Preview: All Your ‘This Is Us’ Questions Answered

© 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Credit: Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal.

This Is Us
Returns: Sept. 26 at 9/8c on NBC
Where We Left Off:
Jack isn’t dead, but his relationship with Rebecca might be.

What To Expect: This Is Us was last year’s breakout smash and introduced the lovably complicated Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and their “Big Three.” “The series is fundamentally about the family dynamic and how our childhood, and our parents, and the bonds that we form with them and our siblings if we have them, fundamentally shape who we are as people,” Moore shares. “The good, the bad, and sort of everything in between.”


On where Season 2’s present-day story picks up …
Dan Fogelman, showrunner/executive producer: The present-day story is the story of the “Big Three” kids. A little bit of time has passed, so we’re kind of catching up to them a month or two later. … We’re picking up with them on their 37th [birthday]. … You’re catching up with Randall and Beth as they proceed on this adoption quest and Kate as she progresses on a singing career and Kevin as he’s doing his film.

And the heart-wrenching past story picks up …
Fogelman: The day after the finale, so it’s basically the morning after the big fight that led to an early separation between Jack and Rebecca.

On when we will learn how Jack died …
Fogelman: In the course of the second season [fans] will get all the answers about that that they need and more. The first episode has a big giant piece of the puzzle that will potentially set the internet just abuzz, and hopefully give some momentum towards that storyline.
Moore: That is one part of this giant puzzle. Yes, it will be satisfactory for people in the first episode [of the Season 2] premiere, to sort of have that big piece of the puzzle at their feet. But, as I’ve said to people, I really caution them to just be present and to live in the moment and to let things unfold the way that they were originally intended, because it’s much better that way.

On Jack and Rebecca’s separation …
Moore: You can forgive, but I don’t know if you ever forget. I think it will be interesting to see if Jack and Rebecca, if they are able to move past that, and how. And how collectively, or how separately, the family is able to come together and march forward.

New guest stars for Season 2 include …
Fogelman: Sly Stallone is going to come and do a huge part on the show as [Kevin’s] costar/father figure in the film that he’s actually shooting. So Milo obviously knows him really well [he starred as Rocky’s son in Rocky Balboa], and that was a big reason why I think he’s doing it.
As the series marches forward with each character at a crossroads, Moore marvels at the critical reception This Is Us has received: “I don’t think any of us could have predicted that we would be sitting here this time a year later, and Emmy nominations, and sort of just the wholehearted embrace that people have shown the show. But, I think we knew from the pilot script that this was an incredibly special show.”


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