Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hulu TV Review: Casual, Season 2 (2016)

Casual Season 2 poster
Casual, Season 2 (2016) - Created by Zander Lehman; Starring Michaela Watkins, Tara Barr, Tommy Dewey, Katie Aselton, Fred Melamed.

By Kenny Howell

Led by a terrific Michaela Watkins, Casual returns for a second season of the troubled Meyers and Cole clan.

Watkins (In a World) returns as therapist Valerie Meyers, a recently divorced woman who is still trying to get her life back in order after the split while also taking care of her slightly troubled teenager in Laura, and very troubled brother tech world giant brother in Alex.

At the beginning of Season 2, Alex has taken the heartbreak from the end of season 1 and channeled that into living clean, exercising, eating extremely healthy and squashing those feelings way deep down inside. That troubles Valerie because, well, it just seems weird. She is trying to reconnect with old friends, and make some new ones, which does lead to some possible new love interests.

Valerie's daughter Laura is trying to shake off a sex tape scandal with a teacher at her former school, and figuring out what her next step is. She looks at other public schools, but that doesn't work, so Alex takes it upon himself to be her home school teacher. That of course doesn't work out for the best, so Laura seeks a home school collective run by parents, but populated with other kids of course.

Casual keeps the same tone as Season 1 which was anchored by the great Watkins. There is nothing flashy about it, which is a strength and weakness. It never tries to do too much and lets the story breathe a bit, let's the talented actors do their thing, but it never reaches those big moments. What it ends up being is a pleasant experience, funny at times, touching at times, insightful at times, but never overly so. If it tries to reach for those moments in Season 3, it could become one of the great shows, but as it is, it goes down just well enough.

Rating: ***

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