SMILF - S2
WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Bridget Bird is a single mom living in South Boston who is just trying to do the best for her son, Larry, while juggling a rather alternative family, struggling to make ends meet and trying to have her own life outside of motherhood.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
This highly-anticipated second (and unfortunately final) season of SMILF will not let you down, but the season finale will probably frustrate you knowing that it ends on a cliffhanger and there’s no resolution.
This season sees Bridget trying to become more of an ‘adult’ while still managing her role as a single mom and dealing with the ghosts of her past and present.
Bridget is a mess. She’s trying to do her best for Larry, but her best is sometimes not all that great. But she’s also trying to deal with her own demons – namely dealing with the sexual abuse her father inflicted on her as a child and trying to find him now, as well as how to be responsible for things like paying the rent when she’s struggling with money and her eating disorder which is a constant battle.
The first season of the show was amazing. It was a smart, funny, empathic look on motherhood, female sexuality and relationships. Season two is still great although slightly flawed.
There were quite a few things that stood out to me this season. Episode three focuses on women who have to leave their children and often their own lives behind to become surrogate mothers to other people’s children.
It’s told in a funny and honest way, but while you laugh at the antics of the rich white woman who just wants a Birkin bag and thinks her life is so hard while other people look after her children, you are also faced with the reality that many women actually live this life and are forced to give up things they love (whether it be their children or a concert by their favourite artist) simply because they desperately need the money.
Then there’s episode four where Bridget has to spend the day focusing on herself while her son is with his father and it doesn’t go as planned. She spends much of it looking at her to do list and not doing any of it, while also binge eating lots of sugary things. The episode also features a great cameo by the beloved Kevin Bacon. It also highlights just how messed up your thoughts can be when your mental health isn’t in optimum shape and needs a little help. I’m pretty sure Bridget suffers from anxiety and who knows what other mental health issues, along with her eating disorder. These, unfortunately, aren’t addressed adequately yet, although they probably would have been in the third season if we got one.
Another episode goes back to 2014 as Bridget prepares to give birth to Larry. It shows how much she’s grown, but also hasn’t and shows the evolution of her relationship with Rafi, Larry’s father. At the end of the episode she makes a heart-breaking decision, but one that was probably necessary.
Rosie O’Donnell’s Tutu is probably my favourite character in this series next to Eliza played by Raven Goodwin. Tutu is a force to be reckoned with, but you can tell she’s also seen her fair share of heartache and sorrow. She’s overbearing, but she’s also kind and wants the best for Bridget and Larry, even though she might not be doing the best at that.
We also get introduced to Jackie, Tutu’s younger sister, played by Sherie Rene Scott and she adds a delightful little something extra to this family dynamic.
I love that this show is so female-focused, diverse, embraces the “unlikeable characters” and it’s sad that there won’t be any more seasons, but I think Frankie Shaw and the rest of the cast and crew can be proud of a great product and a series well-made.
The last episode of the season drops quite a few bombs and also takes a look at Rafi’s addiction and how he’s coping. All these things coincide with Larry’s birthday party because of course, a birthday party can never be without complication. I think I made an otherworldly noise when I watched the finale and realised that I would never get the resolution to the issues that came up in it.
Well, if the executives over at Showtime ever decide to give the show another go, then they’re perfectly set up for a great season.
Also, a warning for the first episode of the show; suicide is depicted and could be potentially triggering. It’s not graphic, but it is blatant.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: