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The Secret Sauce: 5 Things I Learned From My Convo With The Writers Of NBC’s ‘This Is Us’ (Video)

Hands down, “This Is Us” is the best show on television! Don’t agree? Fight me.

As an honorary Pearson, it was truly an honor to visit NBC Universal in Los Angeles to sit down with writers Kay Oyegun and Shuckree Tilghman as well as Elizabeth Berger, co-showrunner of the epic and award-winning NBC series.

This Is Us - Kay Oyegun, Shuckree Tilghman, Elizabeth Berger
Kay Oyegun, Shuckree Tilghman, Elizabeth Berger

After professing my love to the three of them, I was eager to get the scoop on the magic behind “This Is Us.”

Below you will find 5 things I learned while chatting with Kay, Shuckree and Elizabeth about my favorite show.

1 The Writer’s Room (Elizabeth)

Our writer’s room…in order to be a part of it you have to be willing to bare your soul.

We always talk about how when we all came together, in those first few weeks of the job in season one, it felt like group therapy to all of us.

We all got together and everyone told their deepest and darkest secrets and all of the most emotional stuff that they have ever gone through. It set the tone for the whole first season and what our writer’s rooms would be like.

In order for the show to work it just had to be a place of sharing what you’ve been through.

2 The ‘Slow Cooker’ Episode (Elizabeth)

It was so funny because when we were figuring it out we were so worried that there would be backlash against the guy who gives them (Jack and Rebecca) the slow cooker. We were like, ‘Oh my gosh! That poor guy. Everyone is going to hate that guy!’

Then, we woke up in the morning and people had turned on the slow cooker. That was the enemy! That was really surprising to us. We did not anticipate that.

3 The Incredible Sterling K. Brown (Elizabeth)

The Incredible Sterling K. Brown (Elizabeth)
THIS IS US — “Vegas, Baby” Episode 216 — Pictured: Sterling K. Brown as Randall — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

It’s so exciting! Sterling is such a fascinating case. Where you’re just like, ’Oh, you’re the best actor and you’re 40-years-old just under the radar?!’

I mean, he did ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson,’ which was amazing and that was the beginning. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re just the most talented man and we didn’t know.’ It’s really thrilling.

4 The Flashbacks (Shuckree)

Before I came to the show, I was always a fan of that [the flashbacks].

I thought it was an interesting way to sort of experience life. Because we talk a lot in the writers room about the past in forming the present and it’s sorta how we all live.

We all have our own past and we can pin back to moments that were transformative for us, that were meaningful or hurtful or traumatic and they mean something to us now – even if it was 20 years ago.

And this show does a very good job of presenting that in 43 minutes and I think that’s the part of the magic of the show.

5 The Kleenex Effect (Kay)

The Kleenex Effect (Kay)
THIS IS US — “The Wedding” Episode 218 — Pictured: (l-r) Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

That wasn’t something we created. That was something that was sort of created out of the sphere of people watching the show.

Which is sort of like, ‘Oh, that’s so emotional that so sad,’ and the narrative started happening outside of us.

So, we don’t really chase the tears. We chase pathos. We always want to write things that has something to say.

And sometimes when you have something to say, it invokes an emotion.

The “This Is Us” season finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Kate and Toby are tying the knot!

Grab your Kleenex! I’m positive you’re going to need it.

Watch the full interview with Kay, Shuckree and Elizabeth below:


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