10 Times 'Better Things' Spoke to Our Souls & Got Motherhood Exactly Right

FX's new series Better Things is a show for moms, for single moms, for divorced moms, for moms of young kids, and for moms of teenagers. And you can be any mix of these descriptors to love it. Or not. Quite simply, Pamela Adlon is incredible. The show is funny and real and captures the life of a mom perfectly -- in its perfectly imperfect way. Co-created by Adlon and Louie C.K., this show is -- dare I say -- genius ... and way overdue.


First let's review the show's ad image:

Yeah. It's like this. #BetterThings, the new FX series from @pamelaadlon and Louis CK, premieres 9/8.

A photo posted by Better Things (@betterthingsfx) on

Where can we purchase a pair of those pants? They aren't granny panties -- they are a mix of boy shorts and something I might have found at Joyce Leslie back in the early '90s. I won't get into how or why she would have found herself on the bed in this position, but somehow it makes total sense for this show.

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Right, the show -- let's talk about the show ... and all the ways I, as a fellow (divorced) mom, find it relatable. There are many, which makes it the most current, genuine, and generally excellent half hour I've spent on the couch in a long time. 

Here's why:

  1. Pamela Adlon's character is named Sam Fox. We're going to assume this is short for Samantha, which would make her Samantha Fox. As in, Samantha Fox of "Naughty Girls Need Love Too" fame. No one has lived through the aforementioned '90s Joyce Leslie shopping trip without knowing who Samantha "I Wanna Have Some Fun" Fox is. I'm guessing this is some subliminal, non-millennial stuff that only we older ladies get. Praise.
  2. Sam's kids all have names that are not gender-specific. She is that way, too, as is her mother, Phil. Her daughters are Max, Frankie, and Duke. Intrigue.
  3. Sam says she's not dating anyone but her kids. I've almost said this a few times myself, but I would know that would be lying. Because really, that just means you are secretly dating someone whom you don't want to talk about. Because you are a divorced mom, and if you do bring up your dating life, everyone wants to discuss the challenges of dating when you have kids. And you are NOT in the mood for that. You just want to date casually without anyone thinking you are a slut, since that's the word people like to use (in whispers) for women who have sex and aren't married. Ugh.

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  4. I swear I've never googled "mature lady sex," but Sam has. And I totally relate. I'm not going to say what I've googled, but it would be sweet to have porn that doesn't come with the MILF tag because ... yawn ... tired.
  5. This show is starting to own single moms' sex. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  6. In the first episode, Sam tries not to give into the notorious "snuggle request" from her daughter Duke. She knows that if she snuggles while her little one is falling asleep, she'll also fall asleep, and then all the things she has been meaning to do will not get done. But she still snuggles, just like we all have. She snuggles because it's amazing. She falls asleep, of course. And wakes up in a panic. (Been there.)
  7. I'm not quite there yet but that long "m" word (*cough* menopause) isn't too far away, and it's been a topic at my GYN, sadly. (Yes, just GYN -- the OB part is no longer needed.) Even so, when Better Things used the phrase "Are you pausing yet?" I first thought it was some meta millennial emoji type thing ... until I released it was short for menopause. Amazing. (By the way ... why is the word "men" in menopause?!?!)

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  8. Better Things proves that you are never too old to be an ass to your own mom. It's that sh*tty thing we start doing when we are 6 years old and never stop doing, even though it means we're making our moms feel bad for our whole lives. We need to stop. But, like all moms do, we learn and forgive with our loving hearts and move on.
  9. We got major satisfaction from watching Sam vent about her ex -- who is bad-mouthing her to their daughter. We don't know the whole divorce story yet, but we were intrigued from the second Sam started talking about him to her kids.
  10. Every woman's new slogan should be, "We're tough and we can take it." It's what Sam tells the women who gathered at Frankie's school for a Women and Girls Empowerment meeting. She was talking about periods, but we think it applies to everything -- "we're tough and we can take it." Yes. Yes, we are. And yes, we can.

Better Things airs on FX on Thursdays at 10 p.m. You'll be hooked, too.


Image via FX

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