor for those of us who also cling to these vessels of comfort in our own lives from kitchens to conference rooms.  and each of these roles full of stories, stories written with such detail, it paints a picture of us, the show and the viewers that we can connect to.

Look for the cups during a moment with the big three – Kevin, Kate and Randall.

If you need to catch season one, watch it on Hulu. Trace the shows journey in this stellar piece written in The Hollywood Reporter.  See Emmy winner, Sterling K. Brown’s Best Actor in a Drama  speech here and here.

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