Hidden in Plain Sight
There is a link connecting these two television series even though they are 30 years apart: Ken Olin.
I didn’t start watching “This Is Us” until the second season, in much the same way that I hadn’t started watching “thirtysomething” until its second season. But, instantly, I felt there was something very familiar with the story-telling style.
And it isn’t just the number and pairings of the main players, although that was probably what first caught my attention: three couples, and one singleton.
It is the sense of Family.
Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives
The other ingredient is the sense of Ordinary. These are not superstars playing these roles, they seem like regular folk. That makes them more relate-able.
The characters are psychologically complex, but in some ways their needs are quite simple: they just want to be loved. Don’t we all?
Finally, this latest version of that dynamic has captured the attention of a new generation of thirtysomethings. Now they can understand why we were glued to the TV when ‘our’ show was on, all those years ago.