In its fourth and final season, FX’s “Breeders” is ending exactly the way its three creators always wanted: with brutal honesty.
“We did always want it to be honest, that’s for sure,” Martin Freeman told TheWrap in an interview conducted ahead of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. “From me, Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison’s first conversations about this show — when we were making what it would be six or seven years ago — it was basically a collection of all the things that were difficult about being parents.”
Freeman likened those initial conversations to a “comedy therapy session,” adding that he always wanted the show to be “fairly unflinching” and “not too pretty.”
According to the co-creator, executive producer and star, “very, very early on” the plan was to follow the series’ central family from when the kids were very young through college age. “We weren’t exactly sure what that would entail once we got there,” Freeman said. “I’m quite happy with where it’s been and where it’s going in this season as well.”
“For me, personally, I feel like it’s been such a broad spectrum of issues, dramas and life things that it feels really well-balanced,” Daisy Haggard told TheWrap in a separate interview conducted ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike.
The main challenge this season revolves around Paul and Ally’s son Luke (Oscar Kennedy) turning them into grandparents, as the married couple contemplates their own divorce. It’s that latter plot point that feels especially notable. As Paul and Ally seriously consider separating, there are few overblown emotions. Instead, they try to make their divorce “bearable.”
Haggard noted that after three seasons, “it’s all gotten quite toxic.” “So there’s no space for them to just have a laugh, you know? And by going, ‘We’re going to break up. This is all done. Let’s do it nicely. And let’s be reasonable with each other,’ they start to make each other laugh again,” Haggard said. “By taking the pressure off their relationship, they actually find each other again.”
Haggard noted that often marriages are written “in a certain way” that hasn’t always felt true to her own experience.
“I always was so happy to see a relationship that was written like that because that’s just normal to me,” Haggard said. “Life can be really hard. So if you find someone you can have a giggle with, you can get through the other bits.”
Freeman explained that sitcom couples can sometimes feel “too saccharine,” especially when it comes to shows from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. But it’s possible to go “too far the other way, and it’s just all terrible.”
“I think sometimes it’s a bit reductive to make it too much one thing or the other,” Freeman said, noting that though “Breeders’” central couple may “drive each other up the wall,” they still genuinely like each other.
“Ally and Paul have never stopped liking each other. That’s the thing,” Martin Freeman said.
New episodes of “Breeders” premiere on FX Sundays at 10 p.m. ET. They will be available to stream on Hulu Mondays.