FX's new comedy starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard as parents "is a funny and engaging program about the trials and tribulations of Paul and Ally, a longtime London couple with two kids under the age of eight," says Tim Grierson. "But after five episodes, I’m not sure I have much more patience for the show’s overriding theme, which is that, boy howdy, being a parent sure is hard. It’s not that I disagree with that thesis. It’s just that I think everyone knows it already — even viewers like me who don’t have children and don’t plan on having them. Raising kids is a difficult undertaking for which I’m in utter awe. But don’t expect me to give your show about it a medal just for pointing that out." Grierson adds: "Like a standup comic expressing an obvious, uncontroversial opinion on stage in hopes of getting a positive response, this single-camera comedy keeps hammering on the notion that the wider world just doesn’t get the shocking reality of parenting, which is that it often makes people miserable monsters. My problem with that conceit is that just about everyone does get that. You don’t even have to be a parent to understand this — not that long ago, FX had another series about the same thing, Married, and other networks’ shows such as Amazon’s acclaimed Catastrophe have mined similar terrain. (The blunt, unemotional titles of these similar programs suggest their shared mindset: Raising children is akin to a tragedy or a prison sentence.)"
Breeders is a painfully honest look at parenthood: "Where Breeders really shines is when it mines the trying and exasperating parenting moments and then goes a few layers deeper as Paul and Ally reveal to each other what’s really bothering them and what’s really important to them," says Diane Gordon. "The first episode vividly shows how any random night quickly becomes a sleepless one as they try to accomplish the task of getting their kids to go to sleep."
Daisy Haggard makes Breeders worth watching: "As the star and writer of Back to Life (which aired stateside on Showtime last year), she brought an unthinkable amount of empathy to a premise that on paper shouldn’t really work," says Steve Greene. "Here, especially in episodes deeper into the series run when the emotional spectrum gets widened, she’s giving the kind of performance that helps shades in the gaps where the rest of the show feels less nuanced."