Are there a million lessons in “A Million Little Things?”
My roommates and I watch Dancing with the Stars together every Monday and Tuesday night on ABC. Each show is two hours long and throughout them, we happened to see the same commercial over and over again, advertising for ABC’s latest show, “A Million Little Things.” The Bruins jerseys in the trailer that they kept replaying was what initially sparked my interest, so instead of muting the commercials like we usually do, the three of us listened to the trailer.
Seemingly made to rival “This is Us”, “A Million Little Things” is a Boston-based television show centered around the lives of a group of guys in the aftermath of their friend’s suicide. It seemed like a feel-good show, with a little bit of tragedy incorporated in it, so I decided to give it a try.
A Million Little Things stars James Roday, who you may know from “Psych”, as Gary Mendez. The lothario of the friend group, Roday happens to be in remission from breast cancer. David Giuntoli, formerly from “Grimm”, plays Eddie Saville, a recovering alcoholic and former band front man. Romany Malco plays Rome Howard, an aspiring director struggling with depression and Ron Livingston plays Jonathan Dixon, a seemly happy and successful business that stuns his friends and family when he takes his own life at work one day. Since the show attracted such a great cast, I anticipated that it would be entertaining and well-written.
The trailer makes the show appear seemingly innocent, in the sense that it would be a heartwarming story of good friends bonding following Jon’s death. However, that is not entirely the case. Right from the start of the pilot, twists and turns start to pop-up, exposing hidden secrets that each of the friends are keeping from each other. Jon’s death, although it is evidently a suicide, is shrouded in mystery from the beginning.
No one is sure why he did what he did and his secretary is making matters worse by hiding what appears to be the suicide note he left for his wife. Within the pilot, a secret affair is already exposed between two characters and one of the others is harboring a dark secret about his own depression.
The show is claiming that it plans to address suicide and its complications, which it has not overly done in the first episode. All the drama surrounding Jon’s death, as well as the additional character flaws with Jon’s friends, overwhelm the initial message. The theme that the show seems to be pushing is that “everything happens for a reason.” You first hear those words spoken by Jon during the first time the four enthusiastic Bruins fans met while trapped in an elevator, which resulted in a ten-year long friendship centered around their mutual love of hockey and season ticket partnership. Each of the four men’s wives or love interests also play roles in the show, seeing as they became friends because of their husbands.
Starting from the first ten minutes of the show, I knew it was going to be a tear-jerker, but I was not anticipating just how many different levels the show was going to have. The pilot has me hooked, and I am anticipating how the circumstances around Jon’s death are unraveled. I am looking forward to watching the additional subplots unfold, and to see whether the characters’ friendship will stay intact, or if it will all come crashing down as their secrets are exposed. “A Million Little Things” airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC, and I definitely recommend giving it a shot.
Samantha Surowiec, a sophomore, studies History. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.