‘Better Things’: Pamela Adlon on the ‘Shocking’ Real-Life Experiences That Inspired Season 3

Better Things

Better late than never! After more than a year off the air, FX’s Better Things — the acclaimed dramedy about actress and single mom Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon) and her L.A.-based family — returns.

Here’s what to expect.

Painfully Honest Things

As Sam inches closer to 50, Season 3 directs its unflinching gaze toward the indignities of female aging. Think: unwelcome weight gain, imminent menopause and being deemed obsolete by society. “I’ve noticed shocking things happening in my own life, which is why I put them in the show, so we can look at it and laugh — it’s good therapy!” says Adlon, who wrote and directed all the upcoming episodes.

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The third season won't make life easier for the Fox family. How will college-bound Max do away from her mother? We asked!

Changing Things

Per usual, each of Sam’s daughters navigates her own growing pains. In the premiere, eldest child Max (Mikey Madison) heads to college in Chicago, leaving Sam in the nest with less-innocent-by-the-second elementary schooler Duke (Olivia Edward) and vitriolic teen Frankie (Hannah Alligood). Meanwhile, Sam’s brother Marion (Kevin Pollak) comes to town, shining a light on the increasingly precarious mental state of their mother, Phil (Celia Imrie). “Nobody knows how to deal with the subject of aging parents,” Adlon says. “It’s intense.”

Romantic Things

Love is in the air for many characters, including the recently divorced Jeff (Greg Cromer). He’ll get a spring in his step courtesy of a vivacious gal pal, Reiki, played by Sharon Stone. “She shines!” Adlon says. In keeping with her MO, Sam’s personal life will be complicated. Case in point: An old flame (Matthew Broderick) reenters her life in an unexpected way. And while filming her latest project — a high-budget horror film — she’ll strike up a new friendship on set with Mer (Marsha Thomason), a business manager and foxy power lesbian. Says Adlon,”It’s one of my favorite stories ever!”

Better Things, Season Premiere, Thursday, February 28, 10/9c, FX