Quick Reviews: 'You' Season 3 | 'Ted Lasso' Season 2
YOU (Season 3)
Hello you, what a surprise to see you around here. Well, maybe less of a surprise since You is so immensely popular that we're talking about season three already, after making the jump from network to streaming where it really broke through. Things are slightly different compared to previous seasons for our main serial killer and stalker Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) as we find him and menacingly matched Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) moving to San Francisco-like suburbs of Madre Linda with their newborn son Henry. They are set to leave the past behind them and live a cozy domestic life before Joe's old habits resurface when a new neighbour comes into picture, also throwing Love off balance as she gets to know the community of their new home town.
First two episodes of the season maintain show's main formula, observing a new place once again through Joe's perspective while Badgley narrates his character's findings. That narration has been a major part of the series' success but it feels even more refined and effective, almost as if showrunner Sera Gamble and writers room are willing to lean on madness with more courage now. Strength that is displayed through writing for Joe does however make a lot of the faults more obvious, case examples being episodes 3 and 5 where the exploration of a new residence is paused in order to introduce action without any kind of building blocks. Love and minor characters like teen neighbour Theo (Dylan Arnold) and Joe's colleague Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) are treated as wrecking balls to bring the house down which makes the story feel very much overstuffed.
Putting writing aside for now, acting in You continues the delicate dance between soap operas and crime thrillers, Badgley and Pedretti leading the way just as well as in season two while even smaller roles like Shalita Grant and Travis Van Finkle's (as Sherry and Gary Conrad, respectively) turn out to be more than sketches they first appear. That main quartet's work set up the fantastic season finale which is a real high point for this series, creating the perfect mix of tension, consequences and bitterness while showing more technical flair than before. Now we're just off to see if there is anything more to ''You'' than has met the ''I''.
Smileys: Ending, narration
TED LASSO (Season 2)
Following the gradual run of victories in its first season in terms of show's popularity, less with matches to be fair, season two of Ted Lasso finds AFC Richmond lead by the titular head coach (played by Jason Sudeikis) yearning for a promotion a level below Premier League. The team is stuck playing draws, Ted feels uneasy about a new psychologist Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) are in their honeymoon period, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) is searching for a new spark, Jamie (Phil Dunster) is conquering a dating show instead of football world and Nate (Nick Mohammed) is adapting to his new coaching gig. Oh, and few other storylines are going on too but we only have 90 minutes here.
The series' sophomore run isn't afraid to veer away slightly from the ''feel good'' comedy traits as it also starts to pay off some seeds planted later in the first season, much improving the incredibly interesting set of characters now. Ted going head-to-head with Dr. Fieldstone gives a great arc for Sudeikis throughout the season (football and of the show) as does Roy and Jamie's strained rivalry, Dunster really coming to limelight of the two actors which is shown best in episode 8. Different kind of friction between Rebecca and much younger Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) also fields great results, once again proving that there's a deep bench in the show since Jimoh is certainly the standout of season two, giving a really charismatic performance while the character digs deep into his Nigerian roots.
Season under the lens really only takes a yellow card bordering on red in the ninth episode which is an intoxicated side adventure of Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt). Everything about the episode looks and feels off, from the writing to tone and cinematography to pacing, none of it being up to standards. That episode aside, there's still infectious energy in the storylines and acting because editing continues to be champion-like level in the hands of Melissa McCoy and A.J. Catoline. Can Ted Lasso can score three in a row next season?
Smileys: Characterisation, editing, Toheeb Jimoh, Phil Dunster
Frowneys: One weak episode