Pamela Adlon responds with shock and grief to Better Things co-creator Louis CK's admissions

Pamela Adlon has released a statement today about the allegations and admissions made against and by her long-time collaborator Louis CK this week, stating that she is “devastated” and “grieving” over CK’s statement that several stories recently printed about him in The New York Times—alleging that he masturbated in…

An uneven Better Things still packs a wallop

For an episode that dips into the spiritual, “White Rock” gets awfully literal. The ghosts are from Phil and Sam’s pasts, but it’s young Duke who’s seeing dead people. And despite Olivia Edward’s best efforts—she does the “little old soul” thing well here—the scenes with the First Nations man and the apparition in…

Better Things straddles the line between decent and dickish

Closure is a tricky thing. The first season of Better Things picked up well after Sam and Xander’s divorce, diving right into her single-mom life. But Xander’s always been at the back of her mind, just like he’s in the periphery of his kids’ lives. The reasons for their split haven’t really been explored, but in his…

Some lessons are learned a little too easily on Better Things

There’s really no such thing as being disappointed by an episode of Better Things (certainly not yet). And I don’t expect the show to plumb the emotional depths it did last week in “Phil” with every outing, because it would be exhausting for everyone involved. The show often operates in standalone mode, mining as much…

FX can’t get enough of Better Things either, orders 3rd season

While the global tire fire that is existence these days rages on, we’d like to take a moment to remind you of the Better Things in life—namely, that FX has ordered a third season of Pamela Adlon’s superb dramedy. The series is inspired by Adlon’s life as a working single mother and a working actor, but renders…

Better Things tackles nice guys and too-nice women

Leading by example is not Sam Fox’s style. She’d have to be a paragon of virtue for that, and she is decidedly not. She has flaws—many, many flaws—and what’s more is, she doesn’t hide them from her kids. She doesn’t pretend to be unflappable or unerring. Sam lets them see her sweat and fail, lets them know how…

A charmingly digressive conversation with the kids of Better Things

After playing sisters for two seasons of Better Things—the second of which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on FX—Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, and Olivia Edward have developed a certain bond. “I love them so much, it’s nauseating sometimes,” Madison told The A.V. Club at this summer’s Television Critics Association…

The 35 best TV performances of 2016 (and one worst)

With more scripted television programs in production than ever before, it follows that there are now a wider range of opportunities for television actors. Looking back at the performances that caught The A.V. Club’s eyes in 2016 confirms that hypothesis: While some of our favorite character actors found new facets of…

Better Things closes out its first season by inadvertently proving how vital it is

Better Things wraps up its first season with the stellar “Only Women Bleed,” named after the Alice Cooper song that the Fox women sing at the end of the episode together. “Only Women Bleed” is a song about a woman in an abusive relationship, and on was read for as misogynist when Cooper first released the ballad that…