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Pamela Adlon on her show 'Better Things' and how parents can deal with 'hate eye'




Pamela Adlon as Sam and Olivia Edward as Duke in Episode 1 of FX's
Pamela Adlon as Sam and Olivia Edward as Duke in Episode 1 of FX's "Better Things."
Colleen Hayes/FX

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The new FX show "Better Things" stars LA-based actress and voiceover artist Pamela Adlon, who's a single mom to three daughters.

She plays Sam Fox, an LA-based actress and voiceover artist who's a single mom to three daughters.

The show is a raw, honest portrayal of some of the harsher realities of parenthood. It's largely based on Adlon's real-life experiences, but there's a fair amount of embellishment too. And that, Adlon says, can make the whole experience a bit of a 'Catch-22.'

Interview highlights:

On the portrayals of parenting on TV that have been lacking

"In terms of someplace that I could go to when I was a newer mom, there really wasn't anything that was representing me. Of course there's 'One Day at a Time,' with Bonnie Franklin, but at that point, I was young and I didn't really didn't get the concept that she was a single mom with two daughters, it just felt like they were a family. But I kinda thought she was married to Schneider, so I didn't really get it. But yeah, that was really my pitch to John Landgraf, the president of FX, I don't see anybody like me represented on television. I don't see somebody who is in their 40s, single, Los Angeles, raising her daughters. I don't see people who are like my friends. Everything is just so shellacked and weird. You know, that's not the world that I live in."

On the opening scene of the show, when a woman gives her character the 'hate eye'

"I actually just lived this moment having dinner with my friend because there was a family next to us and we were hate-eyeing them. You know, it's one of those things that basically you get over as you roll through the years. But when I was a newer mom, I used to be very aware of looks that people were giving me, and it would just really upset me. And I just decided, I'm not gonna look for the hate. I know that they don't want me coming on this plane with a baby, I'm not gonna look around. Because it is what it is."

On the 'Catch-22' of a creating show that's so close to real-life

"The interesting thing, and what I've come to realize is, it's a Catch-22 right now.  Because everybody is going to take everything that happens in this show as sacred truth. So I said to my girls, 'If I embellish and I make things up, it's just, it's going to be what it is. People are going to think that I smoke pot, people are going to think that you're this or you're that.' You know, it is essentially my life, but it's not completely my life. And I get to go off the rails, and it's an amazing gift to be able to tell these stories, but it is a weird kind of thing."

To hear the full interview, click the blue player above.