BETTER THINGS uses its main character to point out that mothers still have a tough job raising children. It is not always fun. It is never easy. It can be heartbreaking. But when you see your child grow from a situation, it prevents you from just giving up on them…until something else happens that makes you rethink why you chose to have unprotected sex.
Max is grown. Well, she says she is. And Sam allows her to believe this until Max decides she no longer wants to be grown. We’ve been there. Teenagers are naturally adept at being delusional. Didn’t you have a moment when you thought you knew more than your parents?
Max’s moment is dating a 35-year-old man. She is 16. Although Sam is disturbed by this, she allows them to come to her house for a party, and she eagle-eyes them the whole time. Her thinking is that it’s better for Max and her old ass boyfriend to be under her roof rather than somewhere else.
I’ve heard this wack theory before. What I know for sure is that this is definitely not a Black thing. At all. I’m not saying it’s a White thing, but for sure, it’s not a Black thing. I get the macro idea of it, but the specific situation is illegal. Illegal activity (and we are not including weed because that’s not a real drug, and I live in Cali, so….) is just cause to yell at your daughter, wave your finger in her face, and if she still doesn’t get it, then call the police on the grown ass man who thinks it’s cool to date teenagers.
Teenagers do not need to go through the motions of learning certain lessons because it could land them in real life danger. Dating an older man is an example. I guess Sam got lucky that this grandpa didn’t inflict any emotional, mental or physical abuse on Max. And yes, that happens! That’s usually the appeal of teenagers for pre-geriatric men.
As Sam kicks him out of the house after her daughter says dating him is “too much”, the guy has the nerve to try to get back into the house to say goodbye to her himself. Sam pulls out the “I will call the police card”, and he jets. He has definitely seen that scene before.
As for Duke – that little kid is a creep. But we’ve all been creeps at 8 or 9. As Max is being sweet-talked by ol’ boy, she is upstairs playing truth or dare with her girl buddies and one boy. She dares one girl to put some monopoly pieces up her crotch. We later find out that she did it, which I am thoroughly amused and disturbed by. WTF is wrong with kids?
I blame it on the inability to keep certain things in your head. As an adult, you may want to say certain things to other adults, but because of your training, you keep it to yourself. It comes out as something passive aggressive, which is just as disturbing, but it wouldn’t land anyone in the hospital. I assume Duke is not just a creep. She probably can’t stand that little girl. And that little girl failed a major test. I assume she will grow up to be one of the densest people that town has ever seen.
Last but not least, Frankie is singing with piano accompaniment by a Black boy that Sam’s mom thinks is underprivileged. Ok, so, this comment was funny because old, racist British White women in comedies are funny. Not. Someone please tell this show who Archie Bunker is. He did the racist White thing the correct way.
And what was even unfunnier but wasn’t meant to be funny haha, it’s just funny weird, is Sam’s response to her mom. She says that the kid’s grandfather is Harry Belafonte. WTF does that have to do with anything? Why can’t his parents just be successful dentists? If you’re a Chris Rock fan, you’ll get it. If not, then just know that Sam’s comment may have been more racist than her mother’s. Check that out.
Overall, “Better Things” was really good. The tone is completely the same as last season. And since that allowed them a season 2, I am sure it will allow them a season 3.
Season 2, Episode 1 (S02E01)
Better Things airs Thursday at 10PM on FX
Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
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Jennifer Ford | Contributor