Streaming Exclusive Day 5: Hulu’s a thing.

My Mood For the Day: Wanting to finish Master of None. 

What I Watched: Netflix’s Master of None (S2:E9-S2:10), Hulu’s Difficult People (S1:E1), and Hulu’s Casual (S1:E1-S1:E3).

What IMDb says: The personal and professional life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York. (Master of None) 

— Life is really tough for Julie and Billy, two 30-something aspiring comics living and working in New York City. While their friends and acquaintances move on to find success and love, they continue to struggle with careers and relationships, getting more bitter by the day. (Difficult People) 

— A new comedy series about a bachelor brother and his newly divorced sister living under one roof again. Together, they coach each other through the crazy world of dating while raising her teenage daughter. (Casual)

 

My Thoughts On I Watched: Master of None was alright and I’m certainly excited to see Season 3 which will hopefully happen, but today’s episodes were not exactly strengths. Episode 9, the one that was 57 minutes for some reason, was primarily about Dev’s feelings for that Italian girl. To be honest, this has always been kind of a meh plotline for me. There’s always been something artificial about this romance, the feeling that it’s only happening because a room full of writers decided it should rather than chemistry between the characters.

(SEASON 1 SPOILER) One of the charming things about the Season 1 arc of Master of None is that Rachel is first introduced as a one night stand when the condom breaks. You have no idea in this first sequence that she is actually going to end up in a relationship with Dev. There’s a natural evolution to it. In episode 1 of Season 2, we learn that Dev works with a beautiful Italian woman who laughs at his jokes but oh, she’s in a relationship. It feels like a romantic comedy set up we’ve seen a million times before.

The most exciting discovery of today though was by far Hulu’s series Casual. I had vaguely heard of it and had been intrigued by trailers but had never seen it. I was also under the impression that Billy Eichner was in it, but upon my arrival to Hulu I learned he’s actually in Difficult People, so after trying that show and not really liking it at all, I decided to go back to Casual. 

This definitely falls into that sort of half hour drama category that to my knowledge, didn’t exist ten years ago. It really doesn’t make me laugh, but unlike Difficult People which also didn’t make me laugh, Casual isn’t really trying. It takes a rather familiar formula of throwing a Type A and Type B into the same house, but what’s somewhat unorthadox is how it’s a brother and a sister that are essentially raising a teenager. In some ways Valerie and Alex have the potential to function the way most sitcom parents do, with Valerie being the “you’re grounded” parent and Alex being the “isn’t that a little harsh?” parent. But the fact that they are siblings instead of a married couple gives us a whole array of dynamics to play with we wouldn’t otherwise see, namely Alex trying to get Valerie laid.

I also love how the show inverts a rather common romcom arc, i.e. the player learning how to fall in love and be in a committed relationship. Here it’s about a divorceé learning how to have casual relationships.

My Thoughts On Streaming in General: When you have the option to watch whatever you want whenever you want, it’s a real pain in the ass to have to write a blog post before you can continue the new show you discovered yesterday.

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