It’s no secret that This Is Us is one of TV’s best new shows. Between the unique way of presenting one family’s unfolding story and the deeply relevant and relatable characters, This Is Us has many of us laughing one minute and crying the next.
It is an easy show to love.
But there is something important taking place on Tuesday nights at 8:00 CST that must be addressed even if you haven’t seen one episode yet.
TV has been waiting decades for Jack Pearson. Here’s why.
For years, we’ve watched popular sitcoms and TV dramas depict husbands and fathers disengaged from their families, failing to understand the stresses of their wives, and detached from their children. The shows that have portrayed healthy husband/father figures still had their share of moments when dad was the joke. Silly dads. What else can you expect from them?
Enter Jack Pearson and the character completely changing how husbands and fathers are being presented on network TV.
Jack’s character is shown week after week selflessly laying down his life for his family. He speaks highly of his wife, often putting her first. He actually tells his best friend that he would rather be at home with her in one episode. He is involved with parenting his children. He says things to his wife like, “We’ll figure this out together.” “I’ll take this one.” “It’s going to be okay.” Week after week, Jack and Rebecca are a team.
Beyond being a great husband, Jack is a great dad. He makes time and space for his children. He worries if he and his wife are making the best choices for them. He says things like, “I’m so proud that you’re my son.” “I’m sorry.” “I’ll try harder.” “I love you as much as a human heart can, kiddo.”
The truth is, I have no idea what is next for this character. I don’t know what the writers have in mind or if in the episodes ahead Jack will break all of our hearts.
But I know this, for now we have someone on TV that we can respect… someone who well represents the hugely important role of being a husband and dad. And for the men who already love their families like Jack does, they have finally been well-represented in an industry that has made dads the joke for too long.
So why is it important that we talk about this? Why is it important that one of the most loved shows this season features a character who loves his family well?
Because the power of a father to lead his family and love his wife is one of the most important things on earth, and I’m so glad that at least for now… TV is getting it right.
(PS Have you noticed how Jack’s legacy as a man is being lived out through his sons? This show isn’t just hitting on the role of husband and father. It is showing the generational impact of every choice we make. Wow. Powerful! Read why I think every Christian should see what Kevin did last week.)