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Pilot

Series 1 - Episode 1 Pilot

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Review

There's a distinctly American brand of understated family drama that never quite makes it seamlessly across the Atlantic – some of the finest series, such as Gilmore Girls and Friday Night Lights, have not become cult favourites in the UK until years later.

This Is Us, which premiered in the US in September, joins the canon, and on the strength of this pilot,is off to a promising start. We meet four people who share a birthday – a disillusioned actor and his overweight twin sister, a soon-to-be father, a successful businessman. They are each on the brink of pivotal change and, as the episode unfolds, we begin to observe how their lives intertwine.

Make no mistake: it's cloying, and threatens to get really saccharine in future episodes, but compelling performances from its ensemble cast - including Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore - will draw you in.

Summary

Randall is given a birthday party by his colleagues. Sitcom star Kevin is in the middle of a personal crisis, but when his twin sister Kate finds herself at a low point, he urges her to make a change.