This Is Us: 6 Things To Know About Season 5

Creator Dan Fogelman and the cast on Randall and Kevin’s feud and covering Black Lives Matter and the coronavirus pandemic.

by | October 26, 2020 | Comments

NBC’s This Is Us has covered heavy topics like alcoholism, death, aging, PTSD, survivor’s remorse, and racism all under the guise of being a tear-jerking drama about a family reaching milestones in their lives. They’re they Pearsons and they care about each other a lot.

And, like in a lot of families, these characters may also be known to hold some grudges.

Last season’s finale came with a showdown between brothers Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) over the proper way to handle treatment for their mother Rebecca, (Mandy Moore), who has Alzheimer’s disease. But it was also about the animosity that has been brewing since — as Kevin declared at one point during the fight — their parents brought Randall home from the hospital.

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, as well as Hartley, Brown, and the other series stars, joined journalists for a Zoom press conference in preparation for the 2-hour season 5 premiere on Tuesday. They discussed the aftermath of the fight, as well as how the show will handle topical issues like the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic and whether next year’s sixth season really will be the final year for the ratings juggernaut.

Here are some key takeaways.

1. Kevin and Randall Will Be at Odds for a While

THIS IS US -- "Forty Part 1/Forty Part 2"

(Photo by NBC)

“When we took the fight to that place, it was never intended to be that they make up over the next week or the next episode,” Fogelman said. “That’s a fight that’s been building for 40 years between these two boys, and now men, who grew up in the same household.”

He says this rift “is at the front and center of our premiere and at the front and center of our show for quite a bit.”

Hartley noted that the fight was “wasn’t screaming, it wasn’t out-of-control, it wasn’t manic. It was a calculated statement that Randall made to Kevin and then Kevin made to Randall.”

“Sometimes when you have fights like that … it takes like an event … to bring people back together,” he said, adding that “we’ll find out throughout the season, but I don’t know how motivated both men are to reconcile.”

2. The New Season Will Cover Current Events

A teaser released last week showed Hartley’s Kevin in a face mask as his sister Kate, played by Chrissy Metz, demanded he social distance from her. And the topics of classism and racism have always been part of the story, particularly when it comes to Brown’s Randall and his family. But, largely, Fogeman said, “our choice was always … to be apolitical. We don’t speak of, you know, Democrat or Republican or you-know-who on the show. It’s more about just American life.”

Fogelman added, however, that he’s been working on the first two episodes of this season since February and that “we were making the decision to kind of have COVID as well as Black Lives Matter, and it woven into the show.”

“When I was sitting down and weighing the decision of what we were going to do, just considering where our show lives with, like, this American family that has a lot of different pockets, and a lot of spans time, it felt almost irresponsible not to kind of take on the moment,” he said. “And I think you’ll find when you see the episodes of the show that it very much lives in that same space of the show, where you’re talking about the human experience, and not the political experience.”

THIS IS US season 5 premiere

(Photo by NBC)

Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Randall’s wife Beth, says that this will include talking about BLM with the couples’ two daughters and that “as Black as Randall and Beth are, they’re not experts on how to metabolize all that tragedy.”

“I think there’s a way that they deal with it with their kids that is sort of honest and they get to see the parents kind of grapple with it as they’re grappling with it,” she continued, adding that they “have an honest conversation about it. And they’re the type of parents who, I think, invite their kids into that. It’s not something that they would necessarily shield them from, but try to guide them through.”

It also provides a unique moment for Randall, Brown said, because he is a Black person who was raised in a white household.

“It’s such a unique perspective for someone like Randall, who’s always sort of questioning his identity as it is,” Brown says, explaining that he was “never wavering from the fact that he knows that he is Black. But the way in which he was raised, and the conversations that happened in his house, are not necessarily representative of the conversations that he wants to have with his children.”

3. Is This Why NBC Moved Up the Season 5 Premiere Date?

This Is Us

(Photo by NBC)

The fifth season of This Is Us was supposed to premiere in November, after the election. But Fogelman said “it was really important to me, and to us, to get these episodes on before the election — not because they’re political, but because I think they’re difficult and then hopeful. And it felt important to us to just put it on TV now with no agenda other than that. But it also created like an intense rush.”

4. The Family Cabin Will Also Be Utilized More This Season

This is Us Season 5

(Photo by NBC)

The Pearsons’ cabin has seen the family through a lot of highs and lows. Now, perhaps because of the coronavirus plot, Fogelman said that “we’re spending a lot of time in the family cabin this year, by design.”

5. Moore’s Real-Life Pregnancy Has Not Affected the Show’s Plot and Filming

This Is Us

(Photo by NBC)

“We haven’t really adjusted our plan,” Fogelman revealed and said that “we are so far ahead in script that we can compensate for things as need be.” But because the show famously flashes in and out of the present time, “there may be a brief period … where you don’t see a lot of old Rebecca on the show because she would have some really complicated explaining to do.”

6. Fogelman Still Has the Same Series End Date in Mind

This Is Us

(Photo by NBC)

This Is Us has already been renewed for a sixth season. Fogelman was hesitant to address if there were more seasons beyond that, but did say that “our plan is not changed for the show.”

This Is Us season 5 kicks off on NBC with a two-hour premiere, starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27

Tag Cloud

Bravo BBC One History kong Rock AMC Plus olympics Columbia Pictures rt labs PlayStation politics Arrowverse reboot Podcast El Rey social media franchise sequel parents TV One football Quiz Pride Month RT History james bond chucky renewed TV shows political drama Rom-Com TLC lord of the rings Trophy Talk obituary Freeform tv talk rotten festival Tokyo Olympics Marvel Television SDCC 2017 Esquire dogs spy thriller Ellie Kemper critics BET Oscars independent stoner new york Certified Fresh Christmas Image Comics Nat Geo Showtime Baby Yoda 73rd Emmy Awards films superhero vampires Anna Paquin Amazon Black Mirror TIFF Mindy Kaling TCA 2017 Netflix MCU Emmys Exclusive Video Alien elevated horror Mary poppins ITV ghosts french golden globes black comedy Turner DC Universe Best and Worst mob new zealand Disney Plus Pirates finale Masterpiece The Academy richard e. Grant VICE docudrama Western book king kong BBC Marathons Calendar The CW VH1 First Look 99% Pet Sematary children's TV TCA Winter 2020 spinoff dark Rocky A24 toronto Neflix streaming Dark Horse Comics 2016 Superheroe halloween cults DC streaming service news Peacock slasher comic book movie BAFTA adaptation documentary Epix HBO BBC America telelvision rt archives worst movies TCA video on demand Adult Swim IFC TV movies Disney Wes Anderson women Endgame Paramount Plus know your critic miniseries IMDb TV supernatural Walt Disney Pictures technology cancelled TV series TruTV Hallmark San Diego Comic-Con boxoffice BET Awards DC Comics superman die hard FX Song of Ice and Fire royal family docuseries Shudder Shondaland Pacific Islander AMC Music a nightmare on elm street Academy Awards scary movies award winner facebook X-Men deadpool cancelled television Starz cooking Mary Poppins Returns zombie comic book movies cars mission: impossible Opinion Writers Guild of America strong female leads Kids & Family 2019 Lifetime Film Festival 2018 Holiday toy story The Witch Drama MSNBC robots comics slashers mockumentary Sony Pictures First Reviews FOX Ovation Acorn TV Musicals nbcuniversal police drama prank Box Office National Geographic Mary Tyler Moore natural history hidden camera Year in Review 2021 YouTube Red Superheroes Super Bowl sequels television Awards NBA canceled Election video Schedule crossover canceled TV shows Disney Channel Thanksgiving Spike Heroines ESPN wonder woman TCA Awards Tubi series Elton John Marvel feel good streaming movies Photos The Walking Dead heist movie Fall TV CBS All Access fast and furious movies revenge australia Lucasfilm fresh Trailer comedies posters YouTube Premium nature Teen blockbuster comic books biography adventure Extras sag awards TV new star wars movies serial killer LGBTQ Countdown Amazon Studios Apple TV Plus Reality Competition popular Tumblr Apple Amazon Prime Video FX on Hulu 4/20 OWN 72 Emmy Awards New York Comic Con CMT razzies Pixar cinemax young adult Awards Tour Star Wars binge Apple TV+ disaster Television Academy Character Guide ABC Signature boxing high school The Arrangement child's play Amazon Prime international spider-verse Discovery Channel japan universal monsters breaking bad theme song godzilla versus E3 dexter CW Seed Stephen King Britbox documentaries biopic PBS justice league Grammys indie Cosplay venice worst Star Trek Funimation Spring TV saw Tomatazos OneApp Nickelodeon Comic-Con@Home 2021 cats Television Critics Association mutant historical drama zero dark thirty scene in color crime thriller aapi 24 frames thriller Fantasy all-time Winter TV YouTube casting zombies Universal Pictures war HBO Max Paramount Network Cartoon Network See It Skip It Crackle Women's History Month foreign movie Martial Arts asian-american ABC spain NBC Lifetime Christmas movies batman CNN Fox News spanish Rocketman Sundance Comics on TV transformers PaleyFest Vudu adenture Infographic 2015 20th Century Fox crime drama game of thrones MTV Disney+ Disney Plus Interview 21st Century Fox Creative Arts Emmys period drama japanese TCM Film sports 71st Emmy Awards italian best ViacomCBS 90s stand-up comedy green book directors golden globe awards legend Warner Bros. Classic Film Black History Month jurassic park art house WGN marvel comics mcc christmas movies cancelled TV shows Chernobyl target satire American Society of Cinematographers Paramount harry potter marvel cinematic universe Mudbound Action screen actors guild stop motion Biopics Red Carpet CBS Sundance TV Premiere Dates Crunchyroll spanish language Video Games festivals Marvel Studios based on movie 007 Reality Brie Larson name the review genre psycho what to watch scary Nominations hist indiana jones spider-man gangster twilight crime romantic comedy scorecard 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards action-comedy witnail black APB rom-coms romance Chilling Adventures of Sabrina psychological thriller Emmy Nominations space Captain marvel ratings animated SundanceTV hispanic emmy awards Pop TV basketball kaiju Pop Comic Book dramedy true crime comic jamie lee curtis E! Broadway VOD criterion Family 2020 Country The Walt Disney Company GoT Netflix Christmas movies SXSW debate hollywood reviews joker TV Land The Purge sitcom cops Instagram Live sopranos GLAAD dceu diversity Horror nfl suspense screenings Comedy Central Hear Us Out dreamworks trailers ABC Family rt labs critics edition werewolf Sneak Peek medical drama south america concert archives Summer Binge Guide TBS TV renewals 1990s comiccon latino book adaptation President science fiction hispanic heritage month Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trivia kids Fox Searchlight Valentine's Day Hallmark Christmas movies anthology WarnerMedia Lionsgate unscripted A&E Animation IFC Films discovery Polls and Games Hulu Syfy Holidays Sundance Now LGBT Avengers NYCC YA Legendary blaxploitation aliens Food Network USA live event live action singing competition Spectrum Originals vs. Tarantino Disney streaming service cancelled dc Comedy Toys HBO Go remakes ID game show dragons laika Sci-Fi talk show Logo Travel Channel Turner Classic Movies Cannes cartoon king arthur DirecTV USA Network DGA composers monster movies Ghostbusters GIFs teaser rotten movies we love pirates of the caribbean RT21 halloween tv Musical quibi 93rd Oscars Watching Series anime travel TNT free movies 45 Set visit classics critic resources doctor who Universal blockbusters FXX Winners Mystery