Natasha Lyonne stars as Nadia Vulvokov in Netflix’s Russian Doll PHOTO: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS FOR A PILOT TO BE PICKED UP, GETTING THE GREEN LIGHT FOR SEASON 2 IS JUST AS BIG OF A HURDLE. HERE’S A BRIEFING ON THE WEALTH OF EMMY-CONTENDING SHOWS THAT RETURNED FOR SECOND ACTS AFTER KNOCKOUT DEBUTS. WITH TV LOOKING THIS GREAT, WE SAY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SOPHOMORE SLUMP.
The second installment of the Regency era romance series pivots from Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) to the family’s eldest: Viscount Anthony (Jonathan Bailey). Through his own journey to find love, Anthony must come to terms with the overbearing grief he still feels over his father’s death and the weight he carries as the family’s leader. Among his personal troubles, he sees Queen Charlotte’s Diamond of the season, Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), as his perfect match. The only problem is, deep down, his true feelings are for her older, headstrong sister, Kate (Simone Ashley).
Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Schafer) fall out of step in Euphoria PHOTO: BY EDDY CHEN/HBO
After being awarded for her portrayal of addict teen Rue Bennett, Zendaya proved she is aiming for another Emmy win. The HBO show took over Sunday nights with an eviscerating look at the dark, twisted lives of Gen Z teens. This time with a notable emphasis on Rue’s longtime friend and Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney) sister Lexi (Maude Apatow), Euphoria season 2 saw everyone hit their lowest lows.
THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT, HBO MAX
Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) has ditched New York City for greener pastures. Sober and living in Los Angeles, she hasn’t quite yet left behind her old life and moonlights as a CIA asset in her spare time. An overseas assignment positions Cassie to inadvertently witness a murder and she once again becomes caught up in another international affair.
Deborah (Jean Smart) and Ava (Hannah Einbinder) hit the road in Hacks. PHOTO: COURTESY OF HBO MAX
THE GREAT, HULU
The time has come for Catherine (Elle Fanning) to reign. However, the idealistic ruler will come to realize that “liberating” a country that doesn’t want to be is much harder than sacking her husband from the throne. Catherine will butt heads with her court, team and own mother all in the effort to bring enlightenment to Russia, and along the way she’ll battle her heart as her relationship with Peter (Nicholas Hoult) does a 180 spin.
The Ted Lasso ensemble of footballers PHOTO: COURTESY OF APPLE TV
HACKS, HBO MAX
Deborah Vance (Jean Smart) is fresh off the most vulnerable set of her life when she returns to Las Vegas to see the Palmetto is moving on without her. Still feeling inspired, she decides to hit the road to continue to try out new material across the country. Comedy co-pilot Ava (Hannah Einbinder) is tasked to join, but she is distracted by Deborah finding out about the slanderous rage email that could very well become a TV series about the stand-up legend’s searing temper.
Kaley Cuoco as Cassie in The Flight Attendant. PHOTO: BY JENNIFER ROSE CHASEN/HBO MAX
THE MORNING SHOW, APPLE TV+
When season 1 ended, UBA had cut the national news feed in response to Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston) and Bradley Jackson’s (Reese Witherspoon) on-air exposé of the toxic workplace culture at the network. The new season returned reeling from the ensuing mayhem while chaos continued through workplace dynamics, secret romances and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elle Fanning takes the throne in The Great PHOTO: BY GARETH GATRELL/HULU
RUSSIAN DOLL, NETFLIX
The Netflix series finds no shortage of humor and existentialism in its new batch of episodes. Taking place four years after Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) escape mortality’s time loop, the two find a fate somehow worse than endless death. What starts as an exciting ever-expanding adventure devolves into something more than they bargained for and they must search for a way out.
Sparks fly on Bridgerton PHOTO: BY LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
TED LASSO, APPLE TV+
TV’s most heartfelt show just got real. After AFC Richmond loses its way out of the professional league, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and the rest of the team must come together to make it back in—and deal with their inner turmoil along the way. Meanwhile, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) finds herself in a complicated romance, Nathan (Nick Mohammed) faces ego troubles, and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) and Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) find themselves back right where they belong.
Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show PHOTO: COURTESY OF APPLE TV