Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What I’m Watching: Casual (Season Premiere)

Casual: Season 4, Episode 1 “Carrie” (B+)

I had almost completely forgotten about this show, one that I always found to be underappreciated. Even though its third season wasn’t quite as good as the first two, I still see that I wrote that I wouldn’t want things to have ended at this point, and so, fortunately, we have eight episodes left to finish out everything. They all premiered on July 31st, and in addition to playing catch-up, I’m still going to watch one per week to make it last as long as possible. Flashing forward a few years is a helpful device, because we’re able to see how things are completely the same for Valerie in a way that isn’t helpful for her and is giving her nightmares, while the way that both Alex and Laura is completely different, though they’re fated to fall back into old habits. Valerie doing a therapy session with Leia showed how much she hasn’t progressed while her onetime assistant is now married to a much angrier, unhappier, and gradually anti-American Leon. Finding her neighbor dead and alone is going to serve as a serious wake-up call to make some changes in her life. Alex hasn’t just lost his facial hair, he’s also now an overprotective dad who thinks that his idyllic relationship with Rae and their daughter might last while she clearly has different expectations. I knew I recognized his potentially Republican love interest, and she was played by Dorian Brown Pham, best known as Kirsten on “Wilfred.” Laura has settled into what appears to be a healthy relationship with her new girlfriend, although not wanting to go out at the end of the episode might have deeper implications for the stability of her new life. I’m eager to see where all this goes and happy to report that this is a positive start to this show’s final year.

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