Its been months, but fans of This Is Us are still reeling from the Super Bowl episode of the beloved drama, which finally revealed how Pearson family patriarch Jack lost his life. In the sob heard round the world, fans watched as a slow cooker quickly became the most loathed small kitchen appliance ever made. Now, in a new interview, Milo Ventimiglia, who plays the time-hopping Jack, reveals that the slow cooker wasn’t always the culprit for starting the fire that burnt down the Pearson home and eventually killed his character. We’re pretty sure the Crock Pot company also wishes This Is Us has used another appliance instead.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly’s Chasing Emmy podcast, Ventimiglia said “I know it did change from [one] kitchen appliance to a slow cooker. It was originally supposed to be something else known to have problems that got abandoned.”
An exploding blender to the face? A curtain catching on fire from a nearby candle? A toaster smoking from a burnt piece of bread? A malfunctioning coffee maker? An oven that wasn’t turned off? A hand towel that got too close to a lit burner on the stove? Okay, now we’re just scaring ourselves out of our own kitchens.
Ventimiglia doesn’t say which appliance was originally in the running but reveals that the This Is Us writing team settled on a slow cooker because of its frequent use during Super Bowl Sunday, which was both the day of the fire on the show and the day the episode aired this year. Very meta. Although the item wasn’t shown to be the Crock Pot brand, the company still issued a statement following the episode after receiving backlash, even starting a Twitter account using the hashtag #CrockPotIsInnocent.
You get a #CrockPot! You get a #CrockPot! You get a #CrockPot! We’re happy that we were able to partner with @TheEllenShow today and provide slow cookers to the entire studio audience. #CrockPotIsInnocent https://t.co/88tZJjtc78
— The Crock-Pot® Brand (@CrockPotCares) February 8, 2018
The This Is Us, Heroes and Gilmore Girls actor said the cast and crew of the drama were stunned by the negative reaction towards Crock Pots. “It was an amazing backlash. It became the responsibility of us to stand up for a group that unfortunately was getting all the fingers pointed at them,” Ventimiglia says. “But it’s also one of those things you think about, the influence of TV. Oh, my god, people are throwing out physical objects that make delicious food because they think one that was 19 years old was at fault [for his death]. We took sympathy over the backlash and tried to do something about it.”
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman later tweeted to fans reminding them that the Crock Pot used in the episode was a 20-year-old malfunctioning appliance and did not represent all slow cookers. Justice for Crock Pots!
Taking a moment to remind everyone that it was a 20 year old fictional crockpot with an already funky switch? Let’s not just lump all those lovely hardworking crockpots together. #ThisIsUs
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) January 24, 2018
This Is Us returns this fall and Ventimiglia has already begun teasing Season 3, revealing that viewers will get to see more of Jack’s past, including his time in Vietnam. Yup, this guy made it through war only to be taken down by a slow cooker.