Season 2 of the Hulu series “Casual” debuted on June 7 to much praise. Created by Zander Lehmann and directed by Jason Reitman, the dramedy centers on Valerie (Michaela Watkins) as a recently divorced therapist, her angsty daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr) and her womanizing brother, Alex (Tommy Dewey). In this second batch of episodes, mother and daughter will discover that nowadays, in a world ruled by social media, it’s harder to make friends at any age.
IndieWire’s Ben Travers gave the comedy a B+ for its “charming showcase of its talented trio of thespians.” He points out Michaela Watkins’ character Valerie by stating, “In that bashful exterior mixed with a boastful interior, her character remains oh so fascinating to follow, no matter where she goes.” The characters are what make the show and he notes that, “in this deeper connection with characters, ‘Casual’ feels all the more real. Part of the enhanced relationship comes from the welcome progression of time.”
Popular on IndieWire
“The Hulu show remains a don’t-miss gem, balancing humor and dysfunction impressively and effortlessly,” writes Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter. The critic urges audiences to binge watch the first season and get caught up. “Now’s the time to jump in. If you were there from the start, know that ‘Casual’ isn’t racing through story in this second season so much as it’s pushing outward in a show of confidence that it’s going to be around for a while and it’s time to better understand the dysfunction that’s at the heart of the main characters who are all trying to figure out how to navigate this life.”
Sara Vilkomerson from Entertainment Weekly gave it an A- and admitted that the show “snuck up on her.” She soon got hooked on the comedy, writing: “It is melancholic and fearless as it plunges into the murky depths of love and siblings and childhood scars and sex and dating and parenting and divorce and being a teenager and finding yourself adrift in midlife. And oh yeah, it is very, very funny.”
Hit Fix’s Alan Sepinwall is also a fan, agreeing with critics that this dramedy is unlike any other and that the cast really is what leads it forward. “‘Casual’ still stands out among this group because the writing and performances are so specific and so smart that it doesn’t feel like a spin-off of six other shows,” he writes. “It deserves, and rewards, careful attention as each character strives to be better and stop making the same stupid mistakes, often getting close before falling back into the usual pattern.”
“Where ‘Casual’ excels is in making the steps toward personal growth feel as real and meaningful as the setbacks, even though they unfold within the heightened world of a television dramedy,” says Screenrant’s Kevin Yeoman. He also applauds the addition of new roles for the individual growth of each leading character.
Watch the trailer for Season 2 of “Casual” below: