A different breed

Published August 6, 2022

The marketing image of Breeders, starring Daisy Haggard and Martin Freeman

A TV show about the challenges of parenting wouldn’t usually be up my street given how very happily childfree I am. However, buoyed by the success of watching Trying (a show about a couple looking to adopt) and by the excellent casting of Daisy Haggard and Martin Freeman, I thought I’d give Breeders a go.

There have been three seasons, and the first one is slightly different to the others. I thought the first episode was an absolute triumph in plotting, following a sleepless night that really sets the scene for the rest of the show. It starts with a pact to sleep two hours on, two hours off, and it ends up with Freeman waking up in his car being accused of killing his kids… and yet it makes total sense.

The first series sets up some elements that really carry through to future episodes - the young son’s anxiety and worries clashing with the dad’s anger issues being the biggest part. At first, it seemed as though it was a funny comedy about an angry dad, showing an honest side of how difficult parenting is, but actually, this is about real anger management problems that linger through three series.

The kids grow up a few years between the first and second series, and that changes the tensions on display but everything happens for a reason, and the plotting continues to be tight and purposeful. I loved that the rogue kiss didn’t just happen out of nowhere, there was a real sense of why, of not being listened to, of being out of control.

I’ve raced through the thirty available episodes and am ready for the fourth series whenever it appears. Now, what other parenting comedies have I missed out on?

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