'Casual': Five reasons why this Hulu show should be on your must-watch list
Hulu's 'Casual' tells the story of semi-functional family that finds itself thrown into the crazy world of dating and heartbreaks, and the absolute absurd concept of the dating app
Hulu's 'Casual' has taken its viewers on a topsy-turvy ride through love, family, and sex across the first three seasons. The story revolving around a newly divorced mother and her rebellious teenage daughter clubbed together with a lethargic brother who has his own rules of dating, 'Casual' has been a show which probably tugs at all the right strings when it comes to emotional attachments.
While the first three seasons saw the family of three (Valerie, Alex, and Laura) break down to the point where each one reflects upon their decisions in life only to realize that life happens the way it's supposed to, Season 4 which is also the final season of the series will probably see all the broken pieces being glued together. The show which comes from 'Juno's' director Jason Reitman certainly has sufficient reasons to be given a good farewell for all the good times that it has given us.
So, here are five reasons why we are eager to watch 'Casual' Season 4.
1. The Interested Independent Woman
Michaela Watkins said during an interview with The Times, "[Valerie] just feels more close to who I am. It’s a little scary, because if people really reject her—and she’s not a perfect person—it cuts closer to the quick." Watkin's Valerie isn't just a woman who is desperately looking for a rebound. It would be proper to say that the newly divorced middle-aged wife does not let her age control her passion, and that is probably the most attractive feature about Valerie. Valerie takes up casual dating when her brother Alex introduces her to his dating app Snooger through which she meets several strangers and goes through a couple of one-night stands. But is this a proper age to do so? Maybe, maybe not. But honestly, who cares? It's all just casual. 'Casual' puts up the fact that it is never too late to get back on the field and start having fun again. Valerie sometimes has fun, sometimes she learns more about the dating trends of her daughter's generation when she parties all night with a group of 20-somethings, she has fun when she cannot overlook her date's inner insecurities, but she definitely keeps her stakes high when she dates.
However, what is most charming about Valerie is that the character is not one-dimensional. Apart from being a family person with a daughter and a brother, Valerie is a genuinely zealous human being. She takes the rules of dating seriously but turns them completely upside down when it comes to developing some actual connection with a person. Season 4 will see this interesting character taking up a life-changing decision, and probably that will bring her to more closer to her own self.
2. Mother-Daughter Dynamics
The mother-daughter relationship in the series is one of its kind. Their relationship faces it all- love, frustration, anger, disappointment, pity, compassion, and some more love. While Tara and Michaela have delivered the duo's dynamic with some sincere craftsmanship, the authentic dynamic between these two lies in the fact that they are equally clueless of the world around them. While Laura falls in and out of love and goes through some serious heartbreaking episodes only to discover her own sexual orientation, Valerie struggles to put her daughter on the right track as she herself stumbles into the dating world. The mother and daughter found themselves in an odd situation in the first season when the two were apparently dating the same man. However, over the next two seasons, the two characters took away each other's spotlights as they grew according to their own time.
Valerie seems to be in a tie between a failed marriage and a daughter who is wise beyond her years. Laura doesn't hold herself back from openly criticizing her mother, thus making age only a number between the two. However, the two are equally empathetic towards each other as they are both equally independent when it comes to following their gut. In an interview with Decider, Tara said, "This mother-daughter in particular, it’s a very strange, weirdly close relationship, but there’s good and bad to it. It’s a lot less contentiousness this season, but there are moments when Valerie sits Laura down and tells her what’s what, and Laura does the same thing with Valerie." In Season 4, the mother and daughter will probably put all of their tussles behind as Laura returns from her stay abroad, maybe a little more settled in her thoughts now.
3. Family Comes First
The one thing that 'Casual' has asserted is that family always comes first. While on one hand, Laura and Valerie share a stunning dynamic when it comes to their relationship, Alex too contributes in defining what a true family actually is. Although the show is popular for its playful nudity, it is also a lot about each family member baring his/her soul to each other. Alex lets his sister and her daughter in his house following Valerie's break up in the first season, however the semi-functional family soon falls apart following Valerie and Alex's father's death. Alex is lonely and an absolute mess when his sister moves out, but the only thing which bothers him is that if the two will be able to make it in the world all by themselves. Although he keeps putting his feet in s**t from time to time, he works as the support system for the two women. He clearly tries to avoid getting in between the mother and daughter, but cannot really avoid it most of the time since he is the only man in the family.
Alex's character is interestingly paced as his character evolves through the series to almost become the only protective man in Laura's life. Although he maintains his bonds as a sibling with Valerie, he becomes a friend and a moral support for Laura, who in this case could probably be seen on the parallel lines as a foster daughter.
In spite of him and Rae being left to the loose ends with her pregnancy, probably the pair will finally raise a child together in Season 4.
4. Online Dating Craze
What makes 'Casual' the perfect series to watch in 2018 is how contemporary it is. The show is chiefly weaved around Alex's dating app Snooger through which Valerie begins to date boys younger to her age. It not only reflects upon the reality of dating in the age of smartphones but actually points out how it can affect someone's life- sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way. When Valerie breaks Alex's rules of dating he is immediately interviewed about his app. However, he has to consider an offer from a venture capitalist in order to prevent Snooger from going down. The app is not just about bringing people together. Any dating app primarily brings out a person's scale of judging another person, forming an opinion based on a picture with over 10 filters on it, and simply filling up an entire form just to have sex. When Valerie finds herself in a world where everything is easily available but not in its entirety, she is at the same time both excited and terrified of the idea.
Season 4 is supposed to show Valerie making a life-changing decision. Will she finally step out of the virtual world of dating or will she be able to play the game right and find the right one?
5. In Conclusion
'Casual' has been quite the journey so far. It has taken its viewers through the many dimensions in a relationship giving a perspective of hope and despair which often come hand-in-hand in any kind of relationship. However, what chiefly helps 'Casual' to be so relatable is the understanding among the characters. While Hulu has given itself a limited six-episode run for the final season to tie together all the loose ends, it is probably time for the family too to put things back together. Laura will probably settle down with her new girlfriend after she moves back from abroad, which probably suggests that the series will end on a happy note for the character of Laura. However, if Alex and Rae are actually raising their kid together, then what about Valerie? The only thing that can be said right now is that Valerie will make a life-changing decision, and if it will involve Alex or Laura or simply no one, only time will tell. All we can say is the woman's going to screw up her life and she will do it on her own terms.
'Casual' Season 4 is set to air on Hulu on July 31, Tuesday. But before that, catch up with the trailer here: