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A Million Little Things: Episode 1

We've been waiting for the debut of ABC's, A Million Little Things, for months, and it finally premiered on September 26.  The concept of what it means to survive a loved one's suicide hits close to home, and it's an important topic which should be discussed.  It also seemed clear that there would be more to this ensemble's story, and we were curious to see how that played out.  We've always been big fans of Ron Livingston and Romany Malco and wanted to see if James Roday could strike the balance between drama and comedy.

Not sure if we wil make these recaps a regular Clearing out the Clutter feature, but let's check out the first episode and then go from there.


Warning: Spoilers ahead



  • Wait, is that the TD Garden in the opening shot?  This takes place in Boston?  Jesus, that makes it feel even more personal.  A slightly unsettling beginning.


  • We're quickly introduced to an unhappy group of guys:  One is in a bad marriage (Ed), one is battling breast cancer (Gary), and one is about to take a handful of pills (Rome.)  John, a seemingly successful real estate lawyer, is the only one who seems to be in a good place...until he jumps off a ledge.


  • Thankfully we don't see the actual deed.


  • Gary telling John's wife Delilah the bad news is hard to watch.  This show is going to be an emotional challenge.


  • "It doesn't make any sense" is repeated several times.  Trying to wrap one's arms around why someone commits this action can feel overwhelming and take years to process.  In this case, there doesn't appear to be a note, but John's motive will clearly be an ongoing question in this series.


  • "Why wouldn't he tell Delilah he was hurting?" is an important question.  There are all sorts of reasons that people battling depression may keep it to themselves (assuming depression is what caused this, but we'll see.)  Depression easily leads to feelings of isolation and thoughts that no one cares or no one can help.  It's vicious, and it's a liar.


  • It's the same with, "How could I not know?"  People with depression often find ways to cover it up or stay away from others.  No one should have to fight this issue by themselves.  Survivors need to find a way not to blame themselves for what happened.


  • James Roday seems to be handling the darkness and the humor of his role well so far.


  • John's speech about friendship covers one of the two long-term threads being established tonight.  Friendship really is about being there for the ones you care about in all sorts of situations.  Maggie's subsequent comments about keeping secrets highlights the other thread.


  • I assume there will be more of John besides the flashbacks in this first episode.  While at times he sounds almost too good to be true, it's obvious there's more to this character than all of the good deeds.


  • Rome's confession is also heart-breaking. 


Final Thoughts:

If you have personal experience in this area, be warned that A Million Little Things may be too much for you, but you also may find it cathartic.  Maybe just take it slowly and give yourself permission to walk away if it's too much.  There's a lot going on in this show, right from the opening shot.  The cast feels likable, and we want to see where their stories go from here.    Cautiously recommended.


If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, or are worried about someone who might be in trouble, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


A Million Little Things Cast September 27 2018The story begins.  (pic via


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