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Her mother, Phyllis (Celia Imrie), lives next door and remains a near-constant presence in her daughter’s home, but Sam’s focus remains on her children, job and personal life — Phyllis is allowed to invade only when invited.Within this attitude toward her mother — as well as the main cast’s exclusively female composition — is Sam’s enviable outlook: Self-sacrificing to a point, she will do anything for her family, but not at the expense of herself.Her mind is presented via stream of consciousness storytelling that should feel familiar to “Louie” devotees.Held together by themes both specific and broad, “Better Things” bounces from subject to subject with a keen eye for connective tissue.The TCA winter press tour rolls on, and at yesterday’s FX panel, Louis C. seemed happy to dive right into discussions about Louie’s season 4 goings-on.As noted by attendees, “it took all of two questions to get to in “Pamela: Part 1,” and it’s interesting to read the two participating stars’ comments this many months later.
Told from an assuredly feminist perspective, “Better Things” follows Sam, a working actress living in Los Angeles with her three daughters, Max (Mikey Madison), Frankie (Hannah Alligood) and Duke (Olivia Edward).
Because of the series’ non-linear construction, it’s impossible to know where we’ll be at the end of Season 1.
But we already feel confidant that better things are on the horizon.
While Sam wouldn’t necessarily argue with that notion, she’s impressively independent from and with her kids.
Many chronicles of parental frustration focus on the mother as a martyr instead of a real human being with thoughts, desires and needs all her own, but Adlon finds a way to externally encapsulate so much of her inner monologue that we fully understand her motivations, start to finish.
One’s first reaction to “Better Things” is probably a comparison, however favorable, to Louis C.