The last tear has been shed on This Is Us season one, so now it’s time to look ahead. Thankfully, NBC has guaranteed us at least two more seasons to unravel the Pearson family story, which means we’ll be getting much more of the magic that made the show’s debut season so successful. From the very beginning, This Is Us has been at times masterful and emotionally moving … but, of course, there’s always room for improvement. With that in mind, Vulture has put together a wish list of what we’d like to see in season two.
Wish No. 1: Can we just learn how Jack Pearson died already?
Not trying to be callous here, but the question surrounding Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death has commandeered the show. Because This Is Us won’t reveal many surrounding details, all of the other story lines that are tied into his demise will be held up until it finally happens. The first season didn’t explore anything between the time Jack died and the day the Big Three turned 36. Sure, we’ve only seen 18 episodes, but the right time to play that card is early in season two, if only so the show can move forward. Jack’s death has been built up so much, but it isn’t what This Is Us should be about. This isn’t some Oxygen murder mystery!
Wish No. 2: Give Kate story lines that have nothing to do with her weight.
Chrissy Metz is so, so good! And it’s wonderful to have a fat actress be a lead on a TV show where she is treated with respect and given a full-blown story line about her love life. But wouldn’t it be even more wonderful to have a fat actress be a lead on a TV show where her character isn’t completely and solely defined by her weight? Kate’s relationship with Toby (Chris Sullivan)? All about weight. The guilt and grief Kate feels about her dad’s death? Deeply tied into her weight issues. That job she had for like two days and then never mentioned again? She got it because she’s fat. Yes, Kate has weight issues, but she also has a full and complete life to live. It’s time to give her other story lines.
Wish No. 3: Find out how Rebecca and Miguel end up together.
Blasphemy, I know. But if This Is Us wants us to get onboard with this relationship, let’s see how these two people fell in love. I can’t guarantee it’ll make me warm up to the thought of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) with Jack’s best friend, but it would be a step in the right direction. Of course, this might be one of those aforementioned story lines that’s tied up in Jack’s death. But what if it happens before he dies? GASP.
Wish No. 4: Use the teenage Big Three a lot more.
I never thought I’d ask for more time with teenagers, but here we are. Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, and Niles Fitch — the three actors who play Teen Kevin, Teen Kate, and Teen Randall — seemed totally wonderful in the little screen time we’ve seen them so far. This wish will almost definitely be granted next season, since This Is Us has laid the groundwork to explore what happens during Jack and Rebecca’s separation, but it still needed to be said.
Wish No. 5: Won’t somebody fix Kevin?
I say this with love: This character arc is so riddled with “actor” clichés that it’s sometimes painful. He’s self-centered! He’s successful but wants to be taken seriously! He’s in a pretentious play with a pretentious title and falls for a pretentious British actress! WE GET IT, SHOW. To make matters even worse, Kevin seems to do whatever he wants with little consequence (#JusticeForSloane). The most interesting things about him have nothing to do with his professional life — see: his past marriage to Sophie, his tense interactions with Miguel, and his evolving relationship with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) — so going forward, let’s focus less on actory stuff and more on Kevin’s personal relationships. That’s where Justin Hartley really shines, anyway.
Wish No. 6: Let’s see more of Jack and Rebecca dating.
This would be a fun time, right? Jack and Rebecca are so fresh-faced and happy! It’d be very exciting, but it’d also provide a respite from (and add depth to) what happens as they get older. Will I miss Jack’s dad beard? Sure! But I will make that sacrifice FOR LOVE.
Wish No. 7: More Beth, always and forever.
Is anyone not a fan of Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson)? She’s a rock for Randall, she’s a cool mom to Tess (Eris Baker) and Annie (Faithe Herman), and she puts up with the Pearson family drama like a champ. But with the exceptions of her small story line during William’s (Ron Cephas Jones) memorial and the fears she expressed when she thought she might be pregnant, Beth mostly served other characters in season one. The woman deserves her own story. The hints to her past and her large family, a father whom she watched die of cancer, her desire to get back to work, how she fell in love with Randall — explore those stories! Susan Kelechi Watson is excellent with the little she’s given as Beth, so just imagine what would happen if the character were filled in a bit more. Amazing things, that’s what.
Wish No. 8: Can we meet Miguel’s kids?
Miguel (Jon Huertas) and his ex-wife Shelly (Wynn Everett) mention multiple vomiting children in the past timeline, so let’s meet them in the present day. How do they feel about Miguel marrying Rebecca? Do they get along with the Pearson triplets? That’s a lot of drama, so let’s mine it!
Wish No. 9: Show us Rebecca’s life in the present day.
We’ve spent a lot of time with Rebecca in the past, so shouldn’t we see more about how she ends up? Really, all Old Rebecca did in season one was cry about past mistakes and take in a few Broadway plays. LET THE WOMAN LIVE. What does she do all day? What is her relationship with Miguel like? Does she still have an enviable collection of hats? Sure, the present-day timeline belongs to the adult Big Three, but Rebecca’s story isn’t over yet, either.
Wish No. 10: Don’t forget about Randall.
Nothing needs to change about Randall (Sterling K. Brown), for he is practically perfect in every way. But with William gone and forgiveness bestowed upon Rebecca, Randall’s major story lines from season one are all tied up. In the finale, Randall decides he’d like to adopt a child — yes, I’m already crying about this wonderful idea — which will offer its own set of problems. However, both Kevin and Kate seem to have a lot more dramatic tension baked into their coming arcs. Please don’t let Randall get benched to pave way for his siblings’ stories. Randall is the best thing about This Is Us. Don’t mess with him!
Wish No. 11: Please, please let Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz sing together.
Season one saw Rebecca and Kate riding in a car, listening to Christmas songs on the radio … and yet, they did not sing. For the love of Jack’s beard, let those two angelic voices harmonize.