Tuesday, March 31, 2020

What I’m Watching: Better Things

Better Things: Season 4, Episode 4 “DNA” (B+)

It wasn’t always the case that people could swear so flagrantly on basic cable. I distinctly remember years ago when Vic Mackey got so angry on “The Shield” and slammed his hand down on the dashboard of his car to cover his use of an expletive. That’s no longer how things are, with cable networks over the past few years opting to no longer self-censor. I still wouldn’t have imagined a scene like the one between Sam and Max where they lobbed a particularly crude and hateful word back and forth at each other, but I suppose it was its severity that made them realize how they really felt about each other. Max sounded extremely entitled and ungrateful when she expressed her frustration at Sam not having done the laundry, and their little heart-to-heart after seemed to be rather therapeutic in the end. There were some random moments in this episode, like Sam tackling her mother to get her spit for a DNA test and Sam waking up to find an owl at the foot of her bed before Duke walked in calmly to bring it out, and I don’t really know what to say about those. Sam playing the piano and singing at the start was rather moving, which made the transition into Phyl and her friends lamenting new standards of political correctness all the more jarring. I like that Jessica Barden called Sam to tell her that she never existed before this moment and that she was going to discover her, a peculiar sentiment, but one that’s likely to get Sam to a good place that she hasn’t found herself in for quite a while.

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