Josh Thomas’ fantastic Freeform series doesn’t miss a beat as it follows its four main ones going through the pandemic.
There are several times during the first three episodes of Season 2 of “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” when Nicholas is talking to his mother and he mutes her to talk to someone else. The first time around, it’s played for a chuckle of grace, but by the time it happens again it’s more of a quick shortcut for a complicated intercontinental relationship.
In a few beats this tells any viewer that Nicholas (played by screenwriter and series creator Josh Thomas) is the kind of person who can have multiple conversations at once (when he wants to), he’s often motivated by a impulse, and that – from Australia – Penny (Vivienne Walshe) seeks to relieve her own anxieties just as much as Nicholas avoids having to take them.
It is the flavor of simple economic character work on which “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” thrives. The show ended by airing its first season on the eve of lockdown with a finale set in a bustling and stressful New York City. Rather than trying to disguise him as if nothing had happened, Season 2 follows Nicholas, his sisters Matilda (Kayla Cromer) and Genevieve (Maeve Press), and boyfriend Alex (Adam Faison) as they live. all in Southern California, waiting for the pandemic together.
The first season of “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” was marked in large part by the obstacles of these four to acclimatize to a new life together: with the unexpected death of their father, Nicholas was tasked with being the guardian of Matilda and Geneviève while navigating a relatively new relationship. Some of those same tweaks persist in Season 2, but come with that added pressure of being able to provide comfort, distraction, and solace in their time as a lone pod.
Freeform / Ser Baffo
“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” is one of the best-equipped TV shows to handle a smaller set and reduced reach. The added focus on the main group gives each of them their own little evolutions as they are forced to confront what they dislike about each other and themselves. As much as they each like to project the idea that everything is really okay, not having the distraction of school or work or being able to get beyond the aisle only forces them to be more transparent about how including being a good tutor, girlfriend or nun. or son is harder than ever.
As this family dynamic has evolved over the course of the first episodes, everyone contributes and benefits. There are stretches where one of them may seem distant or isolated. What makes this family a family that has endured hardships at this point in history is that they are all different enough to provide what is needed at any given time. Sometimes it’s a frank and honest conversation. Other times, it’s wacky self-deprecation. (It’s an honor for this show how much these can go together too.)
Director Silas Howard, who worked on a number of episodes in the opening season, finds plenty of ways to make their home feel like a separate place wherever they are, in and around it. ‘it. Even though some characters may feel trapped in homemaking practices, Howard still manages to infuse these episodes with an energy that helps the story recognize these circumstances without feeling suffocated by them.
This, in turn, allows for those effortless switching between the various emotional threads of the show that Thomas and the show’s writers continue to run. Nicholas and Alex can go from flirty and silly to Serious Talk and back in a real and effortless way. Matilda can confront the truths behind her own feelings while everyone can vividly and playfully fight over privacy in a few rooms. The show also proves that “Ted Lasso” does not have a monopoly on “recent shows that find humor and emotion in standing around a fire and burning things.”
Freeform / Ser Baffo
Even though the band is housebound, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” finds another great way to expand its reach. The two main additions to the cast of Maria Bamford and Richard Kind as parents to Matilda’s girlfriend Drea (Lillian Carrier) are inspired additions. Not everyone in the house immediately appreciates these two new characters, but Bamford and Kind instantly cling to the peculiar mix of unfiltered and wacky honesty that fuels much of the rest of the series.
“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” is a perfect balance. There is comfort without feeling too casual. There is introspection without getting too serious. There is real affection without losing the tension that comes from being so close to someone. While the pre-season show grapples with gargantuan universal ideas of loss, family, grief, and change, every small step towards clarity was taken with surprising ease by everyone who participated in the show. evolutionary history of this family.
Likewise, it puts the main quartet of the series on an equal footing. At the start of Season 2, you could argue for each of these four as the main glue that holds everyone together. Their methods vary wildly, but each has become an essential part of what makes this group a unit worth following – even if only for the kitchen and back.
“Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” airs new episodes Thursday night at 10 p.m. on Freeform.
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