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Series / Better Things

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Better Things is an FX series created by Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon.

Adlon plays Sam Fox, an aging actress and single mother in Los Angeles, struggling to find work while also raising her three daughters of varying adolescence: Max, an angsty teenager, Frankie a tomboyish tween, and Duke, the youngest of the Fox clan. Also in the picture is Sam's mother Phyllis, with whom she has a complicated relationship.


Better Things contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Sam worries about her daughters, especially Max.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: How Sam's daughters often see her. They're often justified in thinking that way.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Duke is the youngest of Sam's three daughters, and is treated very fondly by pretty much everyone.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Max is very dramatic and whiny, which Sam doesn't buy into. Usually.
  • The Cutie: Duke, being the littlest of Sam's kids, is naturally this.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Sam and all three of her daughters have one. Becomes fairly notable when Sam starts to question Frankie's gender identity.
  • Hollywood Old: As an aging actress in Hollywood, Sam struggles to find substantial roles, usually settling for bit parts.
  • Immigrant Parents: Phyllis is originally from England, but Sam was born and raised in America.
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  • Jitter Cam: The show does this a lot.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In "White Rock", Duke notices a Woman in White who could either be the spirit of either her late, great-aunt, or a suicidal woman who once lived in the area. Whether she's real or just Duke's imagination manifested from hearing about these women is left ambiguous.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": In "Blackout", an Almost Kiss with a friend's ex leads Sam to pull off an absolutely epic one, going on for almost two minutes.
    Sam: ...We calm down. We calm down because this. Is a very. NO.
  • Spear Counterpart: To Louie, which co-creator Louis C.K. also created.
  • Tomboy: Frankie dresses and acts very tomboyish. It's later suggested that Frankie is less tomboyish and more... boyish.
  • Wham Line: In "Only Women Bleed":
    Max: Mom... Frankie's a boy.


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