1. Caleb McLaughlin, 2. Gaten Matarazzo, 3. Finn Wolfhard, 4. Millie Bobby Brown
5. Bella Ramsey
6. Auli’i Cravalho
7. Lonnie Chavis, 8. Mackenzie Hancsicsak, 9. Parker Bates
10. Micah Fowler
11. Julian Dennison
12. Mikey Madison, 13. Hannah Alligood, 14. Olivia Edward
On FX's heartfelt Better Things, co-creator and star Pamela Adlon plays Sam Fox, a single mother working in Los Angeles and raising three children: Max (17-year-old Mikey Madison), Frankie (13-year-old Hannah Alligood), and Duke (9-year-old Olivia Edward). In writing the show, which is dedicated to her daughters, Adlon pulled from real life, so it's no surprise that Max, Frankie, and Duke are some of the year's most authentically written characters.
And all three actors possess the depth of skill required to develop rich layers for their creations. Madison elevates Max's teenage turmoil far beyond mere petulance, Alligood grounds Frankie's nonconformity in an undeniable truth, and Edward injects Duke with a shrewdness that could feel precocious in lesser hands.
With Adlon delivering career-best work, the four have created a profoundly lovable, refreshingly real family unit.