WHERE TO WATCH:
Premieres on 1Magic (DStv 103) Monday 14 June at 22:30 and is available on Showmax the same day.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
The series follows five young women on journeys of self-discovery against the backdrop of New York City’s male-dominated skateboarding scene. In season two, our five protagonists are stepping firmly into womanhood and tackling all the challenges it brings.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
The Betties are back, skating through the streets of New York, but there's one big difference, they're wearing masks now, and the streets are practically empty.
In my review of season one, I said that the charm of the series is that "it's just a look at life and its messiness". The second series follows in this vein with the coronavirus pandemic, the BLM protests, and the significant losses New Yorkers have experienced during the pandemic in the backdrop as the five friends navigate these external changes and the internal changes happening in their lives.
I have to be honest: I did struggle with the first two episodes. It felt like I was dropped into the middle of the season, and there were some storylines from season one that didn't properly conclude. By episode three, things got better for me, and the storylines and progression thereof had a more cohesive feel to it.
While the series is still centred on the five friends, a lot more time is spent on fleshing out their individual stories. The character with the most growth is Camille (Rachelle Vinberg). In season one, she was more about impressing the boys; this season, she comes into her own. In discovering who she truly is, she can stand up for herself and her friends. She has learned the value of friendship and community, and there is one moment in the show when you'll be very proud of her.
Janay (Dede Lovelace) is the "get things done" friend in this group, and when they lose their skate spot, she goes on a search to find one, which she does. With the help of Sylvester (Andrew Darnell), she creates a space for their displaced skateboarding community and her uncle, who has a food outreach service for the elderly.
For most of the season, Kirt (Nina Moran) is out of commission from skateboarding because of a broken leg. She goes on a mission to discover her true purpose and becomes a guru for the skateboarding male counterparts, teaching them, among other things, how to understand women and to become true allies. But as much as she is teaching the boys, Kirt too still has some learning to do.
At the end of season one, we saw Honeybear (Moonbear) embark on a relationship with Ash (Katerina Tannenbaum). Throughout this season, we see her navigating the ups and downs of a relationship, mainly when there is no clear communication and the misunderstandings that can arise from it.
And then there's Indigo (Ajani Russell), who really has a hard time this season; she's crashing on Camille's floor, trying to get money to pay her mom back. She does some risky things. It all comes to a halt after she finds herself in a dangerous situation and has the eventual meltdown with her friends by her side. I could relate to Indigo in a sense; amid the challenging year that was 2020, everyone was dealing with their own private battles, too, that can look small in the face of homelessness, unemployment, and so much death.
The central theme of this season is community, and we see this firmly come together at the end. The five friends were trying to find their place in the community in season one; they are now the leaders in the community and bringing about change. Where season one was an ode to sisterhood, this season is an ode to community. The charm of this season is the slice of life look at how the Betties and everyone else navigate life the best they can amid a global pandemic.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: