Streaming Exclusive Day 7: Still Keeping it Casual

My Mood for the Day: 

What I Watched: Hulu’s Casual (S1:E4-S1:E6), plus seeing I, Tonya at the cinema.

What IMDb says: 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.

My Thoughts On What I Watched: I continue to enjoy Casual. These three episodes maintained the charm of the first three while still expanding the universe: we get to meet Alex and Valerie’s mother, we get a better idea of Alex’s work life, and we continue to learn about Laura as she pursue her photography teacher.

I want to take some time today to further discuss Laura, as I never really have before. Laura is 16 years old and her most defining character trait so far has been sexual activity. I don’t say this in a bad way because really the entire show is themed around sexual activity, but Laura embraces this in a way that 16-year-olds usually don’t. She doesn’t over-romanticize sex or believe that the boy she gave her virginity will one day be her husband. She has sex because she likes it and she will chase after anyone she likes with reckless abandon

What I think makes Laura particularly interesting is that she seems to be in 100% control of most of her life. If she wants to have a relationship with her grandmother, dammit she’s going to in spite of the tense relationship her mother and grandmother have. If she wants to fuck her teacher, dammit she’s gonna go for it. What’s particularly compelling about Laura is that she seems in control when most people in her situation wouldn’t be. She’s 16 and her parents just got divorced. Her world has been turned upside down. That’s what a compelling character is: someone who can be thrust into interesting situations and respond in unexpected ways. This also means that the writers can poke holes in Laura’s confident exterior to give her dimension. We see a little of this when she unexpectedly sees her father and his new girlfriend at a gas station, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Laura’s vulnerable side.

My Thoughts on Streaming in General: I’m almost a week into this and still haven’t watched any hour long shows, save for that 57 minute episode of Master of None. It’s amazing how when tv networks aren’t telling you Monday is sitcom night and Tuesday is police procedural night you learn how short your attention span really is.

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