Saturday Night Live Manages To Make This Is Us Even Sadder

Lately it seems that two things have an unyielding hold over our collective emotions: the news and NBC’s hit series This Is Us. With Sterling K. Brown hosting, Saturday Night Live combined those two gut-wrenching topics in a show about “the real life drama happening in our government everyday.”
It’ll make you laugh and cry — but mostly just cry. Fictitiously poised as NBC’s newest series, “This Is U.S. features the biggest political headline makers of the last two years: Brown as Ben Carson, Pete Davidson as Jared Kushner, Kate McKinnon reprising her impersonation of Kellyanne Conway, and Aidy Bryant doing the same as Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Lauded as being “like This Is Us but without the parts that feel good,” we see another side to these public figures as they are overcome with their own internal struggles. If this were the real This Is Us, they would likely be comforted by the Pearson matriarch Rebecca, or through a flashback of ultimate TV dad Jack. From the very beginning of Kate dreaming of becoming a singer, her father Jack was her number one supporter. He always saw her as a star, even in the moments she didn’t see it for herself. Unfortunately, these government officials just have Kellyanne Conway’s shoulders to cry on. Sure, she may serve as Counselor to the President, but her counseling skills are far from helpful. The show promises to have viewers “laughing through tears — except without the laughing.”
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Saturday Night Live / YouTube.
Just like our favorite, cathartic cry show, “This Is U.S. takes a moment to remember those who have been lost. In this case, Bryant’s Sanders mourns the many press secretaries who came before her in the year since Donald Trump became president. The fictitious reviewers in the sketch were spot-on when they called the show “the number one drama in America.” It seems we have passed the point of our current political climate being “too real” to laugh at. We have now descended to a new place, where we toss up our hands as we laugh-cry in collective exasperation. A little bit of escapism is nice every now and then. I, for one, can only read the news for so long before I want a happier, simpler story. Or if it’s going to be sad, I want to know that everything will turn out for the best. Clever wordplay aside, this sketch definitely touches a nerve. The ongoing drama at the White House can be downright exhausting. Unlike what happens when we watch the real This Is Us, we’re often left with feelings of hopelessness that aren’t soothed with an uplifting moment of togetherness.
Of course, we should have seen this coming. In his opening monologue, Brown said that the news is the only thing on television that’s sadder than the show he stars in. If this show were real, it would probably be too much of a downer and would likely be cancelled after one season. Let’s hope life imitates art on this one.
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