Sunday, October 22, 2017

What I’m Watching: Better Things

Better Things: Season 2, Episode 6 “Eulogy” (B+)

This show, which just earned a renewal for a third season, is certainly a unique specimen, one that looks at being a single mother in a very unusual way. This episode started out with Sam acting as a life advisor to people who aren’t her children but her students. Her notes to be “tougher in life and weaker in the scenes” were decidedly harsh, and telling the scene partner that he was just boring, something he should work on, was brutal and not terribly helpful. Sam trying to prove to her students that they were putting too much effort in and needed to realize that they wouldn’t achieve much fulfillment from the roles that they were going to get was illustrated in the clearest possible way by the next extended scene, as she filmed the same take over and over again. Her costar was miserable making driving sounds with his lips, and there was so little difference between each successive shot. But that’s what the work is sometimes, and it’s understandable that Sam would want to catch a glimpse of the finished product on television at home. Telling her daughters that she wished they would give her a bit more praise in life was fair, and Frankie’s response that she was a loser was quite hurtful, especially as said in front of her two adult friends. Only on this show would she return home to a simulated funeral, with Duke comforted by the knowledge that she died along with her mom and her other two daughters there to say honest but nice things about her. If she’s looking for a solid Emmy submission for next year, I’d say this is it.

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