Rebecca Pierson – This Is Us
As the absolute biggest tear-jerker in recent television history, This Is Us traffics in emotional manipulation. Every week brings another instance to tug at our heartstrings, and not everything has to do with the circumstances of Jack’s death. A lot of the best and worst moments of the show highlights the struggles of a mother trying to raise three very different children and while still trying to maintain a sense of herself.
Rebecca Pierson is a modern version of June Cleaver. Raising triplets, one from a different biological mother and father, Rebecca struggles with feelings a lot of mothers can understand. With a seemingly “perfect” husband, a lot of the duties of raising her children responsibly falls on her shoulders. From a distance, Jack seems like the ideal father and husband, but if you look a little harder, you can see his flaws and how Rebecca must accommodate those to keep everything running smoothly.
As a former singer and performer, she had to give up those dreams when she became pregnant with the triplets. Everyone thinks a mother should always be overjoyed to become pregnant, but Rebecca grapples with the very normal feelings of sacrifice and the remorse that often comes with that.
As her children got older, she tried to seek out her dreams once again, but the pull of the family kept her from really succeeding at singing and touring. Moms face an incredible double standard, and Rebecca felt all the guilt working mothers feel. Her family resented her absence, but in turn, she resented having to give up what she wants in order to make them happy.
She’s not selfish, but often society can make mothers feel like they are jerks for wanting their own lives. Rebecca is an example of the tug of war mothers face when they attempt to “have it all” and even though she gets a lot of blowback for not being as likable as her husband, I’m all the way on her side.