One of the greatest moments of the show occurred during a scene of the wife having an emotional meltdown during the last stage of her pregnancy. As any rational human being would know, having a child in your stomach who’s draining all of your energy and sapping any idea of always ‘looking good’, would be incredibly difficult. And if we’re being honest, would eventually drive up the emotions. So, at a certain point she had had enough and the target unfortunately became her husband. As the story unfolds the husband is out with his friend who invited him to go golfing. As they are looking at clubs to purchase a few of the other men quip about how golf gets them out of the house and away from the nightmarish scene at home. After hearing the other men, the main husband suddenly dons a look of pity on them. Finally, he had had enough and goes on to say that even though his wife is near ‘possessed’, he still can’t help but want to be home with her, by her side, and work through whatever it is that she needs to work through with her. That’s what love is. It is embracing the darkness of the other and rather than running for the hills, holding the hand of the beloved on their terms regardless of the pain of self-neglect. Just as Christ came into the muck of sinfulness, embraced it, and washed it away with the sacrifice of his very self.
Each character reveals ways in which our past might affect how we see the world and the ways in which we try our best to set that world aright. Hurtful words, moments of neglect whether real or imagined, or the private moments with each other where just the right words are said and the feelings of neglect are washed away with something as simple as a loving embrace, can echo down the years of our life in a very tangible way. This is Us reveals that while we all have our own struggles, and that love isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it is the consistent disregard of oneself that ultimately brings us happiness. Chesterton was right to compare marriage and family life to a battle field and yet into a world of wonder. The constant tug and push of family life ought not to act as a deterrent for others to partake, rather it ought to be viewed as the very alchemy that brings about the true magic of love.
Did you catch the one line that is so counterintuitive, so countercultural?
“This is Us reveals that while we all have our own struggles, and that love isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, it is the consistent disregard of oneself that ultimately brings us happiness.”
Let that sink in. Deep.
And carry on.