This week ABC's newest drama is airing its season finale and I think we should talk about it. Disclaimer: There are no spoilers included in this post so that means upon reading this you must go watch the show ASAP.
During the Summer, I spent my weeknights watching the absolute beautiful garbage that is Bachelor in Paradise on ABC. During this time, I saw a promo commercial, more times than I could count, for a show about a man naming John killing himself. It made me roll my eyes every single time. I was never going to watch this show, because it looked as if it was glorifying suicide and mental illness. It looked like a melodramatic This is Us ripoff. But let me say something that is going to absolutely blow your mind, I enjoyed this freshman season of A Million Little Things more than the current season of This is Us. Shocking? I know.
I started watching A Million Little Things because that dumb promo caught my attention. It seemed so silly. How was ABC going to correctly depict mental illness within a group of adult friends who have already neglected the pain of their own enough to let him go? The trick was, they weren't. A Million Little Things tells the story of John Dixon (Ron Livingston), a business man and father of two who, in the very first episode takes his own life. This comes as an absolute surprise to his assistant, his wife, his children, and all of his friends.
John meets all of his closest friends in an elevator (revealed in flashbacks later on) and they become what this show is really about. Among them is seemingly-happy, but ultimately depressed aspiring filmmaker Rome (Romany Malco) and his talented chef wife Regina (Christina Moses), musician who has struggled with alcoholism though this is never really discussed but it's fine Eddie (David Guintoli) and his workaholic wife Katherine (Grace Park), and breast cancer survivor and the Chandler of the group Gary (James Roday), who takes John's suicide the hardest.
In the first episode, Gary meets Maggie (Allison Miller), a therapist and fellow cancer survivor, at a breast cancer support group and the two have sex in the bathroom and somehow that is her initiation into the friend group (I'm kidding of course), but for real, these people love Maggie right away and become her BFF instantly (which is fair, because her and Gary are the best characters on the show).
John's wife Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) is kind of the glue that holds the group together, and also what is tearing them apart. You see, she's been shacking up with one of John's besties, and basically she is just hella problematic, but it makes for such great TV so who cares, really? But seriously, f you, Delilah, you make very, very bad decisions.
This show has become a highlight of my week. It's filled with mysteries and real talk about mental illness. Rome is struggling with depression and nobody knows; the only thing that encourages him to get help is the death of his dear friend, and that hurts. These characters are also incredibly flawed; Gary is cynical and a little over-emotional, Maggie mistakes hurting her loved ones for protecting them, Katherine struggles to feel seen in anything she does, Rome and Regina don't communicate enough, Eddie's hot, but kinda sucks, and Delilah is a very messy friend. But they're all so human, which I feel is something we don't see enough of on TV.
16 episodes of this show have aired and we still don't quite know why John did it, but somehow that isn't the point. The point is that it is a conversation that those around him are having. The point is his depressed friend is seeking help. The point is that we get to see a beautiful relationship develop between two people with so much to live for and a relationship break down between two people who have no business being together. The point is Delilah is the worst character ever. The point is that this show is GOOD.
So please, do yourself a favor and check out A Million Little Things. It's a great show with a lot of depth and an emotional rollercoaster that doesn't overdo it. It's a show that is flawed and messy and perfect all rolled into one. This show deserves more praise and recognition. Trust me, you'll thank me later.