GOOD GIRLS Season 2 fights pacing issues to deliver another strong season

The crime/heist dramedy debuted on HBO in the US, and Netflix in 2018 and became a major hit with the mix of crime elements and family-centric drama becoming a big draw for the series. Now the series is back with a slightly longer season and a little more going on to try fill the 13 episodes.

This season of Good Girls continues the crime journey of three mothers who are still roped in with a high-profile crime gang and whose main desire is to simply protect the ones they love… by any means possible. The FBI however, are hot on their trail and so the cat and mouse game continues.

The first season had a lot going for it and turned out to be a very fun, exciting, and dramatic run with plenty of twists and turns to throw you off along the way. It had plenty of humour, some emotional family moments, and a good mix of drama and crime to balance things out. This second season however, with the extended episode length has a bit more going on, isn’t as tight as the first season, and isn’t paced quite as well. That being said, it’s still a thoroughly fun and enjoyable season that has some key memorable moments and closes out on a very high note.

The season still does well in giving you a balance between all of the family drama you’d find in an average suburban family and the heist/crime elements you want from a crime series. What’s even greater in this season than the first is that it touches more on how these two sides, the crime and family drama, affect each-other. Also great is how in relation to the mothers in the show, problems with one, create problems with the other, and the cycle keeps going and going. There is enough going on this season to not only hold your attention but make you want to find out what happens next.

There are the main plots that are the most interesting and that you want to learn the most about and they’re great in leading the season. As there is a lot more in this season though, there are some sub-plots that aren’t as engaging for a number reasons. Whether they drag too long, seem too repetitive, or deal with less-interesting characters they hold the season back a little but not so much that it’s not fun. If anything it affects the pacing of some episodes, a couple of which this season slow things down and aren’t as eventful.

The only other pacing issue would be with the final two episodes which happened to be two of the better episodes ironically. What it seems like, is it was extended to 13 episodes so they could take their time, but they maybe stretched things a little too far, as the last two episodes seem quite rushed. A lot of things go down in the last two episodes and compared to the rest of the season it moves really fast. If it all played out over 3-4 episodes it would have fit smoother and not been like a race to the finish. But that being said, it does end on a good note.

The lead characters in Beth (Christina Hendricks), Annie (Mae Whitman), and Ruby (Retta) are all just as strong as last season both together and as a group. They each get their moments to shine in the crime world and amongst the family drama, and are all part of interesting sub-plots that drive the season forward. No matter which combination of these three characters is being focused on, even if it’s just the one, they each are strong enough characters and have good enough performances behind them to carry every scene.

Speaking of the performances, Hendricks, Whitman, and Retta are all fantastic in delivering the comedy and really selling the stress their characters are going through with raw emotion. They know when to go into the deeper more serious moments and also when to just have fun, and that’s the charm of the show. No matter how dark and serious things make get, these girls know how to have fun, and the show is always able to make light of any situation. Supporting performances from Matthew Lillard, Reno Wilson, and Manny Montana are still strong and compliment the women in charge really well. They drive their scenes just as well as the ‘good girls’ and Wilson specifically has more great emotional scenes upped from last season.

Manny Montana is a real presence and plays the role of Rio so well that whenever he’s on-screen the dramatic intensity is heightened tenfold. He’s someone that aside from the girls themselves, the series could not do without.

In the end, Good Girls‘ second season follows up the first with another strong entry that doesn’t quite reach the same level. The performances from the leads and supporting characters all work and there’s great chemistry there. The humour is still there, the emotional moments are all the more present, and theres a good amount of crime and family drama content. The pacing is ultimately the downfall, it’s a little sluggish through some episodes mid-season and the last two episodes move very fast in covering a lot in not a lot of time. But it’s a good continuation and the fact that it has already been renewed for a third season leaves a lot to look forward to.

7.2/10

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