Why Kevin Is the Most Underappreciated Character on This Is Us

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Kevin Pearson has had a multitude of highs and lows throughout his life, and it has all gotten chronicled throughout the last four seasons of This Is Us.

While his highs have included being the star of a hit sitcom and a talented high school quarterback, which not a lot of people can relate to, Kevin's lows have consisted of struggles most humans have also dealt with.

Kevin lost his father unexpectedly when he was a teenager, he has been divorced, and he suffers from addiction.

He might be the heartthrob of This Is Us, but what most people do not realize is that Kevin is also one of the more complex, relatable characters on the show.

Kevin Tries to Understand - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 4

Most of the time, the Kevin we see on This Is Us is a confident, charming guy that anyone can love. However, that is usually a mask he puts on because of his fear of being alone.

After Jack died, Kevin made a series of impulsive decisions that kept him busy and in the company of others. He never truly came to terms with his father's death until later in his life.

Related: This Is Us Season 4 Episode 5 Review: Storybook Love

And, of course, when that kind of grief builds up, a massive explosion is sure to take place.

Which is what happened on This Is Us Season 2 Episode 8.

Back to High School - This Is Us

As we all know, Jack was an alcoholic. Unfortunately, he passed that down to Kevin when Kevin's physical and emotional pain got to be too much.

After abusing pain medication and alcohol as a result of hurting his knee again on the set of his new movie, Kevin returned to his high school to receive an honored alumni award.

Even though he looked terrible throughout his visit, no one noticed. All they saw was Kevin Pearson, the TV star. Not Kevin, the guy who was still grieving his father's death 20 years later.

Kevin, in a drunken state, even imagined it was Jack who presented his award to him at the ceremony.

Kevin Shares His Spy Equipment - This is Us Season 4 Episode 2

Later, after his brilliant football-field monologue, Kevin slept with a doctor so that he could get his hands on one of her prescription pads.

He hit as many lows as an addict can, but at the root of it all, Kevin was hurting from his father's death.

Almost everyone can relate to grief, and seeing Kevin deal with his grief in an unhealthy way proved that he has problems just like anyone else on This Is Us.

This Is Us Season 2 Episode 8 showed viewers that Kevin is not just a pretty face. His emotions are complex, run deep, and are very relatable.

(TALL) Reflecting on the Past - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 4

Even now, after we have seen Kevin constantly struggle with his addiction, his problems are still viewed by others as little or not real.

On This Is Us Season 4 Episode 4, Kevin received news that The Manny was getting canceled. He was affected by that as the show was a turning point in his life.

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Cassidy dismissed his problems as being not real nor important. She only saw him as Kevin Pearson, the actor.

After she saw him interact with a fan, though, her vision of him changed. She could see that he was more than what meets the eye, which is what This Is Us has been trying to prove for the past four seasons.

Kevin Holds His Nephew - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 2

Once you take away the celebrity aspect of Kevin Pearson, you are left with someone who makes mistakes and has problems just like the rest of us.

It is sometimes hard to remember that he is also human when he is placed so high up on a pedestal.

And, unlike a lot of the characters on the show, Kevin can convince everyone that his life is going well when, in reality, he is struggling to make it through the day. it's one of the perks of being an actor.

Kevin pushes his feelings down, and instead, he tries to help other people with their problems.

A Standing Ovation - This Is Us Season 4 Episode 5

Most recently, Kevin has been helping Cassidy as she tried to get her husband back, and he has been helping his Uncle Nicky with his sobriety and loneliness.

Of course, that is most likely Kevin trying to hide his own feelings.

He has a pattern of making impulsive decisions when he is feeling alone.

Kate has her new baby, Rebecca and Miguel are helping with that baby, and Randall has his new job on the city council. Everyone else has something meaningful in their lives, and Kevin is left behind.

Decisions  - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 16

Instead of accepting a part in a film in Chicago, he went to live with his uncle in Pennsylvania.

It is equal parts selfish and selfless, as Nicky is partly a distraction for Kevin as he tries to combat loneliness and remain sober. But, he also truly wants to help Nicky get better.

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As he tries to help the people he cares about, Kevin is bound to make mistakes, and he has. For the most part, Kevin recognizes his faults and owns up to them as we have seen on This Is Us Season 4.

His actions and reactions have made him a very relatable character.

Trigger (Tall) - This Is Us Season 3 Episode 15

On the past four seasons, we have seen Kevin grow and develop as a character, and we have also seen him struggle.

Still, he has gotten regarded as the character who takes off his shirt on This Is Us.

Kevin Pearson is a complicated and fully fleshed out character who goes through difficult trials just like anyone else on the show.

And, it is time we all saw that.

So, what do you think This Is Us Fanatics?

Is Kevin underappreciated? Does he deserve more credit than he gets? 

If you need some more time to mull over your answer, watch This Is Us online to get better acquainted with Kevin Pearson.

Let me know in the comments!


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Sarah Little was a staff writer for TV Fanatic.She retired in September 2021.

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This Is Us Quotes

Miguel: When I think of your mom and me, I think of the phrase 'written in the stars'. I used to love that expression, the way it meant that the universe had plans for two people. That was your mom and dad, but it wasn't like that for her and me. It was strange. And I was filled with doubt on our wedding day and on a lot of days after that. But as the years went by, I realized that was okay. Some love stories are written in the stars and other love stories are written together: two people the universe had no plans for writing their story in the stars together.

Mom is really sick, Kate. I can't believe this is real, that this is happening. It feels like the world should stop for Mom, you know? And it infuriates me that this is happening to us and the world is going on, people are living like nothing's going on.