Easy (TV series)
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The first season was released on Netflix on September 22, 2016. In April 2017, Swanberg revealed the series had been renewed for a second season, which was released on December 1, 2017. In August 2018, the series was renewed for a third and final season that premiered on May 10, 2019.
Easy follows several individuals living in Chicago who are trying to navigate issues such as love, relationships, and general knowledge. A review described the series as a microscopic portrayal of the different varieties of modern love. It has an episodic anthology format, with standalone episodes that do not require previous ones to watch. The series does include recurring narratives such as the story of the married couple Kyle (Michael Chernus) and Andi (Elizabeth Reaser), which was first introduced in Season 1. The story was revisited in Season 2 and Season 3, with their respective episodes focusing on the development and effects of their decision to enter into an open relationship. While some characters were created completely from scratch by the producers, others, such as Odinaka Malachi Ezeokoli, Karley Sciortino, and Jane Adams's characters in Season 2, are based on the real-life personas, personalities, and/or jobs of the individuals cast in the roles.
- Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones (season 1–3)
- Zazie Beetz as Noelle (season 1–3)
- Michael Chernus as Kyle (season 1–3)
- Kiersey Clemons as Chase (season 1–3)
- Aya Cash as Sherri (season 1–3)
- Megan Ferguson as Samantha (season 2–3)
- Dave Franco as Jeff (season 1–3)
- Stephen George as Stephen (season 1–2)
- Evan Jonigkeit as Matt (season 1–3)
- Danielle Macdonald as Grace (season 2–3)
- Marc Maron as Jacob Malco (season 1–3)
- Kate Micucci as Annie (season 1–3)
- Elizabeth Reaser as Andi (season 1–3)
- Jacqueline Toboni as Jo (season 1–3)
- Jaz Sinclair as Amber (season 1–3)
- Marz Timms as Van Howard (season 1–2)
- Jake Johnson as Andrew (season 1, 3)
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie (season 1, 3)
- Aislinn Derbez as Gabi (season 1–2)
- Rebecca Spence as Cheryl (season 1, 3)
- Suzanne Adent as Penny
- Malin Åkerman as Lucy
- Andrew Bachelor as Andrew
- Orlando Bloom as Tom
- Hannibal Buress as Jason
- Raúl Castillo as Bernie
- Noah Hopkins as Russ
- Mauricio Ochmann as Martin
- Emily Ratajkowski as Allison Lizowska
- Rebecca Spence as Cheryl
- Lucas Von Kampen as Allan
- Jake Weber as Wally
- Arthur Agee as himself
- Aubrey Plaza as Lindsay
- Lawrence Michael Levine as Harrison
- Joe Lo Truglio as Mike
- Michaela Watkins as Karen Treska
- Judy Greer as Gretchen
- Danny Masterson as Annie's boyfriend
- Kate Berlant as Lauren
- Karley Sciortino as Sally
- Jennifer Kim as Annie
- Lindsay Burdge as Amy
- Odinaka Ezeokoli as himself
- Alex Ross Perry as Mr. Pope
- Parker Sawyers as Jason
- Kate Lyn Sheil as Annie's roommate
- Timothy Simons as Chris Whitman
- Craig Butta as Frank Bruno
- Lydia House as Lydia
- Sophia Bush as Alexandria
- John Gallagher Jr. as Lucas
- Melanie Lynskey as Beth
- Kali Skrap as Skrap
- Kris Swanberg as Kris
- Nicky Excitement as Hugh
- Cliff Chamberlain as Ryan
In March 2016, it was announced Netflix had ordered a season of eight episodes, with Joe Swanberg writing and directing the series, with Michael Chernus, Marc Maron, Elizabeth Reaser, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Johnson, Aya Cash, Dave Franco, Jane Adams, Hannibal Buress, Kiersey Clemons, Orlando Bloom, and Malin Åkerman starring.
Some characters appear in one or more episodes as the protagonist, and in other episodes as background characters.
|1||8||September 22, 2016|
|2||8||December 1, 2017|
|3||9||May 10, 2019|
Season 1 (2016)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||1||"The F**king Study"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
| Andi and Kyle have been married 15 years where the passion between them has long run out. Kyle is a stay-at-home dad, raising their two children with Andi being the one working full-time. At a social gathering, a friend tells Andi and Kyle that the sex life of a couple can be heightened if both play more gender-specific roles in their lives. With Hallowe'en approaching, Andi decides to experiment by buying appropriate gender-traditional costumes, testing this hypothesis.|
Cast : Michael Chernus as Kyle and Elizabeth Reaser as Andi
|2||2||"Vegan Cinderella"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
| Chase and Jo hook up after meeting at a concert and start dating. Jo's activism about conscious consumption, veganism, and environmental impact pressures Chase into doing things she doesn't really want to, like going vegan or riding a bicycle. This leads to deception and lies as Chase seems to want to live up to Jo's standards of responsible living.|
Cast : Kiersey Clemons as Chase, Jacqueline Toboni as Jo, Jaz Sinclair as Amber
|3||3||"Brewery Brothers"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
|Jeff works at a coffee shop, a very different environment from the corporate one of his brother Matt. But they find a way to work together - risking the ire of Matt's wife Sherri - when an impulsive decision leads Matt to start an illegal garage brewery with Jeff. Cast : Evan Jonigkeit as Matt, Aya Cash as Sherri, Dave Franco as Jeff, Zazie Beetz as Noelle|
|4||4||"Controlada"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
|Cast : Aislinn Derbez as Gabi, Raúl Castillo as Bernie, Mauricio Ochmann as Martin|
|5||5||"Art and Life"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
|Graphic novelist Jacob Malco is feeling increasingly irrelevant, leading him to spin a poorly attended book signing into something more intimate. This in turn leads to a viral moment in which he embarrasses himself, with perhaps a surprising outcome whereby life and art are both enhanced. Cast : Marc Maron as Jacob Malco, Emily Ratajkowski as Allison Lizowska, Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones|
|6||6||"Utopia"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
| Tom and Lucy are married with a baby. Annie, an entertainer who sings for mother-and-baby groups, introduces Lucy to Tinder over coffee. Tom and Lucy decide to test the waters for a threesome, but choose Annie for safety. Constantly interrupted by the baby awakening, they are nevertheless happy with the outcome.|
Cast : Orlando Bloom as Tom, Malin Åkerman as Lucy, Kate Micucci as Annie
|7||7||"Chemistry Read"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
| Actors Sophie and Annabelle are in the same theater production. Sophie pursues a big west coast opportunity while Annabelle thinks of her fading career as she gets older. Annabelle hooks up with Wally, an old flame, while Sophie nervously goes through with her auditions, aware of who she might have to leave behind.|
Cast : Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie, Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones, Michael Chernus as Kyle, Jake Weber as Wally
|8||8||"Hop Dreams"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||September 22, 2016|
| Matt and Jeff are earning reputation and big bucks from their garage operation, when reporter Jason is assigned to interview both for a story. The interviews highlight a fissure between Matt, who wants to expand to a bigger unit, and Jeff who prefers the smaller operation so he has freedom to experiment. When Jeff's girlfriend Noelle unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Jeff half-heartedly decides to go along with Matt and expand. |
Cast : Hannibal Buress as Jason, Dave Franco as Jeff, Zazie Beetz as Noelle, Aya Cash as Sherri, Evan Jonigkeit as Matt
Season 2 (2017)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|9||1||"Package Thief"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| Neighbors in an affluent community take matters into their own hands when they spy a baseball-capped thief stealing packages off their doorsteps.|
Cast : Jennifer Kim as Annie, Lawrence Michael Levine as Harrison, Joe Lo Truglio as Mike, Aubrey Plaza as Lindsay, Timothy Simons as Whitman.
|10||2||"Open Marriage"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| After talking it through in therapy, married parents Andi and Kyle explore an open relationship. On night one, they each test the waters. |
Cast : Lindsay Burdge as Amy, Michael Chernus as Kyle, Elizabeth Reaser as Andi, Parker Sawyers as Jason.
|11||3||"Side Hustle"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| A stand-up comedian who drives an uber and a sex-positive feminist writer who moonlights as a call girl hustle to make a living while chasing their creative dreams. |
Cast : Karley Sciortino as Sally, Odinaka Malachi Ezeokoli as Od, Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones.
|12||4||"Spent Grain"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| The brewery brothers, now dads, grapple with brisk business which nonetheless leaves Jeff with little opportunity to experiment and Matt with the routine task of getting their beer bought by bar owners. Their wives Sherri and Noelle launch their own business selling organic dog treats and quickly earn a supermarket deal which Noelle initially conceals from Jeff. When Jeff finds out, the creative tension with Matt leads him to quit and stay at home with his young daughter while once again running a brewery out of his garage so Noelle can work full-time. |
Cast : Zazie Beetz as Noelle, Aya Cash as Sheri, Dave Franco as Jeff, Evan Jonigkeit as Matt.
|13||5||"Conjugality"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| Jacob tries to reconnect with his estranged ex-wife when he releases a new edition of his first graphic novel, which chronicled his infidelity. |
Cast : Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones, Marc Maron as Jacob Malco, Michaela Watkins as Karen Treska, Kate Berlant as Lauren.
|14||6||"Prodigal Daughter"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| A teenager turns the tables on her wealthy parents when they force her to go to church every week as punishment. |
Cast : Danielle Macdonald as Grace, Judy Greer as Gretchen, Peter Gwinn as Andy, Jacqueline Toboni as Jo, Tim Kazurinsky as Father Timothy.
|15||7||"Lady Cha Cha"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| Chase and Jo clash over double standards about art, sex and feminism. Chase is a budding burlesque dancer despite Jo's disapproval, while Jo helps produce feminist performance art featuring nudity. |
Cast : Kiersey Clemons as Chase, Jaz Sinclair as Amber, Jacqueline Toboni as Jo.
|16||8||"Baby Steps"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||December 1, 2017|
| Burned by a recent breakup, Annie finds joy baby-sitting for a friend in need, and contemplates a new kind of domestic arrangement. |
Cast : Megan Ferguson as Samantha, Kate Micucci as Annie.
Season 3 (2019)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|17||1||"Swipe Right"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| Andi and Kyle have an open marriage, but Kyle's the only one seeing other people — until Andi runs into an old friend at a dinner party. |
Cast : Lindsay Burdge as Amy, Cliff Chamberlain as Ryan, Michael Chernus as Kyle, Elizabeth Reaser as Andi.
|18||2||"Private Eyes"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| Hugh, a low-level employee at the U-Spy Store, jumps at the chance to go undercover at a BDSM party, dutifully researching his role as a submissive. |
Cast : Nicky Excitement as Hugh, Perry Myers as Detective Perry, Marika Engelhardt as Detective Lindsay, Molly Hewitt as Mistress Amelia.
|19||3||"Spontaneous Combustion"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| When Chase and Jo's lease is up, Chase admits she's not ready to be in a committed relationship. But making a clean break isn't easy. |
Cast : Sophia Bush as Alexandria, Kiersey Clemons as Chase, Jaz Sinclair as Amber, Jacqueline Toboni as Jo.
|20||4||"Yes"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| Tired of being single Annie decides to say yes to everyone who asks her out for 30 days — and finds herself battling dating fatigue. |
Cast : Kate Micucci as Annie, John Gallagher, Jr as Lucas, Megan Ferguson as Samantha.
|21||5||"Swipe Left"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| Kyle feels threatened by Andi's relationship with Ryan. But a change of heart forces both Kyle and Andi to take a hard look at their feelings and evaluate the success of their polyamorous relationship experiment. |
Cast : Lindsay Burdge as Amy, Cliff Chamberlain as Ryan, Michael Chernus as Kyle, Elizabeth Reaser as Andi.
|22||6||"Blank Pages"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| Self-absorbed professor Jacob learns that a former student is penning an unflattering graphic novel about their relationship. |
Cast : Jane Adams as Annabelle Jones, Marc Maron as Jacob Malco, Melanie Lynskey as Beth.
|23||7||"Number One Seller"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| To avoid giving up a percentage of his sales, street vendor Skrap splits off from his boss and recruits his friend Kool to mount a rival operation. |
Cast : Kali Skrap as Skrap, Anthony Smith as Ant, Louis Frazier (aka Kool), as Kool.
|24||8||"Low Rolling Boil"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| As Jeff's neighborhood gentrifies, the neighbors begin to object to Jeff's garage brewery, leading him to be arrested twice. Jeff's estranged brother Matt reaches out and offers him a job at his rival brewery, seeking to break the ice after their father's death. Jeff realizes the garage operation is unworkable and commits to taking care of his young daughter, giving Noelle a much needed boost of support as she prepares to sign a lease on a commercial kitchen with Sherri. Jeff reconnects with Matt and gives his offer of working part-time serious thought, reuniting the families over beer as the episode ends. |
Cast : Zazie Beetz as Noelle, Aya Cash as Sherri, Dave Franco as Jeff, Evan Jonigkeit as Matt.
|25||9||"She's Back"||Joe Swanberg||Joe Swanberg||May 10, 2019|
| When Sophie learns that her TV show was cancelled, she has second thoughts about the ex she left behind to pursue her acting dreams. |
Cast : Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie, Jake Johnson as Drew.
The first season of Easy received positive reviews from film critics. It holds an 85% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 26 reviews, with an average rating of 7.53/10. On Metacritic, the season holds a rating of 72 out of 100, based on reviews from 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The show's second season received similar reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 86% approval rating based on 14 critical reviews, with an average rating of 9/10.
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- Swartz, Tracy (May 7, 2019). "Easy Creator Reflects on the Chicago TV Show Ahead of Netflix Premiere of Final Season". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- Lesley Goldberg. "Mumblecore Master Joe Swanberg Sets Star-Studded Comedic Anthology Series at Netflix". Hollywood Reporter.
- Metz, Nina (September 22, 2016). "The TV Show that Joe Swanberg Wants to Do for the Rest of His Life". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
- Petski, Denise (July 27, 2016). "'Black Mirror', 'One Day At A Time' & More Get Premiere Dates On Netflix – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
- Perez, Rodrigo (April 7, 2017). "Joe Swanberg Talks 'Win It All,' 'Easy' & His Fruitful Creative Collaboration With Jake Johnson". The Playlist. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- Goldberg, Lesley (October 5, 2017). "Netflix Anthology 'Easy' Sets New and Returning Cast for Season 2 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- Goldberg, Lesley (August 22, 2018). "'Easy' Renewed for Third and Final Season at Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- "Anthology Series 'Easy' Back on Netflix for Final Season May 10". broadcastingcable.com. March 29, 2019.
- Greene, David (May 13, 2019). "'Easy': How Director Joe Swanberg Improvised A TV Show". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
- Hernandez, Christina (2019-05-08). "The 3 Best Episodes from Seasons 1 & 2 of Netflix's 'Easy'". Study Breaks. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
- Travers, Ben (2019-05-14). "Joe Swanberg on the End of 'Easy,' Anthology Series Going Out of Vogue, and Hope for the Future". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 14, 2016). "Netflix Sets Joe Swanberg Anthology Series 'Easy'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- "Easy – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- "Easy: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- "Easy: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- "Easy: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 10, 2019.