EXCLUSIVE: 'This Is Us' Season 2 Will Channel a 'Broken' Jack
By Philiana Ng
This Is Us is adding a subtle twist for season two.
Aside from what’s already been established -- that Jack and Rebecca’s storyline kicks off right after their big finale fight, while the Big Three’s respective present day arcs begin on their 37th birthday -- specifics have been few and far between. But This Is Us composer Siddhartha Khosla, who is responsible for the simplistically poignant score accompanying the show’s memorable moments (both big and small), offered a deeper glimpse into what will likely be coming for the Pearson family in the upcoming season.
When asked how This Is Us has evolved from its rookie run, Khosla revealed that season two will have more “rawness” and “vulnerability,” adding that the Pearsons feel “a little more broken, a little more heartbreaking.” Speaking more specifically to the character of Jack, who parted ways with Rebecca in the season one finale, Khosla shared that the character’s bumpy road ahead was the impetus for a less-than-hopeful soundtrack.
“I’m using a different guitar now. It’s my Jack guitar for this season, [and] it’s a different sound,” Khosla told ET during a recent visit to his home studio, adding that he purchased the “sh***y guitar” at an antique store in Vermont “for like, 25 bucks” after realizing he needed a new sound that was slightly more unsettling to illuminate Jack’s arc.
“It’s a little broken, you know?” Khosla said, likening the character’s moodier theme to his difficult path in the early sophomore episodes. “It’s very broken-sounding and I’m using it a lot on season two. It’s mostly for [Jack].”
“I feel like it remains honest to the show and honestly, there are some moments that feel more atmospheric and darker in some places this season,” he teased. “There are moments that are super dark, but for the most part, it’s continuing from where we left off with slight little changes.”
Khosla noted that he and creator Dan Fogelman, an old University of Pennsylvania pal, have had occasional discussions about the overarching vibe of season two, but admitted that he likes to remain unaware of future storylines until it comes time to work on the episodes.
“We know we’re going to find out how Jack dies at some point,” the Goldspot singer said, though don’t expect the music to clue you in on when. ("It’s not like I have a piece of score that would tell you how Jack dies.”) “We know it’s going to come and there are going to be answers throughout the season. I’ve already seen some of the answers and it’s in Dan Fogelman style. There are answers, but then from those answers, there are more questions and then the more questions require more answers, and then those questions require more answers.”
As for how Khosla sees the role his score plays in the grand scheme of This Is Us, he views it much like “an invisible character” who is “constantly commenting on everything he’s seeing.”
“I envision the score for This Is Us to be a character that is omnipresent in all the lives of these characters. And there’s something universal about that character,” he explained. “That character can live in each of those decades with these same people and he’s helping bring a little glue to all of their seemingly disconnected stories."
"To me, the score is the universal picture of these people," Khosla added. "It’s not scoring the tension between people or the joy or the sadness or laughter, it’s scoring the larger connectivity of this family and it’s always there in the background watching, on set, hanging out, observing.”
The official This Is Us soundtrack hits shelves Friday, Sept. 15. This Is Us premieres Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.