Sort Of Season 2 Review: Love Don't Come Easy

"I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm just so tired of disappointing you. I'm so sorry… I hope one day, I can love the way that you love me." – Paige, The Vow

Sort Of brings up Rachel McAdams movies in the first few moments of Season 2, and the show knows exactly what its doing. Bilal Baig and Fab Filippo have come back to CBC Gem and HBO Max with some newfound Awards Season cred and a massive story to tell. The second season of the comedy drama is all about love as Sabi Mehboob is trying to navigate their new normal. However, just as pressing is the idea of love in all of its forms. Be it friendship, parents and children, siblings, or even romantic attraction, there are no ends to the intersections at play in the second season of this HBO Max drama.

Fans of the first season will be right at home with these characters up in Toronto. But newcomers will also warm to the cast immediately. However, Sort Of does wonder if love can come easily.

Sort Of Starting Again

Picking up from the first season's finale, the Mehboob family patriarch is on the way home and Baig's main character is clearly dreading all those interactions. Luckily, they're not alone. Amanda Cordoner's 7ven and Raymond Cham Jr.'s Wolf are constant companions as the family drama swirls. 

Sabi's facing domestic strife on multiple fronts as Grace Lynn Kung's Bessy Kaneko-Bauer is out of that coma from last season and dealing with some changes of her own. Her husband, Gray Powell's Paul, is still very out of his depth when it comes to nursing Bessy back to health. Meanwhile, their children Violet and Henry, (played by Kaya Kanshiro and Aden Bedard) are just trying to have some normalcy after the emotional tornado of last season.

Once Papa Mehbob makes his entrance, brought to life by a completely flustered Dhirendra, its up to the family to get him back into the swing of things. Raffo (Ellora Patnaik) and their sister Aqsa (Supinder Wraich) are trying to balance their own wants and desires as well. For their mother, that means not letting her husband's presence dim the independent streak she developed over last season. On Aqsa's side of things, that means carving out space that doesn't relate to Sabi's transition or their other drama.

So Much Drama For Sabi

It's a wonderful mix of 5 plates spinning at once that can turn from comforting to absolutely bubbling with tension at the drop of a hat. After all, isn't that was a lot of love feels like in the early stages. The genius of the world that Filippo and Baig have crafted for the audience is that the hard conversations do happen and they don't always resolve how we pictured them in our heads. Sabi is going to have to learn some things too.

With Paul and Bessy, there are some old scars that were unearthed during her coma that now have to be answered for. Even 7even has to do some communicating with their mothers Gaia, who seems designed to be entertaining by Amanda Brugel's hysterical choices on-screen. Love isn't some perfect ideal, but rather the messy reality that we all have to maintain every day.

In an interview with the CBC recently, Baig hinted that the third season would lean into that messiness if given the opportunity. Safe to say that things aren't resolved neatly for the Kaneko-Bauers or the Mehboobs once this chapter closes. In some ways, Sabi's life is more interesting than its ever been when these eight episodes end. (There will be shouting on social media when the finale airs as the story is left hovering until a renewal gets announced.) But the love is there on the page.

Love Is The Key Theme

"Season 2 of SORT OF is the season of love. There is friend love and family love and loving your work and the love of a place and romantic love. So many loves. Sabi is in search of the kind of pure and simple love but love no matter what form is complicated," Baig explained. 

0comments

Maybe that Rachel McAdams love might not be obtainable for us common folk. But, it's a comforting notion to ponder. Sort Of Season 2 is going to give you a lot to love and even more to think about. In a landscape filled with TV shows that are supposed to "make you think", here's a show that clears that bar with feet to spare. Sabi's life is in transition, but the journey is wildly entertaining in the face of the unknown.

Sort Of is now streaming on HBO Max with 2 episodes coming every week on Thursdays