I didn’t know what to think about Season 2 of this surprisingly low-key Netflix hit at first; I guess I was just wanting more than watching Christina Applegate stare down all surrounding her with a stinkface, and wanting a bit more than Linda Cardellini crying, as good as she is at that. It also felt like it kinda abandoned the premise of the first season entirely, which was about grief and letting go of your own pain. Not that it didn’t have good reason to, as Season 2 shifted gears towards a ‘kinda murder mystery kinda not’ tone.
However, from about the midpoint of the season, where Linda Cardellini gets to do more with her suffering than just letting it consume her, we truly get some worthwhile television. And while I won’t spoil, she seems to have carved out a niche at playing lipstick lesbians/bisexuals in the same way that Natasha Lyonne has carved out a career playing rougher examples of lesbian gender roles.
A problem with the series is that it relies on sitcom levels of contrivances despite not being one; while this can work to great effect with the revelation of Michelle’s ex-girlfriend, the cliffhanger finale is a lot harder to swallow, simply because it reads like a desperate attempt for Netflix to not do one of its notoriously fucky practices and cancel after two seasons, simply because the algorithm implied they should.
7/10: Velma is getting her life back together