Thursday, June 15, 2017

Flaked Season 2 Netflix Series Review

Flaked (2016-)
Season 2 - 6 episodes (2017)

Watch Flaked Season 2 on Netflix
Created by: Will Arnett, Mark Chappell
Starring: Will Arnett, Ruth Kearney, Lina Esco, David Sullivan
Rated: TV-MA

Will Arnett stars as Chip, a furniture maker in AA who isn't exactly sober and can't maintain a stable relationship with friends or women while he juggles more than a few lies.
Chip returns to Venice in season two after an exile and finds he has no store, no friends, not even a guest house to live in. How will he get back to the way things were?

While I liked this season better than the first, it's Chip's relentless decline as he alienates friends. He's a terrible person, with this season dumping any pretense to the contrary. While it's intriguing to see someone slowly but surely obliterate his life, it becomes difficult when Chip sabotages those around him as they're trying to help him.
It depends.

In season one Chip loved Venice and Venice loved him. Chip was in AA due to a car accident that killed another man. That man's sister sets out to find Chip, to see how he lives with such a deed and they end up dating.
Chip isn't sober, he wasn't driving the night of the wreck, and he's willing to sell out his friends and Venice. In season two, he returns to Venice an outcast.

In season one the other characters loudly proclaimed that Chip was a good guy, but as a viewer I never saw any evidence. We discover in season two that Chip had everyone fooled, though no longer.

Season one took two-thirds of the season to get into the story, or at least figure out the story. It added more than a few twists along the way. In this season, we know what's going on. This isn't really moving anywhere, it's just Chip fooling himself and others as he digs his own grave. It's a slow descent as Chip ruins everything.

Chip deals with the fallout of being shunned by Venice because he sold the city out to developers just to make a buck. While he's tragic in a way, it's his selfishness that is his flaw. He only cares about himself despite the compassionate people around him that want to help.

That compassion doesn't change Chip. He manages to pull everyone down with him. You want to root for Chip to change, to overcome the lies, but he will fail you and his friends because he doesn't care about others. It's hard to like Chip because there is nothing redeeming. Now the characters know what the viewers realized in season one, Chip is no hero.

This show shares a few similarities with Bojack Horseman (read my season 3 review). Both star Will Arnett as a character with a terribly depressing life. It's easy to dislike both main characters, but at least Bojack pushes the envelope with episode formats and is often hilarious. No show can go from dark to hilarious as deftly as Bojack.  You root for the characters to get what they deserve, and often they do. It's just not as satisfying in Flaked. Bojack at least exhibits some humanity.

If you enjoyed season one of Flaked, you should enjoy season two. This season is more focused with Chip heading towards rock bottom, and I don't see that taking more than one more season.

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