Thursday, June 16, 2016

What I’m Watching: Casual (Season Premiere)

Casual: Season 2, Episodes 1 and 1 “Phase 3” and “Trivial Pursuit” (B+)

I’m not crazy – this show did come back a lot sooner than more other series do, airing its first season from October to December and then starting its second season at the very beginning of this summer. I couldn’t be happier, since a look back at all the television from last season and I believe this may have been the best comedy (check out the AFT Awards next month!). This double-episode premiere picks up at a troubling point for its characters, namely for Tommy, who was acting suicidal after he broke things off with Emmy, and Laura, who has decided that she doesn’t want to go back to school after all the drama with her teacher. I like that Valerie went to Leon for help getting Tommy back on the right track, and that he had already come by to throw out all of Leon’s food and force him to adopt the same healthy lifestyle that he was trying. Leon managed to succeed slightly by using his own separation as a motivator for Tommy, but the soon-to-be-bought-out coder had a different distraction in mind. His absurd list of electives for an unamused Laura was very funny, and I’m glad that, within the span of the second episode, she found a tolerable alternative that will make this home-schooling thing work. Valerie showing up to her old friend’s new friend’s birthday dinner was horrifically awkward and uncomfortable, and I’m glad that she had a therapeutic moment with Drew to balance out her ill-advised attempt to disagree about parenting. Maybe Katie Aselton’s Jennifer can be a real new friend, though given her influence on “Togetherness,” I’m concerned for Valerie’s wellbeing. I look forward to enjoying this show throughout the summer!

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