Casual won’t be all about easy sex. At Hulu’s first TCA panel of the day, show creator Zander Lehmann said the upcoming comedy’s characters are “open” about everything. “They talk about things, they share these things in a not too serious way,” Lehmann said. “I think the ultimate idea is they’re casual about things, things don’t matter as much as we want them to.”
Hulu gave TCA attendees a look at Casual, which Lehmann promises will buck recent conventions in more ways than one: Unlike the Netflix binge model, the Hulu series will air weekly, more like traditional television. Binge watching, said Lehmann, “is something you tend to do alone,” while a weekly show creates an opportunity to connect socially. “You can have a set time, go with your friends,” he said. “We’re getting together, we’re experiencing it together and we can talk about it after.”
Casual, exec produced by Lehmann with Jason Reitman, Helen Estabrook and Liz Tigelaar, follows a bachelor brother and his newly-divorced sister living under the same roof again, with her teenaged daughter in tow. The two coach one another through dating and singlehood.
On hand at TCA to discuss were Reitman, Estabrook, Tigelaar, Lehmann, and stars Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins, and Tara Lynn Barr. The talk yielded little in the way of information that isn’t already out there, but the panelists did have the opportunity to talk about themes underlying the series, from technology and dysfunctional families to parent/child dynamics in the 21st century.
Not that the show is shy about sex. A clip reel shown before the panel included a moment when the teenage daughter (Barr) nonchalantly talks to her mother and uncle midway through initiating sex with her boyfriend. While the boyfriend is mortified, Barr’s character acts like it’s no big deal, as do her mom and uncle. That kind of openness is, at least according to Watkins, somewhat common, especially in Los Angeles.
“This relationship between a mother and daughter I’ve seen reflected in LA more often than not,” Watkins said, later adding, “You get these kids who look you in the eye and talk to you like they’re your equals,” which means, she continued, “you look to them for all kinds of information, like restaurants, or bands…”
The show also depicts how technology shapes lives and relationships. “Most of our relationships now function through our thumbs,” Reitman said, adding that when directing extras to look natural, “we tell them just pull out your thumbs”.
Casual‘s ten episode first season premieres October 7, 2015.