Sunday, November 12, 2017

What I’m Watching: Better Things

Better Things: Season 2, Episode 9 “White Rock” (B+)

This show has been introducing a lot of new characters lately without much backstory, and it takes a bit of time to understand who they are and what their relationships are to the characters that we know. We haven’t seen Phil in a while, and apparently she has a perfectly lovely brother and sister-in-law that we’ve never met who were more than happy to have Sam and her daughters visit. After Frankie acknowledged that she didn’t want to help Sam with the luggage when they arrived, things got considerably sweeter with the relationships that were forming. Frankie showing interest in woodworking as an activity to do with her great-uncle was really nice, and Max sobbing when she said goodbye to her great-aunt was sweet too (she really does cry a lot). Duke was out on her own, watching a woman who she didn’t know if was real and then hilariously summing up all the possibilities of what she could be seeing in a sentimental goodbye speech. Now, the most memorable and impactful part of this episode was the news casually revealed by Lester that Sam had an aunt she never knew about, who was apparently put in a mental institution when she was a teenager and had died years earlier. Sam’s conversation with the woman who answered the phone and wanted to mail her Marion’s records was this episode’s dramatic backbone, and Sam’s refusal to acknowledge her mother behind her at the end of the episode shows how betrayed she feels. The season finale airs next week, and this show has already been renewed for a third season, which may be impacted by the allegations that have come out against Louis C.K. but likely won’t since Pamela Adlon is more than capable of steering this ship.

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