Why Justin Hartley’s hints at a ‘deeper’ season 2 should have fans excited

THIS IS US -- "The Trip" Episode 109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Justin Hartley as Kevin, Sterling K. Brown as Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)
THIS IS US -- "The Trip" Episode 109 -- Pictured: (l-r) Justin Hartley as Kevin, Sterling K. Brown as Randall -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC) /

Justin Hartley previews a ‘deeper’ second season of ‘This Is Us,’ and the prospect of getting closer to the Pearsons should have fans over the moon.

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It’s hard to imagine, but in its upcoming second season, This Is Us is getting deeper. For a show that makes its viewers cry on the weekly (or daily for those ambitious bingers), ramping up the personal connection and doubling down on the relatability sounds near impossible. How do you hone in even closer on this family and its intricacies? Oh, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and according to Justin Hartley, Season 2 is getting deep.

While attending a celebrity ping pong tournament at Dodger Stadium, Justin Hartley spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the super hush-hush second season and what fans can expect. Of course, in typical This Is Us fashion, Hartley couldn’t reveal anything specific. But he did tease “really big storylines” for each character that “you would never imagine are actually gonna happen on our show. It’s pretty deep.” Wait, wait? Rewind. What could possibly be going down in Season 2 that we wouldn’t anticipate on This Is Us? Whatever he might be referring to, we can go ahead and pencil in a steady stream of tears from September to spring.

In his chat with Entertainment Tonight, Hartley also praised the writers for their continued stellar work into the new season and spoke on the importance of avoiding spoilers. When it comes to This Is Us, catching the crushing twists and turns firsthand beats pestering the cast for clues every day of the week. And that will never be more important than in the “deeper” Season 2.

Justin Hartley’s most telling preview of the second season touches on the narrower scope of the storytelling and the re-upped emotional wallop that entails:

"“A lot of it is familiar… When you watch it, you’re going to laugh, you’re going to cry, [but] we dig a little deeper into these characters,” Hartley shared. “Now that we already know them from season one, we’re already invested in them, we don’t have to spend time trying to let you sort of get to know who they are so that you could be interested in them. We already have an audience.”"

This Is Us worked overtime in Season 1 to show every shade of the Pearson family in (almost) every decade of their lives. Now that we’re armed with a robust history and an arsenal of details about these five individuals and the people surrounding them, we can dive into the meatier moments — the complexities that aren’t so surface level. And that simply means Season 2 will be even better and even sharper.

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Without a (moon)shadow of a doubt, Justin Hartley’s hints confirm that This Is Us will bypass the sophomore slump — as if that had ever been a concept on the table. The series will continue to be the one-stop cathartic shop of heart and humor we all need, and it’s not losing an ounce of its steam. Get excited, This Is Us fans. We’re about to get closer to the Pearsons.

What do you think will happen in the “deeper” second season? Let us know in the comments, and keep the conversation going on Twitter!

This Is Us returns for Season 2 on Tuesday, September 26 at 9/8c on NBC.