It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this second season of Tig Notaro’s rather unique Amazon show doesn’t flow as well as the first, or why it doesn’t register as much. Perhaps it’s that the first season had a sharp focus (namely, a series of tragedies that brings Notaro back to her childhood home and reconnecting with her hometown), whereas this one feels more meandering. Over the course of six episodes, the audience is hard-pressed to discover anything new or interesting about these established characters, and a late-season arc involving sexual abuse (including a none-too-subtle reference to Louis CK, also a credited producer here) feels clumsy and awkward. Additionally, although the show developing romantic subplots for all three of its ostensible leads (Notaro herself, John Rothman and Noah Harpster) is a nice touch on paper, the execution leaves a lot to be desired – Notaro’s goes round and round endlessly, while Rothman’s feels like a writer’s construct rather than an organic connection. But it’s Harpster’s that takes the cake, introducing Carly Jibson’s Desiree like a wrecking ball but then refusing to develop her beyond a series of quips and off-hand comments. Overall however, Notaro herself is a compelling performer and she shares warm, effective and lived-in chemistry with off-screen wife Stephanie Allynne, and there are some engaging moments here and there. It just doesn’t add up to much, and the season ends on a whimper without registering much more than a few smiles here and there.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)