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Better Things - What We Know So Far

Over the last decade, FX has emerged as a prime source of prestige television. Anticipation is at an all-time high for Atlanta, created by and starring Donald Glover, to return with more episodes after its stellar second season came out back in 2018. A recent FX trailer highlighting the fact that all the channel's shows can be found on Hulu provides first looks at upcoming premieres like Y: The Last Man and Ryan Murphy's American Horror Stories, a new anthology series comprised of episodes that tell self-contained stories. FX's slate may be getting bigger, but it isn't overlooking its bread and butter, as evidenced by the fact that the dramedy Better Things received a season 5 order shortly after season 4 ended in 2020 (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

The semi-autobiographical series follows divorced actress Sam Fox, played by Pamela Adlon, as she juggles maintaining a career in the entertainment industry and raising her three daughters. The critically acclaimed show has been nominated for a slew of awards over the years and even won a Peabody in 2016. With its feminist themes and focus on a woman trying to get ahead in a male-dominated world, Better Things is more relevant than ever, with plenty of avenues for these characters to explore next. Here's everything we know so far about Better Things season 5.

What's the release date for Better Things season 5?

The last time we fans saw new Better Things episodes was in the spring of 2020. That just so happened to be the same time the COVID-19 pandemic began taking a hold in the United States, disrupting many film and television productions. So it makes sense that the series wasn't able to get cameras rolling for the new season as soon as it was renewed. Hopefully, things progress soon.

Looking at the Instagram account of Pamela Adlon, the show's creator, writer, and star, there's no indication that production has restarted on the FX series. It's possible that Adlon wants to keep filming secret for the time being, or it may take a little longer until new episodes are ready to be filmed. At the earliest, we'd expect Better Things season 5 to premiere in early 2022, but a mid-2022 release wouldn't be out of the question, either. 

Who's in the cast of Better Things season 5?

The entire Fox family — which includes Pamela Adlon as Sam, Olivia Edward as Duke, Hannah Alligood as Frankie, and Mikey Madison as Max — should be back for season 5. It's also expected that Celia Imrie will return as Sam's mother, Phyllis, who has more than her fair share of issues throughout the series. Other actors likely to make an appearance in season 5 include Diedrich Bader as Rich, Matthew Glave as Xander, and Rebecca Metz as Tressa. 

Better Things has also featured plenty of guest stars that might reprise their roles in season 5. Since Sam is an actor, many famous faces have stopped by to play themselves in the show; this includes Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants), Billy West (the voice of Stimpy on Ren & Stimpy), and Julie Bowen (Claire on Modern Family). No official casting announcements for season 5 of Better Things have been made as of this writing, but it's safe to say that Adlon will get some of her famous friends to make appearances in the upcoming episodes.

What could the plot be for Better Things season 5?

At the end of Better Things season 4, Sam and her ex-husband Xander close a chapter in their tumultuous relationship. Xander wanted Sam to pay him that month's alimony, but instead, she gives him a check for all the money she owes him, taking out a loan to do so. Sam just wants to get past this part of her life and forgive her ex for her own mental well-being. Better Things season 5 will likely further explore their dynamic, however, as Sam made one last pointed jab at Xander before the season ended. 

The season 4 finale also saw a change of pace for Sam's eldest daughter Max, who recently got a job at a restaurant. There's been tension in their relationship as of late due to Sam wanting a reluctant Max to move out on her own, so season 5 could also focus on Max as she starts forging her own path as an adult.

Whatever direction Better Things season 5 takes, it's bound to be equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. The show has earned widespread acclaim throughout all of its previous seasons, so expectations will be high going into another batch of episodes. If there's any show that could live up to that standard, it's Better Things