Debuting on September 8 on FX, the Pamela Adlon-starring Better Things is the lead role the Emmy winner has long deserved. The smart and strong look at the perils of parenthood, parents, love and the chaos of modern life amid the constant notifications of smartphones will be one of the best things you’ll see on TV this fall.
Far more than a West Coast female version of Louie, which she has appeared on more than two dozen times, the semi-autobiographical series co-created by Adlon and Louis C.K. stars Adlon as Sam Fox, a former child star, working actress and single mother of three, there are also great cameos in Better Things by the likes of Constance Zimmer and Adlon’s former Californication co-star David Duchovny — plus a charming turn by Lenny Kravitz. As I say in my video review above, those appearances in the episodes co-written by Adlon and Louis C.K. only punctuate how well the show balances the necessary anxiety of its subject matter and the realities of its situations.
Tapping into that even more, Better Things has a trio of fine actresses in Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood and Olivia Edward as Sam’s daughters, plus Celia Imrie as Sam’s close-by, narcissistic mother who’s more English than Elizabeth II.
Despite John Landgraf’s concerns there is too much TV out there, FX has really come out swinging this season with this series and the upcoming Atlanta.
Executive produced by C.K., Adlon, M. Blair Breard and Dave Becky, the 10-episode first season of Better Things actually only gets better as it processes, at least from the shows I’ve seen – and that can only be a good thing in this era of Peak TV or anything other.
Take a look at my video review of Better Things above and tell us what you think of Adlon’s long-overdue turn in the spotlight.
Editors’ Note: This review originally ran August 25.