The Better Things in Life

“Mother, you had me, but I never had you.”

John Lennon


The joy I feel when watching FX’s Better Things, is more astutely experienced than it is explainable. To give a little insight into my life: I was raised by a single mother in a household consisting of my younger brother, my two younger sisters, and myself. When we’re out in public, we tend to draw stares and attention because we draw out the kookiness and absurdity in each other that typically lies dormant when around others. My family moved from Cincinnati, OH to a small southeastern Indiana town back in 1996, and we still to this day, are affectionately viewed as “funky” outsiders. This association has cultivated in me an appreciation for strange family dynamics that do not seem to fit in the standard sitcom household. So when FX started advertising Better Things, featuring Pamela Adlon, (the woman behind the voice of Bobby Hill from King of the Hill), I was already sold.

Following an already standout performance as Pamela on Louie, Adlon exemplifies the tenacity and intricacy of what it means to be a single mother in the modern age. To address the elephant trunk in the room, I am thankful that Adlon and FX’s response to Louis CK’s sexual misconduct is to continue the show with CK removed from the program (in all capacities including: writing, directing, and production). I won’t speak to the greater complexity of this recent upheaval of Hollywood’s sexual predators, (that is a subject for another, and mo