Alexa & Katie’s second season enhances what worked the first season, but forgets developing most of the characters that fill out the cast.
|Cody||Jordan Austin Smith|
|Sasha||Alyvia Alyn Lind|
|Ryan||Nathaniel James Potvin|
|Cody||Jordan Austin Smith|
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Episode Summaries on Page 2
The Financial Struggles of Katie, And Alexa Being Less Clueless
It’s not that I relish in Katie’s struggles, it is just, with Alexa dialing it back about how well off her family is, it made you appreciate how hard it is to maintain that upper-class look. You know, beautiful house, two kids, and putting up the appearance you are living the life. In season 2, nothing has changed, but you learn to appreciate and how much of a struggle middle-class living is.
Take Katie trying to get to London. Yes, Jennifer can afford the house and is crafty enough to figure out ways to keep her kids fed and relatively entertained. However, $2000 isn’t something she can pull out of the bank. So, similar to how working class people do it, Katie wanted something and she sought a way to make it happen. She even organized her schedule in such a way to maintain getting straight As and make money.
Yet, as soon as things seemed okay, a freak accident made her broke again. In a strange way, that I can’t say the show intended, it shows you how messed up life is. All it takes is one bad thing happening, and you’re back to struggling again. Meanwhile, your neighbor could handle your problem and seemingly not hurt a bit. I mean that too since when Alexa decides to, somewhat last minute, undo all the reservations and fancy stuff she and her parents planned, not even Dave, who complains about most things, said anything. Thus presenting a slightly uncomfortable lesson in how unfair life can be.
How? Well, Katie works her behind off, bad things happen, and she has no safety net. Alexa doesn’t work hardly at all yet gets a party which may have cost $2000+.
It Sometimes Is A Very Emotional Season
When it comes to the struggles mentioned above Katie has with money, including Alexa dealing with her breakup with Dylan, alongside her leukemia diagnosis haunting her, the show gets a tad dark. Not so dark it isn’t appropriate for kids, but I will admit I got a little teary eyed. The lead actresses were given the kind of arcs where, when their moment of devastation hit; you had no reason to roll your eyes. Even with noting Alexa is privileged, all you saw was a young girl hurting and how helpless she was in the situation.
Ryan and Katie
These two goofy kids were as cute as ever this season. Mind you, it felt like we barely saw Ryan for most of the season, but what do you expect for a character whose life pretty much is dictated by his crush on Katie? That point aside, as they finally got together towards the end of the season, it was hard to now “Aw” sometimes. Even though all they do is hold hands.
Hannah and Reagan Are Still Utter Mysteries
Hannah is a bit dim, and Reagan is like Alexa with possibly less money, but a bit more ego. Okay, that was established in season 1. Season 2 doesn’t develop them at all. They still are around, Hannah makes a joke, Reagan does as well, and they seem to have their own separate thing going. Oh, Hannah notes she gets sick sometimes and awkwardly funny things happen but nothing that would make you feel you got to know her more.
Jennifer, Dave, Lori, and Jack Didn’t Have a Storyline
There was a whole lot of stop and go moments with these three. Jennifer going to school is still a thing but is barely talked about. There also were moments when she wanted to restart the band she had with Jack, but that died when she remembered the lyrics they had. As for Dave? He was around a lot more than in season 1, but he remains a mystery. We don’t get some hint of his culture, meet his parents or anything which would make him anything more than a goofy dad. Same applies to Lori. She is that stereotypical control freak, with an ego, and her job? Well, while Dave gets to at least mention he is still a pilot, Lori’s position goes poof!
As for Jack? Well, did we expect him to get a storyline? Him learning to tap seemed like it could have led to something, but that got shut down. Also, remember Robbie, Jack and Katie’s dad? Not a single word about him to maybe make that a thing for Jack to think about.
On The Fence
The Cancer Kids Got Greatly Reduced
On the one hand, the show barely comes up with stuff for the core cast to do, so why add in Megan talking about her recovery or Alexa taking Sasha under her wing? Yet, it just seemed like the way they got cut out was so drastic. Yes, it is noted Lori volunteers at the hospital, but Alexa going to the hospital for one episode seemed weird. Unless the purpose of indicating how depressing the whole chemo experience was supposed to act as a reason she avoids the hospital.
Between dating Gwenny and starting a band, Lucas had a decent season. It didn’t lead to much growth for him as a character, but at least he had things going on that lasted for more than one or two episodes. In fact, his journey to starting a band, and dating Gwenny, continued nearly the entire season.
But, even with that time length, it felt we barely got past the surface. With Gwenny, Alexa’s nemesis, he didn’t end up triggering us getting to know Gwenny better or exposing his insecurities, past one episode. Then, with the band, despite the whole issue of his bandmates being yes men, which gets called out once, they kind of revert right back to the way things were the following episode.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
While there is an improvement, regarding Alexa and Katie’s part of the show, everyone else faltered a bit. Nearly everyone, but Lucas, got episodic stories that rarely drummed up any interest. Then, when it comes to some things which could have been multiple episodes, like Jack finding a hobby in tap, Jennifer wanting to relive her youth, and things like that, they just faded away. Leaving the show having a moderately sized cast with very little to draw you into their character besides the occasional funny moment.
Hence the mixed label, two seasons in a row. While I have to admit something drew me back in, after I thought I wouldn’t watch a second season, this remains a show which seemingly is still finding itself. It doesn’t want to court controversy or political messages, yet doesn’t want to seem sterile either. It wants to have two strong leads who are capable of being well-rounded but forgets about everyone else in the process. Making the season a bit lopsided. Watchable, even likable, but not something to analyze too much or else you’ll enjoy yourself less.