Life & Beth season 1 – why do Beth and Ann have a complicated relationship with Jane?

By Marc Miller
Published: March 18, 2022 (Last updated: March 3, 2023)
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Why do Beth and Ann have a complicated relationship with Jane in Life & Beth season 1 - hulu series

This article, “Why do Beth and Ann have a complicated relationship with Jane,” contains spoilers regarding Hulu’s Life & Beth season 1.

Read the season 1 review.

Throughout the series, and even after the death of Beth and Ann’s mother, Jane, the sister still has hard feelings towards her. So much so Ann does not help and plan her funeral. Ann does not even want anything to do with Jane’s affairs, even her home. When Beth calls her sister after the last time Beth sees her alive, she thinks Jane is dating a married man again. I mean, we all have a type. Who are we to judge? Once you have a history of having an affair with your child’s best friend’s father, that is hard to forget. 

Why do Beth and Ann have a complicated relationship with Jane in Life & Beth season 1?

Throughout flashbacks, seen through Beth’s memories, Ann was too young to see what was going on as children. After Jane left their father, Leonard, she would cycle through relationships for positive male attention as a coping skill for her depression and self-worth. Including one affair that caused mental health issues for Beth. We see Beth process these memories, and when she talks to Ann, her sister continues to show how bitter she was about her childhood.

By the series end, their attitudes change and she shows her mother forgiveness.

The positive aspect of this is that it reunites Beth and Ann, who have not been close, and are now talking regularly again. That is to say, Beth only calls her when she complains about her mother. Jane’s death unites them for the first time in years. They enjoy time together, but they get to know each other and allow each other back in their lives. By the end of the series, at the “re-do” wake that Beth throws at the vineyard John works at, they both find closure by speaking about their mom.

Both are candid, forthcoming, and telling in how they speak of their mother’s strengths and flaws. Their tears flow, but that is a by-product of letting go of painful childhood memories. 

The question is: Will Beth and Ann continue to stay close? And will they remain reconciled to their father, Leonard? Ann introducing Beth to her girlfriend is a step in the right direction.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Hulu.

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