If you haven’t already, you should definitely watch This Is Us. It’s a beautifully realistic show about a family that will have you crying harder and harder each episode because it is just that good and powerful. Now I know I’m a little late, but I just finished the first season. Throughout the season, I kept asking myself one question: Do I want a husband like Jack Pearson or a father like Jack Pearson? The answer is a father.
I never had a good relationship with my father. He was always controlling and took his spite out on his kids, especially me. The only words we spoke to each other were about school or the incessant drunken screams about how I was never good enough nor wanted by the family, or more so, him. I always felt belittled, so belittled that I would spend many of my nights crying out of pain and frustration. I can’t remember a day as a kid when I didn’t feel pushed beyond my limits, especially when it came to school. He also loved to play favorites with his kids and throughout the years I knew him, I was never the favorite. I was rarely taken anywhere as a kid, but for some reason, whenever I was, I was always left behind yet yelled at for not keeping up. I never felt as if I belonged in my own family because of this, along with many other issues I had with him.
Jack Pearson, however, is the father I wish I had. Jack Pearson is the patriarch of the Pearson family in This Is Us. Now he isn’t perfect, but as seen throughout the first season, Jack absolutely loves and cares for his kids. He is a father to them.
He never fails to be physically, emotionally, and mentally present with each and every one of his kids, which is something that I never got to experience.
There are a few scenes that stuck out to me in particular, so the links may contain minor spoilers. In episode four, “The Pool,” Kate, Jack’s daughter, gets shunned for not being as skinny as the other girls at the pool. She spends the rest of the time at the pool hiding in a towel. Jack comes over and talks to Kate, giving her a newfound sense of confidence. In episode six, “Career Day,” Jack takes Randall with him to work. In the beginning of the episode, we find out that Randall is smart enough to go to a new school, but his siblings are not. Randall starts to “dumb” himself down in order to stay at the school’s he’s at now. Jack sees through this and pushes Randall, in the right way, to reach his full potential, even if it means going to a new school to showcase it.
In episode nine, “The Trip”, we see Jack and his wife Rebecca at Randall’s martial arts class. For the initiation of the boys in the class, their fathers are asked to carry them on their backs to show that they will always be there for them no matter what. Jack, gladly, goes beyond the required number of push-ups to prove to Randall just how much he means to him. In episode sixteen, “Memphis,” Randall, recalls a memory of Jack. We see how Jack would be there for Randall from beginning to end whenever he experienced an anxiety attack.
All in all, Jack Pearson is an amazing father. Although we’ve only seen one season of Jack in all of his fatherly glory, I hope the many more seasons of This Is Us to come continue to showcase Jack as such. I wish I had a father like Jack Pearson and when the time is right, I hope my own kids also have a father like him.