In a story that carries a SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn’t yet seen the first episode of NBC’s “This Is Us,” John Jurgensen writes in a Wall Street Journal blog post that series creator Dan Fogelman paid tribute to “The Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan, signing off as M. Night Fogelman.
Jurgensen says the tribute makes sense, given that Fogelman’s script has a “curveball ending” reminiscent of “The Sixth Sense.”
“As revealed in the final moments of the series premiere, three of the characters — Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) — don’t just share a birthday, they are siblings,” Jurgensen writes. “And the pregnant couple — Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) — turn out to be the siblings’ parents, whose bittersweet experience at the hospital birthing unit had happened decades in the past.”
The report notes that the show’s production team created “a visual style that blended past and present, coordinating everything from wardrobe details to color palettes on camera.”
But the production did have its clues. “Fogelman says he wasn’t going for a total fake-out — if you rewatch the pilot, the clues are obvious, from boxes labeled ‘family photos ’75-’79’ to Jack’s Terrible Towel, which the Pittsburgh Steelers rolled out in the mid-1970s,” Jurgensen writes. “For some viewers, dated hospital equipment and procedures for a high-risk birth probably set off subconscious alarm bells.”
We encourage readers to click on the link to The Wall Street Journal near the top of this post to read Jurgensen’s full analysis.