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Positive: 3 out of 3
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The final season of Zander Lehmann’s Hulu series illustrates everything viewers could want from a half-hour hybrid of comedy and drama. It’s ambitious without losing the ongoing narrative thread.
If you’ve never seen Casual, start from the beginning, don’t jump into next week’s conclusion. Alex’s arrested development doesn’t make sense without the fun he derives in the first season. Similarly, Laura seems cold at the start of the fourth season, not the product of an environment. Streaming from the beginning (and, really, there aren’t that many episodes) will give you an appreciation for what the creative team has accomplished.
Right up to the end, Casual excels at showing us what’s in parentheses. Even as it depicts big issues like death and divorce and parent-child conflict, it excels the most at showing us the less momentous elements of daily life: the bad dates you won’t remember years from now, the game nights that go awry, the road trips where someone puts the wrong type of fuel in the tank and ruins everything.