Breeders, FX's irreverent new parenting comedy, is as far from Leave It to Beaver and The Brady Bunch as you can get–and we're here for it.

By Kristi Pahr
March 13, 2020
Courtesy FX

Most parents would agree that there is nothing that pushes their buttons more than their kids. It's just a thing that comes along with parenting, like sleepless nights and having to share your chocolate. You love 'em, but man, it can be hard to be around 'em sometimes. FX's new dark comedy, Breeders, gets that.

Breeders isn't your normal parenting show. It's less Malcolm in the Middle and more Breaking Bad, minus the cancer and meth. So if you can handle the language and the dark humor and you agree that sometimes your kids push you to the very brink of sanity, it should definitely be on your to-binge list.

The first episode opens with Paul, played by Martin Freeman who is also the show's co-creator, attempting to work in his living room with an unholy racket coming from upstairs. As he climbs the stairs, he tries to talk himself down, "Don't do this, mate. Don't do it. You go in, you scream, they cry. You'll only hate yourself. That's it, Paul. Be better."

But when he opens the door, he unleashes on his kids in a way most parents probably wish they could without inflicting permanent emotional damage.

The irreverent nature of the show might be off-putting for some, but for the rest of us, Freeman's portrayal of Paul, a nice guy whose kids induce in him the kind of rage that only kids can induce, is spot-on. The characterization of frustration, sadness, and anger juxtaposed with the unfathomable love parents feel for their kids is heartwarming and validating, and the truth on display in Paul's and his partner Ally's (played by Daisy Haggard) interactions with their children will resonate with parents of every stripe.

As the season progresses, the show delves not only into the relationship between Paul and Ally and their children, but also wades through the muddy waters of intergenerational dynamics and aging parents. Parents of young children who also have aging parents themselves are in the unique position of caring not only for kids, but also for their own parents and Breeders captures the nuance with its characteristically dark spin.

Though abrasive at times, the show depicts real life, real feelings, and real issues, with a twisted sense of humor and a sardonic outlook, and it's just what we need to make us feel like we aren't alone.

Breeders airs Monday nights at 10 on FX.

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