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Series / Casual

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Casual is a 2015 dramedy series airing on Hulu, executive produced by Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air). Unlike how Netflix uploads an entire season's worth of episodes for their Originals all at once, new episodes of Casual —and other Hulu Originals like The Mindy Project— drop weekly.

It stars Michaela Watkins (Saturday Night Live. Trophy Wife) as Valerie, a therapist in the midst of a messy divorce with an unfaithful husband that prompts her and teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr) to move in with her younger brother Alex (Tommy Dewey), the (depressed) creator of a Tinder-like dating app. Eliza Coupe, Patrick Heusinger, and Frances Conroy also star.

Its ten-episode first season aired in Fall 2015; a second season of thirteen episodes began in June 2016.

Casual provides examples of:

  • All Women Are Prudes: Averted with each female character, who display positive attitudes toward sex.
  • Dom Com: Technically counts as one, since it portrays a family living together, but one could argue it's actually a supervision or deconstruction of the trope because of how fractured and untraditional they are.
  • Erotic Dream: Laura has one about her and Michael hooking up in his darkroom. And then Valerie has one about Alex, inadvertently.
    • One of Laura's patients has a rather graphic one about his father. The patient questions what this means, since he isn't gay and has no desire to have sex with his father.
  • Fille Fatale: Laura's on her way to becoming the adult variant of this.
  • Handsome Lech: Alex is an attractive guy, but his personality is deemed offputting by some.
  • Hot for Teacher: Laura has a not-so-secret crush on Michael, her photography teacher. Even after she catches him having sex with her mother.
  • Hot Teacher: It's not hard to see why Laura would be infatuated with Michael.
  • Incest Subtext: Valerie and Alex are pretty close, to the point where they're called out on it by their respective dates at a restaurant. And then Valerie has an uncomfortably suggestive dream about him one night..
  • Love Triangle: Laura, Michael, and Valerie.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Emmy serves as a fairly straight example of this for Alex.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Laura stages and leaks a sextape with her ex-boyfriend to gain the Michael's sympathy.
  • Missing Mom: Dawn isn't much of a presence in Valerie and Alex's lives ... until she is.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense" Valerie's family in general — they seem to be quite affluent and well-off, but they often make poor decisions.
  • Stacy's Mom: Valerie's pretty attractive, which gets her a fair bit attention from younger men.
  • Polyamory: Emmy already has a boyfriend when Alex meets her, but neither of them seem to mind his third wheel.
  • May–December Romance: Laura sees herself and Michael being one of these. It actually ends up being him and Valerie, albeit with a less drastic age difference between them.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Laura — or at least she thinks.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Laura thinks she'll get Michael to fall for her flirtations. He doesn't, for obvious reasons.