Amy Schumer’s semi-autobiographical Hulu dramedy series, Life & Beth, returns for a second season, continuing the journey of Beth (Schumer) as she grapples with life’s challenges and seeks personal growth.

The first season begins with a death and explores Beth’s reevaluation of her life, while the second season takes a deeper dive into her evolving relationships and introduces new characters. This review delves into the strengths and weaknesses of Life & Beth Season 2.

Season 1 Recap: A Journey of Rediscovery

The inaugural season followed Beth’s journey of self-discovery after the sudden loss of her mother. Leaving behind her urban life and a lackluster relationship, Beth returns to her hometown, confronting painful memories from her traumatic childhood.

life and beth season 2 review

The season unfolds through flashbacks, revealing the complexities of Beth’s upbringing and her parents’ tumultuous relationship. Schumer’s personal touch lends authenticity to the flashbacks, though occasional tonal shifts between drama and comedy create a distinct dichotomy.

Season 2 Focus: Relationships and Supporting Cast

The second season maintains the essence of the first but shifts its focus towards Beth’s evolving relationship with John (Michael Cera) and explores the lives of the supporting cast.

life and beth season 2 review

Schumer’s chemistry with Cera remains a highlight, but the season introduces new characters portrayed by a star-studded ensemble, including Amy Sedaris, Jennifer Coolidge, and Jemima Kirke.

Relationship Progression and New Challenges

Beth and John’s relationship takes center stage as they navigate the complexities of serious dating, a spontaneous New Orleans marriage, and impending parenthood.

life and beth season 2 review

The believably swift progression mirrors real-life experiences, and the revelation of John’s autism spectrum disorder adds a layer of depth to their journey. This subplot draws parallels to Schumer’s husband, Chris Fischer, providing a personal touch to the narrative.

Flashbacks and Character Origins

Similar to the first season, Season 2 incorporates flashbacks to unravel John’s childhood, shedding light on his struggles with loneliness, and the loss of a loving mother, and a critical father.

life and beth season 2 review

While these flashbacks add depth to John’s character, they occasionally create a disjointed feeling, akin to two separate shows merged into one. The challenge lies in seamlessly blending drama and comedy without compromising the overall coherence.

Exploring Individual Struggles

The supporting cast, including Beth’s friends Maya, Jess, and Jen, receives more attention in Season 2.

While their individual struggles are acknowledged, the secondary consideration limits emotional investment. The balance between wacky, amplified moments and serious, heartfelt scenes sometimes feels forced, impacting the overall engagement with these characters.

The Standout: Beth’s Sister Ann

A notable highlight in the second season is Beth’s sister, Ann, portrayed by Susannah Flood. Ann’s complex character, a prickly and depressed agoraphobe, provides a compelling subplot.

life and beth season 2 review

The series commendably avoids simplistic psychological explanations for Ann’s emotional distress, leaving room for interpretation. Flood’s performance, coupled with Lily Fisher’s portrayal in flashbacks, adds emotional weight to the narrative.

Schumer’s Performance and Relationship Dynamics

Life & Beth primarily hinges on Amy Schumer’s performance, which retains its appeal to fans of her comedic reign. The chemistry between Schumer and Cera is a mixed bag, with inconsistencies arising as the couple’s relationship evolves.

life and beth season 2 review

The exploration of relationship complexities is commendable, but the execution lacks consistency, potentially leaving the audience wanting more.

Conclusion: Periodic Laughs, Uneven Center

Life & Beth Season 2 delivers periodic laughs and genuine drama, but its center remains frustratingly uneven. Schumer’s endearing performance, coupled with the exploration of complex relationships, offers moments of brilliance.

However, the occasional tonal disparities and inconsistent character dynamics suggest that the series may benefit from a reset. As Beth continues her journey of self-discovery, audiences are left to ponder the next steps in this semi-autobiographical dramedy.

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