Will Hulu’s ‘Casual’ emerge as a major awards contender?

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Jason Reitman‘s new comedy “Casual” finds Michaela Watkins‘ psychiatrist character living with her brother (Tommy Dewey) and daughter (Tara Lynne Barr). Together they’re on a quest to be Hulu’s first big player at the Golden Globes, SAG and Critics’ Choice Awards, which unveil nominees over the next few weeks. 

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Awards darling Reitman is a four-time Oscar nominee for directing “Juno” (2007) and directing, writing and producing “Up in the Air” (2009). He bring awards cache with him as he lends his signature quirky touch to this Hulu series created by Zander Lehmann.

Just last year, another streaming family comedy — Amazon’s “Transparent” — swept through the awards derby, clearing the way for shows like “Casual” to succeed. That laffer won Best Comedy at the Golden Globes while star Jeffrey Tambor earned Best Comedy Actor trophies at the Globes, Critics’ Choice and Emmy Awards.

The first season of “Casual” earned an impressive 90% at Rotten Tomatoes and a 77 score at Metacritic. Among the raves were these:

Orly Greenberg (New York Observer): “‘Casual’ falls into the more indie-dramedy category of television than anything else, so viewers looking for a neatly packaged, shiny family comedy can look elsewhere. But those seeking a bolder, fresher take can direct themselves to ‘Casual.'”

Tim Grierson (TheWrap): “‘Casual’ also seems to be a mandate for the cast and creative crew behind this laid-back but thoughtful and well-observed comedy about love and family in the modern age.”

Linda Holmes (NPR): “But in the writing and in the performances, there’s bottomless compassion for this family and its awkward efforts at healing itself.”

Hank Stuever (Washington Post): “‘Casual’ is enjoyable in an unseemly way, with characters who do and say things that a viewer can only hope are aberrations rather than reflective of the social norm.”

Allison Shoemaker (AV Club): “‘Casual’s’ start is a promising one. Even if Watkins’ performance was the only reason to tune in, it would be reason enough — but any show willing to pull back on the throttle and get a little weary deserves a shot.”

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Photo Credits: Hulu

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