Am I Being Unreasonable: Is the Hulu Series Based on Real Life?

Image Credit: Simon Ridgway/BBC

Hulu’s ‘Am I Being Unreasonable’ is a comedy-drama series that follows the story of two women who forge a bond of friendship to help them get through the tough times in their lives. Nic, who is married and has one son, is deeply unhappy with her life. Grieving a loss that she can’t talk about to anyone, she is stuck in a rut with the husband she doesn’t love. The lack of friends makes things worse for her. That is until Jen arrives in town.

A single mother, Jen has her own demons to make her life difficult, but being with Nic gives her some reprieve. As the women share their trauma and loneliness, their secrets come to light, threatening everything around them. Created by Daisy May Cooper and Selin Hizli, who also star in the show, ‘Am I Being Unreasonable’ is a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and thriller that keeps the audience guessing. If you want to learn what is the story’s true origin, here’s what you should know.

Am I Being Unreasonable is a Fictional Story

No, ‘Am I Being Unreasonable’ is not based on actual events. It is an original story created by Cooper and Hizli. The title of the series references a thread on Mumsnet, a website for parents to share their worries, troubles, and experiences and seek advice from others. “We were very inspired by reading those [Mumsnet] posts,” Hizli told Radio Times. “Those posts are so brilliant. Women talking about how awful their marriages are, and all the other women go, ‘Leave the b*****d.’ They could write that their husband sneezed, and they’d still go, ‘Leave him!’” Cooper added.

Image Credits: Alistair Heap/Boffola Pictures

While the website for parents gave the duo some ideas, the story’s inception took place during the pandemic, when both of them were going through some personal challenges, making them realize the importance of female friendships. “We didn’t realize how much we were missing that really important friendship as a source of comfort and connection. That was the starting point for our writing, and also talking about other female friendships that we’ve had, and how some of them get really toxic and make you doubt yourself more,” Hizli said.

Cooper revealed that she was feeling utterly lost after separating from her husband a few months after the birth of their son. “I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing. I spoke to Selin on the phone, who I felt was going through a similar thing. I felt I was having a breakdown; I was going mad. She got in a car and drove to me. We got really drunk, and then we said, ‘God, we should write something about this,’” she told Shondaland.

When they started writing the show, they drew on their personal experiences, basing their characters on their own lives. Talking about the similarities between her and Nic, Cooper said: I’m just playing myself. I try to get through life but still feel as if I’m 15. I genuinely thought I’d grow up when I had kids, but my daughter is constantly saying: ‘Mum, stop it. Don’t wear that. Don’t dance to that.’ I never thought I’d become the embarrassing mother, but here we are.”

Image Credits: Simon Ridgway/BBC

Cooper fed her own emotions into Nic, especially regarding marriage and motherhood. “When it was happening to me, I felt you should have a happy ending. We had so many friends who just got married and had newborns and were so happy. I found it to be hell. I was struggling to be a mom. That’s what Nic is doing: She doesn’t know who she is, and she’s looking for outside validation and love. That’s the exact space I was in, feeling this guilt,” she said.

Similarly, the friendship between Nic and Jen also has its roots in the real friendship of Cooper and Hizli. The latter called it “almost like a love story” between the characters. Cooper revealed that she had found the same judgment-less love and support in Hizli before and during the show’s making, which Nic found in Jen, and vice versa. It was “when you have a friend you make a connection with, you just fall head over heels in love with each other.” For the show’s characters, however, the writer-cum-actors took it a step ahead into the domain of toxicity. “They get so close that it’s got to go wrong,” Cooper said.

While the show has dark undercurrents, it stays in touch with humor. Cooper and Hizli wanted this balance of drama and comedy as it made everything feel more realistic. Talking about how Nic and Jen are damaged, Cooper commented, “But who isn’t?” The idea was to write a story and characters to which the audience could relate. So, even though ‘Am I Being Reasonable’ is a fictional tale, it is rooted in reality by the writers who wanted it to come across as truthfully as possible.

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