BEVERLY HILLS — Get ready for more Better.
Loosely based on the life of writer and star Pamela Adlon, who picked up an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy, Better Things stars Adlon as Sam Fox, an actress struggling to raise three children on her own. The show, co-created by Louis C.K., returns to FX on September 14.
Louis C.K. first met Adlon, whose previous biggest credit was voicing Bobby for King of the Hill, when he was casting for his HBO show Lucky Louie. He cast her as his wife, and then ended up employing her as a writer on Lucky and as an actor and producer on his FX series Louie.
“She’s very cool and fun, and she’s a great person,” C.K. told the Television Critics Association Wednesday. As for Adlon, she says he’s “like the smartest person I know. … We talk about the world. We don’t talk about ourselves.”
C.K. says he knew Adlon could carry her own show and always knew she could be a director. And, at his urging, she’s directing all 10 episodes of this season.
“I’ve been raising my three daughters and doing it on my own, and that’s kind of like the best boot camp for something like this. I’m able to multi-task,” says Adlon. “My show is very handmade, so it was a natural progression for me. Louie encouraged me to kind of take over my show.”
Adlon says she spent much of the first season “trying to find my voice in the character. I’ve been working my whole life, and suddenly I’m sort of playing myself.” Now, however, she’s much more comfortable in the role, and she feels that’s reflected in the episodes.
One issue that will be addressed in the new episodes is daughter Frankie’s (Hannah Alligood) gender issues. “I went through a phase like that in my life,” says Adlon. “I don’t know what the outcome is going to be yet.”
As for what the outcome will be for C.K.’s own acclaimed FX show, Louie, he says there’s little chance of it coming back, at least not as it was. The semi-autobiographical series was based on his life as a younger, novice comic, and that’s not who he is anymore.
“I don’t think the version of Louie that was on FX, I don’t think I’ll do that again, because I haven’t been that guy for awhile,” he says. “I always thought…