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In a year when just about every established TV series saw a downward slide in average viewership, it was a hell of a season for new shows, and NBC's This Is Us was definitely among the most successful. A lot of fans' interest was invested in the between-the-timelines fate of patriarch Jack Pearson, as portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia, and the subject of Jack's death took over conversations and social media posts. Of course, This Is Us is about a lot more than that, and Ventimiglia has some pretty blunt thoughts for anyone pissed Season 1 ended without revealing it.
It bothered me that people were so wrapped up in wanting to know [about] Jack's death. Whenever someone would say to me, 'I was bummed I didn't find out,' I would say, 'I'm disappointed you didn't focus on his life.' People are dissatisfied no matter what. If Jack dies: 'Why did you kill him?' If Jack lives: 'Why didn't you show us how he died?' People just need to calm down ... and understand that things are going to unfold as they're supposed to unfold.
I would love to see the look on someone's face as Milo Ventimiglia is responding to just such an inquiry or complaint about Jack's death still being a mystery. "I'm disappointed you didn't focus on his life," is a bone-piercer of a sentence, and it hits up there with when one's parents express disappointment in a child. Hell, it almost feels like Jack Pearson himself is raining judgment down, and that is not necessarily something our emotional core can take right now.
But yeah, it's clear that Milo Ventimiglia has some layered frustrations that were built up over the course of Season 1, as the coverage and reactions for This Is Us went from "this show is a tearjerker" to "this show is a high-rated tearjerker" to "this show has provided me with 4 bulletin boards' worth of index cards theorizing and mapping out possibilities for Jack's death, ranked by plausibility." Of course, This Is Us organically changed the conversation a few times over the season, with big episodes surrounding Randall's father William and more, but the focus eventually swiveled right back to Jack.
As Milo Ventimiglia put it in his interview with the NY Post, he signed on to This Is Us with the knowledge that Jack was going to die, and he knows both the when and the how elements. So, in the same way that it's easy for a wealthy person to rail on a poor person for their financial planning, it's pretty effortless for Ventimiglia to judge fans for being extremely curious about something when he already has all the essential knowledge. That said, it's always annoying to hear the same question over and over again, so his frustration is warranted however it goes.
Unfortunately for all involved, This Is Us won't be giving fans any information, about Jack's death or anything else, until Season 2 arrives on NBC's schedule at some point this fall. (It was originally going to flip to Thursday nights, but NBC later decided against that weird switch.) Until then, head to our summer premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to obsess about in the coming months.