The upcoming NBC show This Is Us promises a look into the lives of seemingly unconnected strangers, all just turning 36, all trying to find their place in the world. It’s a normal look into the daily joys and hardships of America’s most normal citizens, but there’s been nothing normal so far about the reception, as the show’s trailer was viewed almost 15 million times in its first 48 hours online, setting new records for television trailers thanks to Facebook shares and YouTube views.
Whether you love or hate the trailer’s saccharine music and Crash-but-less-about-the-issues premise, you have to admit that in the age of Trump, police violence, campus rape, global warming, ISIS, and potentially seven upcoming Power Rangers movies, there’s something comforting about indulging thoughts about the basic existential conundrums that haunt everyday life when everyday life isn’t being blown to shit by global catastrophe. Why does society pressure us to lead normal lives, when one look at normal is enough to prove that normal is a lifetime trapped in whatever circle of hell Dante devoted to banality? How are these people so happy when looking at their lives makes me so miserable? If the lives that these happy people lead appear desirable to the masses, am I doomed to live in the shadows, forever skeptical of the joy that apparently comes from rejecting cake and bearing two out of three triplets to term? Are all straight people boring or just these straight people? We at MTV News break down the inexplicably record-breaking This Is Us trailer in search of some answers. Who is us? What is this?
Butts on network prime time. Living large in 2016! Butts are us now, we are NBC!
Jess from Gilmore Girls has spent all of his post-Girls time working at the gym. He is swole, swole is us. We await the arrival of a presumably tastefully swole wife. Expectant Is Us.
BUT ACK, SHE IS ONLY SWOLLEN WITH LIFE. SHE IS STILL DESIRABLE TO GYM JESS, BUT HIS DESIRE IS IRONIC BECAUSE SHE LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM THE UN-PREGNANT MANDY MOORE WE WERE LED TO EXPECT BASED ON HIS SEXY TALK. SURPRISE IS US NOW.
Manic Pixie Dream Jess loves her. He is turning 36 and he’s content with a cupcake. Grateful Yet Also Vaguely Self-Congratulatory Is Us.
Only amniotic fluid itself is powerful enough to stop the erection of Swole Woke Jess.
This is 36. Your cake is too nice to eat and you’re a monster for wanting to eat it in the first place. This Is Hungry!
This is me.
When your coworkers are just trying to be nice but their presence en masse reminds you that you’re the only black person at the office.
This dude. He is also 36. He is wildly dissatisfied with the under-36 femmebots offering themselves to him. This Is More Than Meets The Eye.
Mr. Performance Anxiety just wants to hold a baby while wearing a shirt for a change. Making Fun Of Male Nudity Trends While Indulging In Them Via Critique Is Us.
“I found my father.”
“... Do you think the white people who wrote this show know that black people know their fathers too?”
This Is Diversity!
This Is A Walk To Remember.
Hello, father. The last time we hung out you abandoned me in front of a fire station. A white person wrote this script, can you tell? This Is Commitment!
Just tell me to lose the weight, says the woman whose hair, makeup, and plush red robe are the envy of all to see! My body type is an unholy aberration that I have caused with my excessive not-cake-eating, not the result of a complex blend of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors! Body Shaming Is Us!
Thank you, caption. An actor uttering the line “we lost the third baby” IS courage.
She who did not eat the cake now throws away her junk food. This Is Alleged Strength Through Self-Control Is Us.
This Is More Than A Pretty Face.
Dad Who Is Skeptical Of His Son’s Emotional Whiplash Is Also Me.
Doctor tells Jess his life story, as all doctors do, because as we all know doctors love to make their job slicing into people’s still-living bodies personal. Hippocratic Oath Is Us.
“Hi! Do you wanna be fat friends?”
“I can’t fall in love with a fat person right now.”
This Is Actual Dialogue For A Show That Is Actually Making It To Air.
OMG you made a joke! JK, we’re in love, even though you are a fat person, and I can’t fall in love with fat people right now! This Is Not Playing Hard To Get!
This is the only natural behavior in this whole faux-natural trailer. This Is Children Acting Better Than Adults.
Even these adorable babies still have to deal with the overdetermined “The Big Three” onesies they’re in, because, let’s not forget, they lost the third. This Is Tragic But Obvious.
Mandy’s beatific white face takes us out. This Is Cynicism. This Is How You End An Inexplicably Record-Breaking Trailer.