Pamela Adlon Dives Into Life: In ‘Better Things,’ The Writer-Actress Pulls From A World She Knows Especially Well

By Yvonne Villarreal
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Actress/comedian Pamela Adlon’s semi-autobiographical comedy “Better Things” premieres Thursday on FX. The show features Adlon as Sam Fox, a single mother of three daughters who navigates the tightrope between family life and her work as an actor. Her advice to her real life daughters, “My message to them always is: Make your own money, support yourself, and do what makes you happy. Hopefully, I’m setting that example.”

Los Angeles Times

The scene was a familiar one: a mother schlepping through the aisles of a department store, in this case, a Macy’s in Los Angeles, while her angst-ridden teenage daughter resentfully followed.

On the agenda for this particular visit was a search for a professional outfit to help the self-doubting, wayward high-schooler see her potential.

“When you look at this blouse, be disgusted with me. Say, ‘I don’t wear crap like that.’ Say it like you’re giving me a dig. Like I wear crap like that.”

This is what happens when Pamela Adlon is your mother. Or, rather, this is what happens when Pamela Adlon is playing your mother in a new, semiautobiographical comedy that she created for FX, and, as such, is giving instructions for the scene.

It was a Friday morning in May, and the hum of the store, which remained open to the public during production, carried on around them. At one point, Adlon found herself offering her opinions to a female shopper searching for a dress to wear to her son’s wedding.

While that unscripted encounter didn’t make the final cut, it’s the kind of slice-of-life feeling that Adlon’s show, “Better Things,” elicits.

The comedy, which premieres Thursday, features Adlon as Sam Fox, a single mother of three daughters who navigates the tightrope between family life and her work as an actor.

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