‘This Is Us’: Show Producers Really Want You To Love This Character In Season 4
Whether you’ve been with This Is Us since its season 1 premiere or you’re just settling in for season 4, every fan has a favorite character. For most, it’s patriarch, Jack Pearson. He represents the best a flawed man can be for his family.
Season 4 of ‘This Is Us’ introduced new characters
The season premiere of This Is Us took viewers on quite a ride. The show veered away from its usual cast and introduced an onslaught of new characters. Presumably, they’ll all intersect with the Pearsons at some point to connect the dots.
The additions on This Is Us include a few familiar faces, as well as relative newcomers. Cassidy (Jennifer Morrison), just met Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Nicky (Griffin Dunne). Malik (Asante Blakk)’s story intersects with Deja (Lyric Ross).
Baby Jack is all grown up as “Jay (Blake Stadnik),” who is, of course, Kate and Toby’s (Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan) visually impaired son. Meanwhile, Timothy Omundson plays their unfriendly next-door neighbor, Gregory. And finally, Dave (Tim Matheson), gave Jack a hard time as Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) father during a dinner date.
There will be more characters introduced throughout the season, but from one of the first “big” reveals, there’s one character a lot of fans can’t get on board with. This Is Us cast and crew hope to change your mind.
Which character do ‘This Is Us’ writers want you to love?
If you watch the show, you already knew where this was headed. For three full seasons, Miguel Rivas (Jon Huertas) has been the center of contention among This Is Us fans. The reason? He married his best friend Jack’s widow, Rebecca. Oof.
If this is news to you, go back and catch up before you join either team. The bomb dropped when an older Rebecca stops by Randall’s house with “Grandpa.” It’s not Jack she’s referring to. This was the first writers let fans in on the secret that would become Jack’s death (still not over it).
Miguel, a longtime friend of Jack and Rebecca’s, went through a divorce of his own while witnessing the love blossom between Jack and Rebecca. He was there when “Bec” kicked Jack out, and there for her when Jack died.
There’s no doubt Miguel is an integral part of the Pearson story. But, that doesn’t mean he’s loved by all.
How the ‘This Is Us’ cast felt about Miguel — at first
Way back in 2016, the cast weighed in on their thoughts about that big reveal, collectively claiming they were just as shocked when they first read the scripts. Rebecca and Miguel didn’t win their approval in the beginning.
“I’m so attached to Milo, and I really believe him to be like a father figure to me — even in real life — so that as Kate I’m like, ‘No, no, no, no, this is my dad! Nobody’s going to replace my dad!'” Metz previously told Entertainment Tonight.
“Honestly I was upset, I was pissed off, and I had resentment toward Mandy — Rebecca, but Mandy, dammit,” she continued. “I mean, obviously she didn’t write the episode, but I was like, ‘No, no, no’. It’s heart-wrenching, because their love is so pure, and I love it as a viewer and also as a daughter, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, how can this be?'”
Metz wasn’t the only one. Susan Kelechi Watson (who plays Beth Pearson) said her family in Jamaica wasn’t happy. “We don’t like Miguel at all,” they told her. “I knew from the bar he was going to do something sneaky.”
Rebecca herself, Moore, said she felt “betrayed by seeing Miguel at the door and being called Grandpa by the girls,” while Ventimiglia admitted he had “a flood of angry messages asking what was going on.”
On the other end, Sterling K. Brown stuck up for Huertas saying, “Let’s give Miguel a chance, please. Please, give Miguel a chance — he deserves it.”
Can ‘Team Jack’ ever like Miguel?
Many episodes have passed since the revelation of Miguel and Rebecca but that doesn’t mean the shock has worn off. Huertas, however, understands why fans aren’t into the idea of Rebecca and Miguel. “It’s not just the family recovering from Jack’s death, it’s also the audience,” he previously told Good Housekeeping.
“Miguel has always been super protective of Jack. Miguel would say things to him like, ‘You need to go home to your wife.’ … I think that’s what audience members are starting to see. That was his real intention,” he said. “[But] one mis-said word, and you take everyone all the way back to the beginning.”
Huertas proved as much during episode two of season 4 when he told a bad “dad” joke that followed with a resounding silence. Fans Tweeted their disdain for the character (and Rebecca for marrying him). It’s all a repeat of what Huertas has heard from the start: no one can love Rebecca like Jack did.
The Big 3 (Hartley, Metz and Brown) felt the same when Miguel started hanging around more often, and understandably so. He could never replace their father — but Huertas wants to make it clear, he’s not meant to.
“I’d love to see Randall, Kate, and Kevin say ‘Oh my god, Miguel was there from the time we can remember.’ I’d love to have that kind of scene between the three kids, where they apologize for being little punks in his and Rebecca’s marriage.”
In a January 2018 interview with People, Huertas discussed his understanding of fan response to Miguel adding, “The writers have a goal, and they have this little mantra in the writers’ room, and it’s basically: get people to love Miguel.”
Love him or loathe him, it doesn’t look like Miguel going anywhere anytime soon (unless you want to dig into the flash-forward ending he’s absent from). Maybe it’s time to give him a chance. Jack would approve.