I was a latecomer to This is Us; I knew the show was a critical and commercial success but I didn’t begin watching the first season until they were nearly halfway through airing season two. Chrissy Metz has received a lot of well deserved praise for her role as Kate Pearson (although I absolutely cannot stand her character’s now husband, Toby) and has parlayed her newfound success into a memoir. Metz is a phenomenal actor and it is hard to believe that This is Us is only her second major screen credit, the first being American Horror Story, but it is not hard to believe writing is not her day job.
Don’t get me wrong, for what This is Me is- a book written by an actor capitalizing on their current popularity- it is a success. Metz managed to write a perfectly fine book to take to the pool or read while drinking an iced latte but it is a bit clunky and sophomoric in places.
“We all have a purpose,” she said. “Some people are the tall oak trees, and some people are the beautiful bushes. But everyone has a purpose. There is nobody here on earth who doesn’t have a path or a purpose. An innate destiny. Every human being who comes, comes called.”
Chrissy’s father abandoned her as a child and her mother, struggling to make ends meet on her own, married a man who was abusive towards Chrissy but no one else in the family. She struggled with her weight from an early age and her step father, Trigger, would often have her stand on a scale so he could berate her. Her relationship with her biological father and step father also impacted her adult relationships. She married a man she met online but they grew apart and she still blames herself; she spent the next few years meeting men who were attracted to her but didn’t want to acknowledge their relationship in public.
Career-wise Chrissy spent several years in LA as a talent agent, something she fell into while trying to get her own career going, before landing her life changing role on This is Us with only 81 cents left in her bank account. The overall message Metz is trying to get out is accepting yourself for who you are and she shares a lot of heartbreaking essays about her struggle to learn that lesson.