When Sterling K. Brown was named a lead actor in a drama series for playing Randall Pearson in the first season of NBC‘s”It’s usAt the 2017 Emmys, it was her second win and the first of the series. Although Brown’s impassioned acceptance speech was cut short by Fox in a now infamous attempt to move along the award awards, Brown’s morale remained high, and for a few more minutes, “This Is Us” remained a contender for best drama.
“Oprah announced the grand prize. And there was talk that we took a chance,” creator Dan Fogelman says Variety. “She kind of opened the envelope and kinda screamed – and we knew she loved our show – and she said, ‘The Emmy’s going to…’ And she said the ‘Th’ and that’s it. was “The Handmaid’s Tale”. I always joked that during the time the ‘Th’ came out of Oprah’s mouth, I think my heart actually stopped and I got the I felt like I was going to vomit.
Fogelman hadn’t been to the Emmys until that night, but the unexpected acclaim of “This Is Us” would see him and his team return multiple times for the show’s 38 nominations and four wins to date. . “Sterling winning early on, those moments were so overwhelming and a source of pride for everyone – the whole cast, the whole crew,” Fogelman said. “But anyone who says they saw it all coming would be completely lying.”
Now everything is coming to an end. “This Is Us” aired its series finale on May 24, making this fall’s Emmys the last year the broadcast drama is eligible. But whether or not he wins more names, or potentially his first and only best dramatic win, will largely depend on the Television Academy’s reaction to how the show wrapped up its Pearson family saga. .
“He didn’t play it safe,” said 20th TV president Karey Burke, who was “crying” in her office the first time she saw the ‘This Is Us’ trailer. that she was working as the head of Freeform. “I think this will go down in history as one of the greatest final seasons and one of the greatest final episodes in broadcast history, really.
“Having seen many of them and having participated in some, I can say that it will stick with those,” she adds. “I think he really delivered and honored that family. And that felt deeply consistent with everything he had put in place from the start.
Six seasons of tears has given “This Is Us” a bad rap among circles that see it as an overly dramatic series that only exists to make you cry. But it’s a critical deal that’s wrong with Brown.
“Sometimes there’s this idea, ‘Is it too sentimental? Is it being manipulative, or what have you got? Said Brown. “And to that, I say, our show is an opportunity to lighten your load. It invites people who may be going through very real things, whether it’s a personal illness, a family, of a divorce. Whatever the situation, you’ll see, ‘Oh, these people are going through it too. I’m not weird or weird or bad or flawed, just human. And I’m blessed to feel that, to feel that. release and hopefully go through life a little lighter So hopefully those people who are overly judgmental recognize that there’s a point to this, that it resonates with people for a reason and that it is not something that is manipulative for the sake of manipulation.
Family members Pearson Brown, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Chrissy Metz all received Emmy nominations in the show’s first five seasons, as did several supporting actors and guest stars, but Justin Hartley was snubbed several times. occasions – just like the “This Is Us” writers.
“It’s shocking to me that the writing wasn’t acknowledged,” says Lisa Katz, head of scripted content at NBCUniversal. “Part of it is because they make it look easy. And when you think about the fact that they’ve told this very complicated story over multiple timelines and 18 episodes a year for six seasons, that’s mind blowing to me that she hasn’t been recognized the only thing i can think of is that people take for granted how hard it is to have a show [whose] the stories are so poignant, the way they connect the themes and how the past informs the present and how every decision is so thoughtful and deliberate. I just think it’s storytelling at the highest level and it’s honestly baffling to me.
But the ebb and flow of accolades hasn’t stopped the “This Is Us” team from doing this for them – the fans.
“We’re like the little network show that could and did, and continues to really, really, deeply affect people,” Metz says. “And that’s really the gift and the reward and the accolade. We’re creating a work of art that’s going to change the course of someone’s life.
As a star who’s played a 16-year-old girl, an 80-year-old woman on her deathbed and everything in between, Moore has probably the most unique example among the cast of how much “This Is Us” has changed their lives. lives.
“I remember reading the script thinking, ‘No, I can’t put my heart on the line for a show anymore and it’s not moving forward,'” Moore says. “But once I understood the magnitude of what this show could potentially be, I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to throw my name in the ring and whatever I have to do to be part of this project. , I will” – obviously not understanding what the story was really going to put on the line. In the pilot, my character is just a little cog in the wheel, and this very crucial, monumental, changing thing life happens for the life of this family and obviously the life of this couple and this woman, but I obviously had no idea that we would be here today.
“The show transcended this whole idea of, there’s the streamers and then there’s the broadcasters,” Hartley says. “Like, no, no, there’s good TV and there’s really great TV. And we were really great.
The use of the F-bomb is one of the few things Fogelman had to give up to make “This Is Us” compatible with broadcast, nudity and violence — a sacrifice he was more than willing to make.
“There were seven fucks, I think, in the ‘This Is Us’ pilot that weren’t crucial to that pilot,” he says. “So, I pulled them because I felt they could successfully live on network TV and play to mass audiences, but also hopefully be of high quality. There’s no reason anything shouldn’t be so wonderful on network television.
“I believe in the medium and the sheer number of people it can reach. And this show taught me that a network TV audience will come with you if you do something artfully. I think they may be understated and the storytelling and structure of “This Is Us” asks people to watch with intention. I think the public is ready for stuff like that. The medium must continue to evolve. But I firmly believe that in a few years, you’ll be asking the next guy or girl, “How does it feel to be the first thing on air that got a lot of attention since ‘This Is Us’? Because that I think there are more out there.