“Staged” is back for its second season on Hulu. If you haven’t heard of this lockdown sensation, the first season of the show follows Michael Sheen and David Tennant as they deal with the fallout of the theaters of West End closing due to the pandemic. The show sees the odd couple play heightened versions of themselves. For example, Sheen fears that he’s been transported into Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” and Tennant is consistently on the verge of having an existential crisis.
The new season is very meta, as it opens with the reveal that the first season was actually a television show made by another version of Tennant and Sheen. The duo struggles with the fact that they have not been cast as themselves in the “American remake” of “Staged,” causing them to try and sabotage the project and the new actors playing them. The ingenuity of the plot is a testament to Simon Evans’ writing abilities. “Staged” also stars Anna Lundberg, Georgia Tennant, Lucy Eaton and Simon Evans.
One of the highlights of this season were the performances given by Georgia Tennant, Anna Lundberg and Lucy Eaton. One of my favorite moments from the show sees the three making fun of men who are unable to write women characters realistically. We all, unfortunately, have read or watched something where the description of a female character focuses almost entirely on an account of the character’s breasts.
This scene hilariously makes fun of that. I’m not joking; the scene is hilarious. Eaton has a strong knack for comedic timing, and, in this scene, she absolutely shines. Tennant and Lundberg’s performances throughout the series add a further layer to the storyline that was present within the first series; however, it was beautifully strengthened in the second series, creating a hilarious performance that is an absolute joy to watch. I got my wish for this season,which was that we would be seeing more from Tennant and Lundberg.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen have quickly earned the title of best onscreen and real life best friends. The chemistry that the pair shares is off the charts, creating a fun atmosphere within the show. One defining characteristic of their friendship is that they are seamlessly able to tease one another without malice, which adds humor to each conversation. At its heart, the show is about two friends who miss each other, and try to make Zoom calls work as a way of being there for the other person.
Of course, the system is flawed as nothing compares to being there with your friends, which definitely can be seen throughout this season. In fact, one of the most poignant moments from this season shows Sheen’s discontedness as not being able to comfort his friends (namely Tennant). One particular quote from this scene hits home hard: “God knows I want to be there for all my friends, you know? I don’t want to be here for them. I want to be there for them.” At its core, the show is a platonic love story between Michael Sheen and David Tennant, showcasing their beautiful, one-in-a-million friendship.
Keeping up with the theme from the first season, the second season capitalizes on its draw-dropping guest stars. Season one sees the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Dame Judi Dench. Without giving any spoilers of the second season, it is safe to say that they’ve outdone themselves with the 15 guests that show up throughout the season. The “Loo Recluse” episode has probably one of my favorite combinations of guest stars. All I will say is that it’s two actresses who have received much renown lately, and seeing those two act with one another was such a pleasure.
“Staged” has done the unlikely as the second season was just as good as the first season, if not better. It’s unclear whether there will be a third season, but I sincerely hope that we’ll see more of Sheen and Tennant together. Whether that be a third season of “Staged” or maybe even a second season of Amazon Prime’s “Good Omens,” I look forward to seeing more projects from the two. “Staged” is now out on Hulu.