We are close now to the premiere of This Is Us, and we know already that this two-episode event has a significant amount of ground to cover. Also, it’s had to deviate quite a bit from what the original plan for the series was.
This summer, show executive producer Dan Fogelman and the entirety of his writing staff had to figure out if they wanted to include real-life headlines in the show, and that included the global pandemic. It was decided to include it and other headlines such as racial-justice reform, though we get the sense that neither of them will change the show’s already-established endgame.
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In speaking specifically about the health crisis to Entertainment Weekly, Fogelman explains exactly how the writers took the pandemic on, including making some notes about how it impacts people differently depending on where they are:
“Our show has different characters in different stages of life, older characters battling illness … We have a character who’s a local city councilman in a major metropolis. We have characters who have been bathed in privilege as movie stars on the West Coast. Not every character, every story line is going to be all [pandemic] all the time. It’s going to be present in the world as it’s present in our lives right now. Our lives haven’t stopped, but they’ve been pretty altered. What we want to try to do is find the balance. Some people are wildly affected in different ways about what’s going on in the world right now. It would be really simplistic that everybody’s just kind of locked in their house, getting bored of Zoom calls when hundreds of thousands of people are dead and it’s affecting different communities differently. So we’re attempting to put a human face on what’s gone on in the last half-a-year to a year.”
To put it in basic terms, This Is Us is still focused on reality. While the health crisis impacts us, we are all still living. We have events that we take on that are entirely independent of the virus, and ones that are greatly impacted. How the show tackles each story will likely be on a case-by-case basis.
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What are you looking for specifically when it comes to how This Is Us tackles the health crisis?
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