If you know me, you know that every ounce of my being is invested in the success of NBC’s hit drama, This Is Us; however, the season three key art has simply missed the mark. This post is in no way a commentary on Annie Leibovitz’s talent, as she is obviously an icon, but it is a commentary on the look and feel of the direction that the season three key art has taken.
When I think of This Is Us, some words that come to mind are: fresh, elegant, and timeless. The show has a unique way of uniting viewers from different generations and walks of life underneath the shade of its authentic and compelling storyline. The show’s characters walk through painful situations which mirror common realities of life, but the beauty of this process is that the characters are able to redeem those realities for viewers. This redemption is never overblown or outrageous, but rather it often comes about through subtle occurrences which contribute to an overall tapestry of events. This simplicity and authenticity sets This Is Us apart from the crowded content landscape of today that is increasingly complex and dark.
The key arts from previous seasons do a great job of capturing this authentic elegance while still conveying the show’s multiple storylines simultaneously. This accomplishment is no small task, as the more our society adopts minimalistic preferences, the quicker that understated key art is becoming the norm. Even so, the key art from the first two seasons of This Is Us captures the essence of the show in a beautiful way without compromising important details or characters in pursuit of aesthetics.
The same can not be said of the key art for season three. While I understand the family solidarity vibe in the foreground, and I can even appreciate the allusion to family trees/generations/“life goes on” growth in the background, the key art is overall lackluster. The image is crowded, generic, and stiff, and its lack of authenticity contributes to a stale and forgettable feel.
The image is noticeably posed and photoshopped, and this trait deviates from the candid moments featured in the key art of earlier seasons. Additionally, the overall tone of the key art comes across as repellingly melodramatic, and it is uncannily reminiscent of ’00s teen soap operas like One Tree Hill.
Overall, I am an *AVID* supporter of This Is Us, but I was surprisingly underwhelmed by the key art for this new season. While it is professional quality work, I do not feel that it is representative of the fresh, elegant, and timeless elements that make the show so special. Even so, I am counting down the days until the season premiere, as nothing can detract from my undying affection for the show or its characters.
What do you think about the new key art? Do you like the change in direction, or do you prefer the previous style? Let me know in the comments!