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Casual is an American television comedy-drama series that premiered on October 7, 2015 on Hulu.[1] Created by Zander Lehmann and directed by Jason Reitman,[2] the series centers on Valerie (Michaela Watkins), a newly divorced single mother living with her brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) and her daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr).[1] The cast also includes Frances Conroy and Nyasha Hatendi.

Casual
CasualTitleCard.png
GenreComedy-drama
Created byZander Lehmann
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes44 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25-31 minutes
Production company(s)Lionsgate Television
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseOctober 7, 2015 (2015-10-07) –
July 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
External links
Website

In advance of its premiere on Hulu, the first two episodes of the series received a preview screening at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, as part of the festival's new Primetime platform of selected television projects.[3]

On October 19, 2017, Hulu renewed the series for a fourth and final season[4] with all 8 episodes being released simultaneously on July 31, 2018.[5]

Contents

Cast and charactersEdit

 
The cast & crew of the TV show Casual at the ATX TV Festival presentation for it. From left: Jason Reitman, Zander Lehmann, Tara Lynne Barr, Liz Tigelaar, Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey and Helen Estabrook

MainEdit

  • Michaela Watkins as Valerie, a successful therapist divorcing her husband after finding him with a younger woman.[6]
  • Tommy Dewey as Alex, Valerie's younger brother who co-founded the popular dating site Snooger
  • Tara Lynne Barr as Laura, Valerie's teenage daughter
  • Nyasha Hatendi as Leon,[7] Valerie's one-night stand whom Alex befriends
  • Julie Berman as Leia, Valerie's assistant

Guest and recurringEdit

EpisodesEdit

Series overviewEdit

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 October 7, 2015 (2015-10-07) December 2, 2015 (2015-12-02)
2 13 June 7, 2016 (2016-06-07) August 23, 2016 (2016-08-23)
3 13 May 23, 2017 (2017-05-23) August 1, 2017 (2017-08-01)
4 8 July 31, 2018 (2018-07-31) July 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)

Season 1 (2015)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Pilot"Jason ReitmanZander LehmannOctober 7, 2015 (2015-10-07)
Both Valerie and Alex go on dates based on matches on Alex's dating website.
22"Friends"Jason ReitmanZander LehmannOctober 7, 2015 (2015-10-07)
Alex spends the day with Valerie's one night stand Leon, and winds up having a crazy night. Valerie goes out with a group of 20-something girls who coach her on dating young men. Laura gets in trouble at a high school house party.
33"Animals"Max WinklerZander LehmannOctober 14, 2015 (2015-10-14)
Valerie decides to move out of Alex's house but is blind-sided by the financial repercussions of divorce. Alex adopts a dog. Laura fantasizes about her photography teacher Michael.
44"..."Max WinklerZander LehmannOctober 21, 2015 (2015-10-21)
Valerie breaks Alex's rules of casual sex. Alex is interviewed about his dating site. Laura makes a move on her teacher Michael.
55"Mom"Michael WeaverSheila CallaghanOctober 28, 2015 (2015-10-28)
Valerie and Alex's mother shows up unannounced. Valerie gets good advice from an unlikely source. Laura and Michael share a moment after she sees her father out with his new girlfriend.
66"Biden"Michael WeaverLiz TigelaarNovember 4, 2015 (2015-11-04)
Alex's secret profile gets its first real match. Laura bonds with Michael after her sex tape goes viral at school. Valerie gets closure with her ex-husband.
77"Home"Tricia BrockHarris DanowNovember 11, 2015 (2015-11-11)
Alex and Emmy (Eliza Coupe) have a foursome. Laura discovers Valerie has been seeing Michael and moves out.
88"Bottles"Tricia BrockZander Lehmann & Harris DanowNovember 18, 2015 (2015-11-18)
Laura invites her estranged grandparents and her father and his new girlfriend to Thanksgiving dinner without telling Valerie or Alex.
99"Mars"Fred SavageHalsted SullivanNovember 25, 2015 (2015-11-25)
Alex and Valerie attend their parents' wedding rehearsal dinner. Laura attends a gallery where Michael is showing some of his photographs.
1010"Dave"Fred SavageZander LehmannDecember 2, 2015 (2015-12-02)
Alex leaves the rehearsal dinner to spend the night at Leon's house. Valerie and Emmy spend the day trying to find him. Laura plans to move to Mexico.

Season 2 (2016)Edit

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Phase 3"Jason ReitmanZander LehmannJune 7, 2016 (2016-06-07)
Alex's troubling new obsession leads Valerie to take matters into her own hands. Laura investigates switching high schools.
122"Trivial Pursuit"Jason ReitmanLiz TigelaarJune 7, 2016 (2016-06-07)
Alex embraces his new role as Laura's teacher but his methods are questionable. Valerie reaches out to old friends and makes an unsettling discovery.
133"Such Good Friends"Karyn KusamaZander LehmannJune 14, 2016 (2016-06-14)
Valerie tries to take her friendship with fellow therapist Jennifer (Katie Aselton) to the next level. Alex considers an offer from a venture capitalist to keep Snooger from going under. Laura considers joining a homeschool study group.
144"Big Green Egg"Karyn KusamaHarris DanowJune 21, 2016 (2016-06-21)
Alex invites new investors to his house for barbecue, one of whom is engaged to Alex's ex-girlfriend, Sarah (Britt Lower). Jennifer plans to set Valerie up with one of her friends, but not all goes according to plan. Laura and Aubrey (Dylan Gelula) bond over a coffee.
155"Bicycle Thieves"Iain B. MacDonaldZander LehmannJune 28, 2016 (2016-06-28)
Alex struggles to get along with his new business partner and receives a shocking fact about his past and Sarah from his father. Valerie considers freezing her eggs. Laura and Aubrey get high and kiss.
166"100 Cows"Iain B. MacDonaldMolly Smith MetzlerJuly 5, 2016 (2016-07-05)
Alex wonders about the wedding gift for Sarah that can get her attention. Valerie goes out on a date with Harry, one of the friends of Jennifer. Laura and Aubrey take up a task of creating a care package for one of their classmates, Spencer (Rhenzy Feliz), who suffers from cancer.
177"Threesomes"Lynn SheltonLiz TigelaarJuly 12, 2016 (2016-07-12)
Alex dates Fallon (Britt Robertson), Jordan's assistant, to make Sarah jealous, Fallon reveals that she's helping him because she's interested in Jordan herself. Valerie consults Jennifer about her dilemma of choosing Jack or Harry. Aubrey and Laura have a threesome with Spencer.
188"The Magpie"Lynn SheltonZander LehmannJuly 19, 2016 (2016-07-19)
Alex, Jordan, and Sarah deal with the fall out of earlier events. Laura's growing feelings for Spencer creates problems in her relationship with Aubrey. Valerie is unsure about dealing with her feelings for Jack.
199"The Lake"Marielle HellerMarguerite MacIntyreJuly 26, 2016 (2016-07-26)
Alex is served a notice for negligence by Jordan. Valerie goes to a hiking trip with Jack, but is distracted by Alex's problems. Laura continues her relationship with Spencer; Aubrey confronts her.
2010"Reunion"Marielle HellerRosa HandelmanAugust 2, 2016 (2016-08-02)
Alex is uncomfortable with Sarah's growing presence at his house. Jack and Valerie pretend to be a couple on their honeymoon and crash a high school reunion at the hotel. Laura grows closer to Spencer.
2111"Death and Taxes"Michael WeaverHarris DanowAugust 9, 2016 (2016-08-09)
Valerie and Drew file their divorce settlement papers and Valerie stalks one of her ex-patients. Alex seeks professional help for therapy. Laura and Spencer go funeral casket shopping for Spencer.
2212"40"Michael WeaverLiz TigelaarAugust 16, 2016 (2016-08-16)
On Valerie's 40th birthday, Valerie and Drew rekindle their relationship. Alex tries to make up with Valerie by planning a surprise party, much to displeasure of Valerie. Spencer's trial is successful and cancer is in remission.
2313"The Great Unknown"Fred SavageZander LehmannAugust 23, 2016 (2016-08-23)
After Spencer's cancer goes into remission, Laura loses all love interest for him. Alex and Valerie's father turns up with his mind made. He's ready to die and he wants Alex's help. With the help of Valerie and Laura, they poison his drink. Valerie decides to move out of Alex's house.

Season 3 (2017)Edit

On June 23, 2016, Hulu renewed the series for a 13-episode third season. The season premiered on May 23, 2017.[16]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
241"Ashes to Ashes"Lynn SheltonZander LehmannMay 23, 2017 (2017-05-23)
In the wake of Charles’ death, Alex and Valerie adjust to their new lives apart. Laura schemes to remove her tattoo. Dawn makes an unexpected announcement.
252"Things to Do in Burbank When You're Dead"Carrie BrownsteinZander LehmannMay 23, 2017 (2017-05-23)
After the memorial, Alex and Valerie spend one last night roaming the streets of their old neighborhood and discussing where to scatter Charles’ ashes.
263"The Table"Carrie BrownsteinLiz TigelaarMay 23, 2017 (2017-05-23)
Valerie enlists Leon’s help to accept delivery of a new dining room table. Alex pitches his business idea to investors. Laura participates in a sex study.
274"The Sprout"Lake BellMarguerite MacIntyreMay 30, 2017 (2017-05-30)
Alex reconnects with Emmy. Valerie upgrades her wardrobe before the first day of a storytelling class. Laura starts a new job collecting signatures for a ballot proposition.
285"Look at Me"Lake BellHarris DanowJune 6, 2017 (2017-06-06)
Valerie’s fling with her classmate gets more complicated than she had hoped. Laura uncovers troubling information about her ballot proposition. A date inspires Alex to consider his future.
296"Troubleshooting"Amy York RubinMolly Smith MetzlerJune 13, 2017 (2017-06-13)
Alex reacquaints himself with the demands of working full-time. Valerie catches up with Jennifer and learns an intriguing secret about Jack. Laura goes door-to-door collecting signatures, while interning for a new environmental group.
307"The Rat King"Amy York RubinRosa HandelmanJune 20, 2017 (2017-06-20)
Rae’s discovery of a rat in the bathroom sparks a hunt through Alex’s house. Leon and Leia’s relationship escalates.
318"Venus"Michael WeaverTommy Dewey and Michaela WatkinsJune 27, 2017 (2017-06-27)
Alex makes an unlikely friend at work while trying to unearth the identity of Valerie’s brother. Laura’s relationship with Casey intensifies. Valerie finds her new arrangement with Jack maddening.
329"Fresno"Michael WeaverMarguerite MacIntyreJuly 4, 2017 (2017-07-04)
Valerie and Jack drive to Fresno to meet Valerie’s half-brother. Laura considers whether to speak at a town council meeting. Alex’s plan to impress a co-worker backfires when his house is taken over by a YouTube celebrity’s photo shoot.
3310"Cake Walk"Gillian RobespierreHarris DanowJuly 11, 2017 (2017-07-11)
Alex searches for answers after losing his sexual prowess. Valerie obsesses over Jack’s choices while planning a double date with Alex and Judy. Laura finds herself lost after a hard goodbye.
3411"Firesale"Gillian RobespierreMolly Smith Metzler and Rosa HandelmanJuly 18, 2017 (2017-07-18)
Valerie is roped into being a bridesmaid for a wedding she thinks is ridiculous. Alex and Judy revel in their new romance. Laura raises money for a move to Sacramento.
3512"99"Jason ReitmanLiz TigelaarJuly 25, 2017 (2017-07-25)
It’s 1999. A young Valerie and Alex prepare for an unexpected pregnancy. In present day, Laura visits Casey in Sacramento and Valerie’s relationship with Jack reaches a breaking point.
3613"The Hermit & the Moon"Jason ReitmanZander LehmannAugust 1, 2017 (2017-08-01)
Valerie tries to repair her relationship with Laura while confronting resentments she harbors towards Dawn. Alex resolves to embark on an epic camping trip—but is epically derailed.

Season 4 (2018)Edit

On October 19, 2017, Hulu renewed the series for a fourth and final season[4] with all 8 episodes being released simultaneously on July 31, 2018.[5]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
371"Carrie"Gillian RobespierreZander LehmannJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
Laura returns from a trip abroad and Valerie soon discovers that fixing their fractured relationship proves more difficult than she thought. Alex’s attempts at keeping his new family order are thwarted when an unwelcome presence enters the equation.
382"The Missing Piece"Gillian RobespierreCara DiPaoloJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
A sudden death has Val questioning her life choices, while Alex struggles with Jeff’s intrusion in his family. Laura finds it difficult to balance her relationship with her new career and Leon and Leia receive unexpected news.
393"Virtual Reality"Hannah FidellZander LehmannJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
The realities of Valerie’s impulsive decision begin to take hold as Laura endures the fallout from her fight with Tathiana. Alex navigates the bizarre world of virtual dating and makes a surprising connection.
404"Dreams Stay With You"Hannah FidellHarris DanowJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
Alex embarks on a psychedelic getaway only to encounter an unpleasant figure from his past, while Valerie runs into an old flame during a night out with John. Laura maneuvers a new career opportunity around an inscrutable boss.
415"The Last Super Bowl"Zander LehmannRosa HandelmanJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
During Alex’s 'Last Super Bowl' party gone awry, Valerie introduces John to the gang as Alex processes Rae’s decision to move out. Laura has a chance run-in with Tathiana. Leon and Leia are at an impasse after Leia’s recent revelation.
426"Faultless Bodies and Blameless Minds"Helen EstabrookTess MorrisJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
Following a day of misguided decisions, Alex, Valerie, and Laura begin their overdue pilgrimage to Dawn’s. But when their road trip takes an accidental turn, each faces an obstacle that tests their willpower in different ways.
437"All About You"Michael WeaverNick Jones, Jr.July 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
Alex’s “first date” with Rae goes less smoothly than planned, while a stubborn John tries Val’s patience. Laura returns to Tathiana with a newfound resolve, and Leon and Leia begin the process of mediation.
448"Finale"Michael WeaverZander LehmannJuly 31, 2018 (2018-07-31)
Alex and Valerie grapple with an unexpected death in the family and put big life decisions on hold to go on a double date. Laura finds clarity in her love life.

ReceptionEdit

The first season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic the first season holds a rating of 77 out of 100 based on 20 critic reviews, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'.[17] Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a 93% 'certified fresh' rating based on 28 critic reviews, with the critical consensus "Jason Reitman's Casual is a funny -- albeit very specific -- look at modern dating, sharpened by edgy dialogue and self-assured performances."[18] For the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, the series was nominated in the category for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy.[19]

The second season received similar acclaim. It holds an 87% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 8.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Well-written and solidly acted, Casual offers a profane -- yet profound -- take on life's many challenges".[20] On Metacritic, the season holds a rating of 88 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "Universal acclaim".[21]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "See a not-so-happy Michaela Watkins in a first-look photo from Jason Reitman's Casual — exclusive". Entertainment Weekly, August 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Hulu Picks Up Jason Reitman ‘Casual’ Comedy Series in Lionsgate TV Pact". Variety, October 30, 2014.
  3. ^ "TIFF's First-Ever TV Lineup Includes Jason Reitman's 'Casual' and 'Heroes Reborn'". Indiewire, August 13, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 19, 2017). "'Casual' Renewed By Hulu For Fourth & Final Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Schwartz, Ryan (January 14, 2018). "Casual: Hulu Will Release Final Season All at Once, Netflix-Style". TVLine. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (October 8, 2015). "Michaela Watkins on the Interesting Women She's Played, From Sarah Koenig to Casual". Vulture. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Petski, Denise. "Frances Conroy, Nyasha Hatendi Join Jason Reitman's Hulu Comedy Series 'Casual'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Jarvey, Natalie. "Eliza Coupe Books Arc on Hulu's Jason Reitman Comedy 'Casual'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (February 22, 2016). "Julie Berman Upped To Regular On Hulu's 'Casual'; Katie Aselton Joins As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (March 11, 2016). "Dylan Gelula Joins Hulu's Casual; Tiffany Dupont in TNT's 'Murder In The First". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  11. ^ "Britt Lower Joins Hulu Comedy 'Casual' (Exclusive)". March 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (March 16, 2016). "TVLine Items: Britt Robertson on Casual, Oprah's TV Return and More". TV Line. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (February 2, 2017). "'Casual': Jamie Chung Joins Hulu Comedy Series For Season 3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (February 6, 2017). "Casual': Judy Greer Set To Recur On Season 3 Of Hulu Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  15. ^ Petski, Denise (February 27, 2018). "'Casual': Lorenza Izzo Set To Recur On Season 4 Of Hulu Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (June 23, 2016). "Hulu Renews 'Casual' For Third Season; Inks First-Look Deal With Jason Reitman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Casual - Season 1 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  18. ^ "Casual: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  19. ^ "Golden Globe 2016 Nominations - Full List". Rotten Tomatoes. December 10, 2015. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  20. ^ "Casual:Season 2 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  21. ^ "Casual : Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved June 14, 2016.

22. Sweeney, Sarah (July 23, 2016). You’re not alone in feeling alone: Why it’s so hard for adults to make friends. Salon.

External linksEdit