Sunday, September 24, 2017

What I’m Watching: Better Things

Better Things: Season 2, Episode 2 “Rising” (B+)

IF you didn’t know Sam before watching this episode, I don’t think you’d get a terribly good impression of her from it. That’s because this involved two pretty epic takedowns of the way society sometimes functions in relation to women, and Sam wasn’t about to stand for any of it. The opening piece, starting with Sam engaging in an unsatisfying sexual session before demanding that they leave just seconds after it was complete, primed her for the chance to respond to a simple, seemingly innocent question from the guy and then deliver a very public and harsh skewering of the role women often occupy in relationships. I’m pretty sure that her non-boyfriend was played by John Ales, a recent cast member on the sadly-cancelled “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll,” also from FX. Going away with Sunny and her friends to her rich boyfriend’s home started off a bit rocky with Frankie’s resistance to just being dumped somewhere, with excuses that were at first believable and then outlandish, like that she wouldn’t be fed since they were fasting all weekend. Sunny taking the phone and telling her that she couldn’t bother her mother anymore was a bit extreme, and things seemed fine even after Macy bailed because she was scared of flying. When they got there, however, it took Sam mere moments to decide that this was not somewhere she wanted to be because she had no desire to be set up. Even though she calls them names and isn’t always so fond of them in the moment, it’s all about her daughters, and her little dream sequence about bringing them all to the beach in a fancy car spoke volumes about her true priorities.

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