If you’re anything like me, you’ve pretty much been viewing your summer as those sweaty and annoying months leading up to the season 2 premiere of This Is Us on September 26.
Those of us who fell in love with the show also, inevitably, fell in love with lead character Jack, played by 40-year-old Milo Ventimiglia. Jack, if you’re not familiar, is portrayed as pretty much the world’s most perfect man. He has the heartbreaking back story, the adorable little quirks that live on through his children, the overwhelming love for his wife, and of course, the most swoon-worthy speeches of all time. Frankly, I’m still not recovered from Jack’s speech to Rebecca in the season 1 finale and I’m not sure I ever will be.
But Milo Ventimiglia isn’t as in love with Jack as the rest of us are. In fact, he thinks that his character’s “perfect man” status is kind of ruining things for the rest of the real men out there. The mustached actor fears that many a suburban mother may start casting a wary glance at her own partner for leaving his dirty socks laying about when Jack is on screen.
“… people are like, ‘Man, I wish my husband were more like Jack,’ [or] ‘Man, I wish my boyfriend would do the things that Jack would do,'” Ventimiglia told Entertainment Tonight. “And I’m like, Jack’s not real. The dude standing in front of you is real and he’s probably sitting down watching the show with you, so therefore, give your dude some love.”
Granted, the man does have a point.
I mean, as I sat there sobbing in front of my screen during Jack’s passionate plea to Rebecca, my very much real-life husband sat on the other side of the room, shaking his head and throwing pillows at me for being so ridiculous. Which I guess you could call true love? But then again, part of me is just really vulnerable right now after this whole Chris Pratt and Anna Farris break-up.
Anyways, the truth is that Jack is not perfect and that’s probably why we fell in love with him — we relate to his many character flaws. He struggles with how to best support his wife’s dreams because he doesn’t really understand them and because he struggles with how a family “should” look and function. I mean, this show partially takes place in the ’70s, when women were just starting to challenge their roles at home. Jack, progressive as he was for his time, still wondered if his wife having a dream that had nothing to do with him meant she wasn’t happy with their family.
Their struggle reflects a lot of what still plays out today in modern relationships and families: What does it look like for a woman to find fulfillment outside of her husband and children and how does that affect the family as a whole? That’s heavy stuff and Jack doesn’t have a lot of help as far as role models to deal with those questions yet.
And then there’s the fact that Jack obviously has problems with drinking and when he’s drinking, all his flaws come bubbling to the surface. Outright jealousy? Yup. Naked insecurity? It’s there. Crippling fear of failure? Triple check.
So as much as we all love Jack, I still think we love him because we can see that he’s a regular dad and a regular husband (albeit with better hair and cooler speeches) who despite his own demons and issues, truly loves his family — and that’s the part we’re all falling for. Because there’s nothing sexier than a man who loves his family.
There may be some who say Jack’s too perfect and his character alone will be responsible for millions of wives wondering why their husbands can’t be more like Jack, but I think deep down we know that we only love Jack so much because he reflects the perfectly imperfect men we have in our own lives.
And I just realized that totally makes me Rebecca. You know, minus the whole can sing and give birth to triplets part.