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Casual

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casual portraitCreator: Zander Lehmann
Directors: Jason ReitmanFred SavageMichael WeaverMax WinklerTricia Brock
Genre: Dark Comedy
Rating: TV-MA
Runtime: 25 min.
Starring: Michaela WatkinsTommy DeweyTara Lynne Barr

CC Score:
Good! Why watch it?

Casual is a new Hulu original series about a recently divorced psychiatrist who moves in with her bachelor brother. Together they help each other through the world of dating, while struggling to raise her teenage daughter.

In 2015, the “typical American family” no longer exists. A two parent monogamous heterosexual home is a rarity. The boundaries of normal have blurred and divorce is the new average. Other series have explored the idea of what a family has become such as Transparent and Modern Family, but Casual is a happy medium on the spectrum. It’s not as heavy as Transparent, but it’s much darker than Modern Family. In just 25 minutes it manages to evoke a range of emotions, while remaining a breezy watch.

As I’ve mentioned before, I believe it’s far better to find emerging talent than to pay for a star. First of all, the money saved can be allocated elsewhere to further the series and secondly the characters are simply more believable. They have yet to be type cast and the general audience doesn’t think of them as another character from an entirely different series. I love the decision to cast Michaela Watkins and Tommy Dewey as brother and sister. It’s not as if this is their first role, but it is their first time leading a series and they prove capable to say the least.

Writer Zander Lehmann comes out strong with his debut series. Casual succeeds in it’s own realism.The cynical commentary between siblings Valerie and Alex is comical, touching and at times heart breaking and one can’t help but empathize with Laura, the teenage daughter who feels lost and troubled by her unrequited love. Nothing seems over the top or exaggerated and even the clichés are portrayed tastefully. Whether it’s the middle aged brother and sister, their aging parents or the teenage daughter, the comedy is relatable and each demographic finds it’s voice.  Everyone can find some common ground with Casual.

Tommy Dewey is especially likable as Alex. If two men could procreate, he would be the love child of Joel Michale and Seth Mcfarlane. He has that same cavalier, sarcastic attitude and even looks like he could be their younger brother, but with one major improvement, he can act. He plays the part of a detached, unmotivated, lost soul quite well. At first, he comes across as a narcissistic misogynist, but like most great characters, he finds redemption in an honorable fashion.

Tommy Dewey and Michaela Watkins complement each other perfectly. She has been a working actress for years and has had many reoccurring roles on a variety of series, but this is her first real chance at drama. She holds nothing back with her portrayal of Valerie, the recently divorced psychiatrist, sister and mother. At the divorce proceedings we can actually see the pain behind her eyes, when she tries dating for the first time, we feel the butterflies in her stomach and even when she lectures her daughter, it feels a little too close to home. However, the most important relationship in the series is between Valerie and Alex. Though their parents and significant others haven’t always been there for them, they have always been there for each other. Their onscreen chemistry is on par with actual siblings. The unconditional love and support between the two is palpable and what makes this series so gerat.

If you’re a fan of dark comedies, I absolutely recommend Casual. It’s raw, realistic and genuinely funny. Not to mention you can knock out the series in under 5 hours. Check out the trailer and click the instant streaming link below to start watching. Bing on my friends!

Watch Now: Casual: Season 1 

Let us know what you think!

Casual reviewed on December 14, 2015 by rated 3.8 of 5

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