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Why Better Things Won't Address Frankie's Gender Identity This Season

The stars discuss the show's real-life approach

Kaitlin Thomas

Better Things' first season ended with questions over whether one of Sam's (Pamela Adlon) daughters, Frankie (Hannah Alligood), might identify as a gender other than female. But when the Emmy-nominated FX comedy returns next month, fans shouldn't expect any cut-and-dry resolution to what Frankie's going through.

"I think questions like these should be directed towards Pamela and anybody else involved with the writing process because I don't know, and I think that's the point -- is that nobody really knows what's going on with Frankie because she's at this stage in her life where everything's confusing," Alligood tells TV Guide.

In Better Things' first season finale, "Only Women Bleed," Sam had to meet with the school principal after Frankie got in trouble for using the boys' bathroom. Frankie tells Sam that she doesn't identify as male, but simply thinks middle school girls are "disgusting." However, when Sam discusses the incident with her eldest daughter Max (Mikey Madison), she matter-of-factly tells her mother, "Frankie's a boy." After this revelation, it appears to dawn on Sam that Max is correct, but the issue is left at that.

FX Networks Sets Premiere Dates for You're the Worst and Better Things

Adlon, who created and writes the series, purposefully left things about Frankie's gender identity vague in the season finale. Going into Season 2, she decided to not put any labels on Frankie, who is only 12-years-old and still discovering her identity at her own pace.

Explains Alligood: "The style of the show is that it's like life where not all of the answers aren't just handed to you. A lot of the things you kind of have to figure out for yourself."

Better Things premieres Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10/9c on FX.