Casual, now streaming on Hulu, was recommended to me be a friend and at first I didn’t like it. After the first few episodes I felt like it was just another sitcom with funny but shallow characters trying to have as much sex as possible. Thankfully, I was wrong. A lot of it is about sex but in a way that shows how this hyper sexualized culture destroys people’s capabilities to have healthy relationships. The opening sequence even does a clever thing where it scrolls through different types of relationships, stops on monogamous for a second, before scrolling back up to casual.
The characters in this show start out seeming very cliche and shallow; there’s a recently divorced mother trying to get back into the dating game, a socially awkward guy trying to find love and a confused, ambitious teenager. But, you come to find out these characters actually have a lot of depth to them. Each one of the characters represents different stage of the dating world and tension builds as these stages collide. Something unique about this show is how it blends the friend/family group, while most similar shows are centered around one or the other, Casual combines the two. Because of their childhood, the characters ability to have a relationship has been destroyed. Through trails of seeking relationships and attempts to be the exact opposite of their parents they end up being more like them then they would like. This sort of struggle makes the characters feel real and relatable. They have real life struggles and try to find happiness in everything possible, but are always left wanting more. This is unique compared to other shows of the similar genre where sex is the goal, but in casual the characters are unsatisfied with being casual.
Another great asset to this show is the acting, especially from Michaela Watkins and Tommy Dewey, the two main characters mentioned earlier. Their performance is so on point, you would think these roles were made for them. They bring the awkward and uncomfortable moments to life to the point where I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed for them. That being said they also perform exceptionally well in the more serious scenes bringing in high levels of raw tension.
My main complaint of this show is the nudity. There are a couple pretty graphic scenes that don’t bring anything to the show. Especially since the message I got from the show was how the hyper sexualized culture they live in has negative effects on their relationships. If that is the message (and it may not be) those scenes could have been cut and the show would be just as good and more effective.
Overall this show is well worth the watch. It is much more than your average sitcom, it does a great job of balancing humor, tension and real life struggles, while infusing new depth into tired themes.
499 rating – 8.5 / 10
Now streaming on HULU
Author : Colby King