In 2016, NBC introduced a new show called This Is Us. I hate that damned show. It was clear, from the very first commercial/trailer that this new series was going to jerk a lot of tears. My wife started watching it and I would sit there, with my headphones on, and try to ignore it. I really didn’t want to feel all the stuff, to be honest. For the first few episodes, I would notice things here and there and make comments about Peter Petrelli.
Before long though, I started noticing the swings and swerves happening with Randall, Kevin, Kate, and the gang. When William showed up, I was all in. And when Jack did the push up ceremony with young Randall, I finally let the tears roll. Dammit.
We watched the season premiere the other night and it was, as always, emotive. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say the show got more Ed cred when I heard Bon Iver’s 45 playing during a critical scene. Of course, that led to it showing up on this week’s TS10.
Over the course of the last 24 hours, however, more connective tissue has grown around the idea of This Is Us. And, it’s not about the Pearsons and the Big Three. It’s about the actual idea of “This Is Us” as a statement. As the facts became known about the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night, the worst and best of “us” became evident in the midst of awful circumstances. The worst… someone shooting into a large, dense crowd of people with machine guns (most likely purchased legally)… lives lost, shattered, and altered forever. The best… people laying on top of others to shield them from bullets and hundreds of people lined up to donate blood. This is the truth… this is US; this is U.S.
So, friends, as you listen to these ten songs, my prayer is that, somehow, someway, it will be a source of peace where chaos has reigned for too long, healing where there are wounds, addling where complacency resides… that this playlist will serve you emotionally, somehow meeting you right where you are.