‘A Million Little Things’ has decent plot, relies too much on drama

ABC’s new drama “A Million Little Things” is a decent blend of story, plot development and emotions, to which viewers can relate.

The show brings suicide into the forefront of the plot when Jon (Ron Livingston) commits suicide, leaving his friends and family to ask how such a thing could have happened. The focus of the story are Jon’s friends as they wonder why he never told them he was suicidal.

The friend group and the leading characters in the show are all men who became friends out of circumstance, and all are dealing with problems of their own. Gary (James Roday) is recovering from breast cancer, Eddie (David Giuntoli) is having an affair, and Roman (Romany Malco) is facing his own bouts with depression and attempted suicide.

“A Million Little Things” does spend a good amount of time following subplots filled with drama that would rival a soap opera and detract from the main theme. In the end the show still delivers in being a riveting story anyone who has faced depression or suicide can relate to.

Admittedly, things are a bit too dramatic at times and the on-going question of why Jon committed suicide does trivialize the symptoms of mental illness. Sometimes, to seem more compelling to a wider audience, the show slips into a procedural-drama feel while all the characters scramble to solve the mystery of the week.

Despite those drawbacks, the core of the show, dealing with suicide and depression, is still compelling and keeps viewers engaged.

A common theme throughout the show is “everything happens for a reason.” This was the motto for Jon and this theme will make viewers question the validity behind its meaning within their own lives.

The characters in the show are all well-developed with strong actors portraying them. A standout is James Roday, whose previous work in comedy is not limiting his ability to deliver heart-wrenching moments on screen. His subtleties in words or body language convey a depth no other actor on the show matches.

Roman, saved from his recent suicide attempt by Gary, is struggling to live with his depression. Those moments when viewers see the character attempting to live with mental illness are complex and moving.

The show is an excellent watch for anyone who enjoys bittersweet drama. Also, the show’s unique take on maintaining friendships as adults will make viewers think about relationships in their own lives.

“A Million Little Things” is on ABC every Wednesday at 9 p.m.