Profanity over Perfection: Why FX's Better Things is Everything!



Image via Better Things Facebook Page

Better Things on FX is the perfect portrait of motherhood if your brand of motherhood includes; sarcasm, profanity, and very awkward situations. Rated MASL (mature audiences/sexual situations/language), it’s not going to be every mom’s shot of whiskey, but it is without a doubt, my cup of tea.


Better Things is a new comedy on FX about single mom Sam, and her three daughters; Max, Frankie, and Duke. Sam is a struggling, but working actress, busting her ass to get to casting calls, going over lines last minute. Sam also provides her voice to a kids cartoon, and we see her testing out her characters voice in the sound booth, only to be interrupted by a telephone call from one of her kid's teachers. Sam is a hard working mom both outside and inside the home. Her daughters all test the best of her abilities in their own ways, and Sam does her best to stay afloat. Even when she says that she is “dating her daughters”, she still finds quiet time to text a “buddy”, and enjoy some fun flashbacks, until the sexting runs cold.


Think that Better Things doesn’t sound relatable? There are three super relatable scenes from the Pilot!


The show opens with Sam and her youngest daughter Duke in the mall. Sam is sitting on a bench opposite another mom, while Duke stands beside her sobbing uncontrollably. You can see other kiddos jumping in a play area in the background, Sam is on her phone. The mom opposite Sam is just staring at her as Sam stares at her phone. Casually Sam looks up and explains to the woman that her daughter wants a pair of six dollar earrings in the store ( as she points to an unseen location). As Duke continues to cry, Sam explains that Duke doesn’t even have pierced ears, but she wants six dollar earrings, and she (Sam) is not buying them. Sam then tells the woman to go and buy them, no really go and buy my daughter these earrings… After the woman stares at her for a beat, Sam says, Well if you aren’t going to buy them then stop staring!!!


I’ve never laughed harder or related better to a scene on a television show!


In another scene with Sam and Duke, Duke begs her mommy to lay with her at bedtime. Sam is torn because she really wants to lay with her daughter but knows that if she does she will most certainly fall asleep. Sam tells Duke that she has so much work to do that she can’t fall asleep, but Duke presses harder, and finally Sam lays down next to her in her tiny bed. Sam tells Duke not to touch her with her “magic baby hands” because they will make her fall asleep, and if she falls asleep nothing will get done. The camera pans away and in the next shot we see a sleeping Duke and Sam. Sam opens her eyes, you see the realization that it’s the middle of the night, and you see the “Oh F&ck” look on Sam’s face.

Image via Facebook


I could feel Sam’s panic, and totally understood the impending doom. I too have fallen asleep with my kiddos, only to wake up at two in the morning and realize that the lunches never got made, and the spirit wear shirts are still in the wash. Also the "magic baby hands" are a real thing, I swear.


The third relatable scene was on of Sam in the car with her teenaged daughter Max. Max wants her mom to buy pot for her so that her mom can make sure it’s organic. Sam is driving and trying not to drive off the road while looking at her delusional daughter. Her daughter continues to talk with her mom about drugs and sex and it brings Sam to the edge. She finally yells, “Hide things from me! Please!”. That look on Sam’s face is so familiar because sometimes there are just things that my kid talks about that I just don’t want to know, and someday she will be a teenager and I will need her to hide things from me. Or maybe, at the very least, ease me into it very slowly.

Image via Facebook

I have no doubt that Better Things on FX will be one of my favorite TV shows this fall. To me it feels like a reality show, but for many moms Sam maybe over the top. I’m 99% sure that Sam doesn’t have a Pinterest account and her Instagram, if she has one, is filled with snaps of her kids in poor lighting, or over filtered selfies. If she has Facebook it’s most likely filled with profanity and memes that cater to the mom of a certain age and stress level. Better Things is a show that my best friend and I should have written, because while it seems over the top, it’s incredibly accurate. Even if you don’t relate to the situation in the scene, you will relate to the emotion of that scene. I laughed a lot, but I also cried. Better Things just gets me.


I think my favorite scene in the pilot was the end. We see Sam on a movie set, pulling up her Spanx and readying herself to get shit done.


Like every mom, everywhere.

Better Things is Everything.





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