Logan Shroyer Says ‘This Is Us’ Is a Modern Day ‘The Waltons’

The Waltons and This Is Us might not have that much crossover. The Waltons was already a drama about the past, produced in the ’70s depicting the ’30s. This Is Us is very much a modern day drama, although it visits the past of the Pearson family. Logan Shroyer is one connection between the shows, and he says This Is Us owes a debt to The Waltons. Shroyer plays teenage Kevin Pearson, and plays John Boy Walton in The Waltons’ Homecoming.

'This Is Us' star Logan Shroyer decorates 'The Waltons' Homecoming' Christmas tree
Logan Shroyer | Tom Griscom/The CW

Shroyer was on a Zoom panel for The Waltons’ Homecoming on Nov. 10 with his costars Bellamy Young, Ben Lawson, Marcelle LeBlanc and the original John Boy, Richard Thomas. Shroyer explained how The Waltons influenced This Is Us. The Waltons’ Homecoming airs Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. on The CW. This Is Us will return for its sixth and final season on NBC.

‘This Is Us’ has 1 thing in common with ‘The Waltons’

The Waltons have seven children plus grandparents, although they only have six in The Waltons’ Homecoming. This Is Us has the Pearsons in three different generations, with three siblings and their modern day families. Shroyer suggests The Waltons paved the way for such extended family drama. 

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“I think that This is Us, I don’t know how you don’t connect that,” Shroyer said. “So I am a part of a huge ensemble and extended family, and that’s the thing that came from The Waltons. And so it’s really cool to be a part of it in that sense.”

Kevin Pearson vs. John Boy Walton

Now that Shroyer has had a chance to experience both families, he can compare and contrast This Is Us to The Waltons. Of course, he’s been playing Kevin for five seasons and only played John Boy once, so far. But there is still the possibility of playing John Boy again.

“I don’t know if I think I approach roles the same way,” Shroyer said. “We should just try to live out the authentic life and kind of call it as you see it. But Kevin on This is Us has maybe more of a proclivity to being selfish, and that sort of skews him on the, ‘you love him, you hate him’ meter, back and forth all the time. And I mean, Kevin experienced such kind of great hardship early on in his life and he didn’t handle it well. So in the older iteration we’re seeing, hopefully, he starts to get it together better.”

‘The Waltons’ shows a more wholesome family than ‘This Is Us’

The Pearsons are as close as any modern family is likely to be. Still, the Big Three each have their own independent dreams which they explore on This Is Us. Shroyer noted that John Boy Walton is completely devoted to his immediate family, unlike Kevin Pearson.

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“John Boy, and maybe it’s the time or just how he is, really just is more of a servant, I would say, perhaps to his family,” Shroyer said. “I mean, he cares so much about his family, and that’s obviously the conflict between his passion for writing and sort of the man’s responsibility as it is in the ’30s. So I don’t know.  I mean, I play both of them, so I am in both of them when I do it, that I think Kevin has that heart as well. It just gets mumbled up a lot more.”