June 01 2020
A come back with funnier stories
01 February 2019

The second season of Alexa & Katie isn’t fresh from the oven, but, its badinage is on point, and that’s what matters the most

The first season of Alexa & Katie, which I had written about in these pages, was released in March, last year, on Netflix. And before 2018 could come to an end, the second season was also out on the streaming site.

The traditional year-long gaps between the different seasons are being challenged by new-age story developers, and that’s not even the first step they’re taking in this direction.

I wonder what they’re going to do in the coming years. It looks like some of the sci-fi elements from the earlier centuries might come true this decade. Anyway, Alexa & Katie, the hit teen offering that revolves around the lives of two teenagers (Paris Berelc as Alexa and Isabel May as Katie), is funnier now. The bittersweet nature of the show has been reimagined to produce more laughs.

The focus has been shifted from Alexa’s recovery – she was suffering from leukemia – to the struggles she faces in high school. She’s told by her doctor that she can play basketball.

She feels relieved to hear that, but, since she hasn’t played for a year, her muscles and skills have fallen into a deep slumber. Likewise, there’s Katie on the other side, who tries her hand at odd jobs to earn $2,000 to go to London for a week. She doesn’t want to ask her mom as she feels it’d burden her.

Here are two teenagers pushing their limits, no matter what. When I was in high school, I was adept only at daydreaming. But then, I’m neither Alexa nor Katie.

As the relationship between the leads was already established in the previous season, broad gestures and sacrifices made by them aren’t presented as a turning point anymore. A smile and a heart-touching monologue, that’s accompanied by a sarcastic punch line, is all that takes for the girls to show the world how important they’re to each other. The season finale, which involves Alexa going out of her way to help Katie, left me in a puddle of tears. I won’t spoil it for you by telling what it’s actually about. You should discover it on your own, for it’s worth every minute.

Though, Alexa’s hospital visits are reduced to a bare minimum, the memories associated with her cancer-days refuse to let her move on. Her parents suggest that she talk to a therapist.

That’s how they create a safe atmosphere for their daughter. They even shower her with optimism when she breaks up with her first ever boyfriend. Would Indian parents do that? Also, would Indian kids be comfortable enough to talk about their relationships with their parents? That’s a milestone we haven’t yet reached.

Alexa & Katie, created by Heather Wordham, occasionally turns the light towards Lucas (Emery Kelly), Alexa’s older brother. Kelly is a member of a boy band in real life and the writers have carefully brought that part into the storyline by roping in the other members, Ricky Garcia and Liam Attridge, to play aspiring musicians who are interested in joining Lucas’s band. Lucas is fun to watch, too.

He reminded me of the dim-witted Joey Tribbiani from Friends. In a particularly hilarious scene, he’s seen wearing tight jeans that restrict his movements.

When his father (played by Eddie Shin) questions his choice of clothes, Lucas says, “These are my show pants.” Immediately, his dad comes back with, “Why? Because they show everything?”

It was the highlight of the season for me. If Lucas is a little dumb, Jack (Finn Carr), Katie’s younger brother, is over-smart.

He shoots off his mouth uncontrollably, and, honestly, he’s too much to handle.

The lines he’s been given make him seem like a pest, and not the character that’d fit into the box of an adorable kid. I hope the makers rewrite his quirks, or keep him away for the next season (if it happens).

The second season of Alexa & Katie isn’t fresh from the oven, but, its badinage is on point, and that’s what matters the most.



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