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The Long Goodbye to Pamela Adlon’s ‘Better Things’ Begins at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

A red carpet premiere event at Hollywood Forever Cemetery set the stage for a beloved FX series to bid farewell.

Hannah Riley, Pamela Adlon, Olivia Edward and Mikey Madison

Hannah Riley, Pamela Adlon, Olivia Edward and Mikey Madison for FX’s “Better Things”

Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for FX

Hundreds of people braved a frigid (for Los Angeles) evening on Wednesday to gather in celebration of FX’s “Better Things,” with a red-carpet event for the premiere of the acclaimed series’ fifth and final season. Held under (and over) the stars at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, hundreds of fans and collaborators were on hand to bid a fond farewell to Pamala Adlon’s incandescent original, which in its fifth outing is as determined as ever to foster and protect the flagging embers of humanity in an increasingly hostile world.

The network synopsis for the season reads: “In its fifth and final chapter, ‘Better Things’ focuses on ‘the road ahead’ for its unconventional, unfiltered heroine, Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), so devoted to her life as a working actor and single mother of three that she’s left little time for that one elusive thing: herself. As she navigates three daughters, each coming of age; the challenges of her chosen career; and her mother’s increasing signs of aging (as well as her own) — Sam embraces each moment, and each member of her family, with a fierce love, raw honesty, and biting humor. As each of the Fox women come of age into the next phase of their life, they are inspired to reevaluate themselves, learn from the past and find their own direction.”

More than anything, Wednesday night’s festivities felt like a typical hang at the Fox house, replete with fried chicken, elote, matzo crack, and more, all a testament to Sam (and Adlon’s) deep-seated belief that food is love and vice versa. Guests were entertained during the pre-show with drag queen bingo, performances from Get Lit poets Dharma Lemon and Zoe Hare, and music from DJ Ana Calderon.

Attendees crashed out on plush bean bag chairs and mini campsites, with food and beverages hand delivered, blankets generously provided, and plenty of patio heaters on-hand and working overtime to beat back the 40-something degree chill that felt practically subarctic to privileged Californians.

FX chairman John Landgraf was on hand, delivering prepared remarks before the screening of the first and fourth episodes of the upcoming season, calling “Better Things,” “an extraordinary achievement in an exceptional career that only grows more and more accomplished with time.”

"Better Things"

“Better Things”

Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup for

“I was overwhelmed with emotion at times while watching many of these episodes,” he said. “I told Pamela that I wished I could bottle the way they made me feel and carry it with me in my pocket for the rest of my life.”

Adlon shared her own (sometimes teary) remarks before the episodes aired, looking back on the process that began so many years prior.

“I started this journey seven years ago. My life looked very different then. My kids were still, all of them, living at home. I was just an actor for hire,” she said. “FX was already a part of my life and became my champion. This would never have happened without their love and support as a star, a creator, a writer, a showrunner, and a director. They allowed me to realize my vision and make the show that I wanted to make and even if we didn’t see eye to eye on one thing or another, at the end of the day they would always say to me, ‘It’s your choice.'”

“I’ve learned so much and I’ve been moved by my journey with FX and our collaboration.”

Beyond FX, Adlon had many more kind words to say, to her cast and crew, her friends and family, and everyone who loved the show that they had all collectively built.

“Better Things” returns with the first two episodes of the season Monday, February 28 at 10 p.m. ET on FX (and streaming the next day on Hulu), with a new episode each subsequent week.

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