People certainly don't mind crying about fictional TV characters nowadays, but feeling expected to cry about businessman Jon's death on the first episode of A Million Little Things was a little jarring. We simply don't know enough about Jon to feel emotionally attached to him yet, but his daughter's singing tribute at his funeral inspired a few misty eyes among viewers. In case her surprise musical moment was the episode highlight for you, what song does Sophie sing in A Million Little Things? Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now" played a heartbreaking role in the show's pilot episode.
With her guitar in tow, Sophie followed Eddie's eulogy at Jon's funeral with her rendition of the 1969 folk rock song. Eddie, who likely taught Sophie how to play the song, then reprised "Both Sides, Now" at the end of the episode. Avoiding a voicemail from Jon and drawn away from the temptation to drink when his son walked into the room, Eddie played the song for him over a montage of other characters recovering or reeling from the emotional day. The episode closed with emphasis on the line "I really don't know life at all," which poignantly sums up the characters' confusion about Jon's suicide.
Mitchell's song is already known for being a tearjerker, and decades' worth of emotional connections to it shone through in fans' responses to its role. When these versions of "Both Sides, Now" played onscreen and coaxed out some tears, how long we've known these characters didn't seem to matter. From including a Killers song in its opening segment and then repeating Mitchell's song, A Million Little Things definitely won over hearts with its choices of music.
Actress Lizzy Greene's rendition might have introduced some younger viewers to Mitchell's canon, but for some people of a certain age, their first introduction to "Both Sides, Now" likely came from a heartbreaking scene in the Christmas favorite Love Actually. If you thought Sophie's song sounded familiar but couldn't figure out why, look no further than the scene when Emma Thompson's character realizes her husband is emotionally cheating on her as the Joni Mitchell CD he gave her plays in the background.
One Twitter user picked up on the connection right away, joking that A Million Little Things selected the song to immediately destroy the emotions of viewers in their 20s and 30s. When a show stirs up visions of Emma Thompson discreetly crying on Christmas Eve, it definitely has me sold.
As Sophie is a budding guitarist and Eddie likes to remind friends that he once opened for the Killers, music ought to continue playing a vital role on A Million Little Things. Check off another point in your running "how this is like This Is Us" list and keep your fingers crossed that the series doesn't cover "Moonshadow" any time soon. However, based on the pilot, A Million Little Things is welcomed to include as much Joni Mitchell as it likes.
Season 1 of A Million Little Things continues on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.