Casual season 4: Tommy Dewey talks Alex’s final chapter

CASUAL -- "Cake Walk" Episode 310 -- Alex searches for answers after losing his sexual prowess. Valerie obsesses over JackÕs choices while planning a double date with Alex and Judy. Laura finds herself lost after a hard goodbye. Alex (Tommy Dewey), shown. (Photo by: Greg Lewis/Hulu)
CASUAL -- "Cake Walk" Episode 310 -- Alex searches for answers after losing his sexual prowess. Valerie obsesses over JackÕs choices while planning a double date with Alex and Judy. Laura finds herself lost after a hard goodbye. Alex (Tommy Dewey), shown. (Photo by: Greg Lewis/Hulu) /

Casual star Tommy Dewey talks about Alex Cole’s journey into parenthood and how it felt to wrap up Hulu’s fantastically dysfunctional comedy.

TV’s best comedy is saying goodbye, as Hulu‘s Casual is currently streaming its fourth and final season. That includes the swan song for Alex Cole, Tommy Dewey’s lovable and frustrated older brother.

Alex has spent the last three seasons trying to figure out exactly what it is he wants. From seeing his company be taken over to his difficult relationship with his father and a lot of failed romances, he’s struggled mightily, but his life is taking a massive leap in Casual season 4, as he raises the daughter he didn’t intend to have with Rae (Maya Erskine).

FanSided spoke to Tommy Dewey about his character’s progression, and what it meant to him to wrap up Alex’s story after investing so much into the series.

“[Creator] Zander [Lehmann], heading into this last season, knew it was the last and wrote for that,” he told us. “Michaela [Watkins], Tara [Lynne Barr] and I and the rest of the gang knew it was over, so the last couple of weeks were hard. It was rough.”

But the ending was bittersweet, because the final season’s time jump — several years have passed since the third season finale — meant that Tommy got to play Alex in essentially a whole new world.

“One thing that jump in time allowed us to do was to evolve the characters a little quicker than if we had stayed closer to where we left off in the third season,” he explained. “I think it took a kid, it took a small human being for him to get out of his own way.”

Does Alex’s troubled relationship with his now-late father affect the way that he behaves now that he’s a father?

“Absolutely,” Tommy said. “There’s a line, I say that I don’t want our daughter to be exposed to the people we’re sleeping with essentially. Alex was so screwed up around his parents’ very liberal and open sex lives, he wants to keep that out of the picture for her.

“I think a lot of what he’s doing is in response to it, and I think his feelings are so loaded around his parents that he’s probably overly cautious. He’s probably overly correcting.”

The other burning question for Alex is if he’ll finally find love. He’s certainly tried; Casual fans saw him get his heart broken last season by Judy (Judy Greer). So will the final season at least give him the serious relationship he’s been yearning for and, quite frankly, deserves? Not necessarily.

“There’s some hope but it’s obviously cut with a little bit of bad,” Tommy teased. “Alex leaves the show thinking Alex is going to be fine, but is he running off into the sunset with someone? Not exactly.

“Another thing is, he’s finally kind of broke. He’s kind of run out of steam. We saw a little of that in the third season, but in the fourth season, he has to confront a way more massive life change.”

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The heart of Casual has been the beautiful relationship that Tommy Dewey and Michaela Watkins have crafted between Alex and his sister Valerie, and that relationship also gets a resolution in the last season while each of them makes the changes they need to continue on.

“The way that the Val and Alex characters, in the last couple episodes, confront the idea that they may need to go their separate ways is done in a really emotional and really nuanced way,” Tommy reflected. “It was really fun and fullfilling to do those episodes with Michaela, who I’ve become so fond of over the last four years.

“To bring it home with a couple key things in the last two episodes, sort of processing how they might be able to live without one another,” he continued, “what does that look like? So much of the show is about cohabitation and co-dependence of these two people [on] one another; I think it ended in a beautiful way.”

Casual may be over, but don’t expect to see any less of Dewey going forward. Always one of TV’s busiest actors, he’s already working on other projects. But as he moves into his next roles, he’s going to take plenty of things away from the four years he spent playing Alex.

Casual is great acting exercise,” he told us. “It’s an actor-friendly show, and I mean by that we’re not spending whole days on car chases and explosions and stuff like that. You go there and you do the work of acting every day. It’s a small cast, too, so it’s not like I’m working a Monday and a Thursday, and I’m not back till the next week.

“I really valued the experience to do that with these good actors on a very regular basis. I just feel like you can’t help but get a little better if you’re doing that exercise, so I appreciate it for that.

“I had never done a show for four seasons, so the relationships that you form on a set, which is already a very spectacular set — that’s a real plus. The friendships that came out of it. I think it set the bar high.

“It’s going to be tricky finding out what’s next; that’s not a bad thing. I don’t know, I’ve been kind of stubborn with the pilots I’m looking at. It was really my sense of humor too. I’ve never gotten to do something that was dead on my sense of humor: pretty dry and subversive.”

He’ll be leaving TV audiences with one of the great comedic performances on the small screen in recent memory. Dewey’s portrayal of Alex was wickedly funny, but it was also poignant, complicated, and endearing. Alex Cole started as a kind of man-child and slowly audiences found out he was more of a man who just needed to figure himself out. Will he be able to find what he’s always been looking for? You’ll have to watch and see.

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Casual season 4 is now streaming in its entirety on Hulu. For more TV interviews and news, follow the Television category at FanSided.