Created by series star Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., "Better Things" feels like an extension of C.K.'s marvelous FX show, "Louie"--in fact, Adlon was a series regular on "Louie." They both share the same awkward, sometimes bizarre, engrossing-yet-anxious style of comedy, and they both feature stories, scripts, and performances that are at once comedy, black comedy, and poignant, penetrating moments of reality. It's a hard balancing act and C.K. achieved it brilliantly on his own show, and the pair do it here effortlessly. There have only been two shows broadcast so far, and one can feel the quality and import in every second. Although the show is rooted in a "situation" and comes in a thirty-minute format, it feels light years away from a typical "situation comedy."
Adlon is Sam Fox, a divorced mother of three girls and a struggling actress who was once, apparently, a child/teen star. Her life in Los Angeles is fraught with all the same things the rest of us suffer, but she must wade through the ignominies of the entertainment industry as well (and I can say that from experience, having waded--and continue to wade--through the business myself, a little worse for the wear). The rest of the cast, especially the young girls, seem extremely capable and talented, but it's Adlon's show. And she is marvelous. Funny yes, but also so touching and tender.
Recommend? YES! Especially if you liked "Louie"--hurry and catch the third episode!