Review By Frances Winston
Starring: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden, Max Jenkins, Sam McCarthy, Luke Roessler
Season 2 now streaming on Netflix
The first season of this dark comedy was a huge hit – thanks in no small part to all the twists and turns. Every time you thought you had it figured out, it hit you with something else. It also created a fabulous on-screen double-act, in the form of Applegate and Cardellini. Despite loving season one though, I was sceptical that they could recreate the magic for season two.
The first season introduced us to Jen (Applegate) and Judy (Cardellini) whose lives become intertwined when they meet at group grief counselling, having both suffered a loss. Without issuing spoilers for season one, their lives are now more intertwined than ever, following its events. And things get far more complicated this time around, as the stakes are much higher for both women.
With so many shows being cut short as filming was cancelled over CoVid (Good Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, Supergirl, Young Sheldon, Law & Order SVU to name just a few) it’s actually refreshing to be able to sit and watch a series through as it was intended – especially one that keeps you on your toes like this one does. We’re not even half way through the first episode, before it’s throwing out ‘what the actual…’ moments, and it doesn’t let up.
The two leads are still fabulous together, and their chemistry has only increased, if anything. Marsden gets far more to do this season, which is always a good thing, as he’s a far better actor than he’s often given credit for. And there are some well-known names that pop up in recurring roles, simply adding to the casting kudos.
Like season two of anything, this doesn’t have the surprise element of the first season, but it builds very well on what was set in motion, and stays true to the characters’ ethos. Also, and I will never get tired of saying this, it’s fabulous to see a strong female-led show.
This is a really strong second season, for a show that could easily have gone downhill after a strong start, given its complex subject-matter. It will have you glued to your seat, and builds to a really emotional ending. Definitely worth a box-set binge in lockdown.