Why Hulu's Most Co-Dependent Family Needs Another Season

by Samantha Atzeni
Greg Lewis/Hulu

Hulu's original series Casual still remains a hidden gem among the variety of TV streaming choices, thanks to its mix of comedy and drama. While Alex, Val, and Laura have been through a lot of changes this season, which ends Aug. 1, their stories can only get better if Casual returns for Season 4.

While Season 3 built upon Casual's already creative storytelling, there was also an interesting move made behind the scenes as well. In this season, several episodes of Casual featured the work of indie female filmmakers including Lake Bell, Carrie Brownstein, Amy York Rubin, Lynn Shelton, and Gillian Robespierre.

In an interview with Deadline, Casual showrunner Zander Lehmann discussed the importance of keeping it a female-centric show. "We do obviously look for women first," he said, "because I think the nature of this business, the deck is stacked against women in directing, and we feel like there are a bunch of really good women directors, and we should obviously take a run at them, because if we get these great, interesting indie filmmakers, why not?"

In addition to taking a strong stance with its creative team, the show is also known for its character-driven plot. Season 3 highlights the growing pains of Casual’s main trio and its supporting cast. Alex adjusts to a new job and roommate. Val and Laura try to make it on their own, away from Alex’s waffles and one-liners. And — in one of the best surprises of the season — Leon and and Leia become this season’s It Couple. All of these developing stories could be explored in a possible Season 4.

The characters did a lot of soul-searching this season, but also showed a refusal to accept change, as shown in the July 25 flashback episode, “99." The episode brings to light the complexities of Alex and Val’s codependent relationship as Val balances college with being pregnant with Laura. The episode also sheds some light on the difficulties Val faces as Laura's mother, which contrasts well with their ongoing battle of wills. Their conflict finally escalates to an argument over their dining room table, which Laura sold so she can run away.

In an interview with Deadline, Tara Lynne Barr addressed the table conflict between Laura and Val. To Barr, the table is representative of the lack of warmth and love that Laura feels she is missing from her family. Barr said, "I truly think Laura can sense that her mom’s obsession with the table is more of an extension of her poor, weird mental space that she’s in." As Laura and Val try to find where they fit in their new, post-divorce lives, Season 4 could explore whether their parallel journeys will bring them closer together or separate them further.

Hulu has not yet renewed Casual for Season 4, but the show has hit its storytelling stride. Another potential season would allow audiences to continue to explore the complicated, yet endearing relationship between Alex, Val, and Laura and those caught in their orbit.