Breeders is a dark comedy. But towards the end of the second season of the Martin Freeman- and Daisy Haggard-fronted parenting series, it gets even darker.
Season 2 of the FX and Sky series starts with their children, Luke (now played by Alex Eastwood) and Ava (Eve Prenelle), six years older than they were in Season 1, thus serving up brand-new parenting challenges for Freeman’s Paul and Haggard’s Ally.
Luke’s increasing anxiety and Ava’s growing independence added some new and uncharted complications into the existing chaotic mix of stretched resources, lack of time and the fine art of winging it while looking like you know what you’re doing.
Paul’s parents, Jackie and Jim (Joanna Bacon and Alun Armstrong), are older too, as is Ally’s mother Leah (Stella Gonet), leading Paul and Ally to find that they now have to parent the generation above them as well as the generation below. And at the center of all this is Paul and Ally’s relationship.
Episode 9 of Season 2, written by Simon Blackwell, is centered around Jim and Jackie’s golden wedding anniversary party that is plunged into darkness by a power outage. Things come to a head between Paul and Luke when Paul discovers his teenage son buying weed. Luke runs away and eventually Paul, with Ava’s help, finds him before a heart-to-heart with his dad ends with Luke punching his dad in the face and Paul collapsing on a bench crying.
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As Blackwell says, the episode contains a “pivotal piece of action” around which the entire second season was built, something the co-creator says is a “gamble” but “very satisfying.”
The first episode of a two-part finale was evidently satisfying enough for its commissioners to renew it for a third season.
Created by Blackwell, Freeman and Chris Addison, Breeders is produced by Avalon. Blackwell is showrunner. Executive producers are Blackwell, Addison, Freeman, Richard Allen-Turner, Rob Aslett, David Martin, Jon Thoday, Toby Welch, Tilusha Ghelani and Michael Wiggs. Ben Palmer is co-executive producer.
You can read the script as the latest installment in Deadline’s It Starts On the Page, a series highlighting the scripts that serve as the creative backbones of the now-underway TV awards season. These scripts are being submitted for Emmy Awards consideration this year and have been selected using criteria that includes critical acclaim, selecting from a wide range of networks and platforms, and a mix of established and lesser-known shows.
Here it is: