More of the same, but with a better sense of what’s funny and what’s important about motherhood. This superior second season finds a bit more humor and heart in its concept.
I wasn’t a fan of the first season of Workin’ Moms, which arrived on Netflix in February. It was fine. Inoffensive. But it concerned itself with a cast of upscale mothers whose problems didn’t quite mesh with everyday working reality. The show, created, executive produced by, and starring Catherine Reitman, is a big hit in its native Canada, where it’s on a third season that’ll inevitably find its way to Netflix too. With Workin’ Moms Season 2, you can kind of see why.
This follow-up doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does manage to hone in on its spokes. Kate (Reitman), Anne (Dani Kind), Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) and Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim) were subject to enough changes of circumstance by the end of the first season that the fallout to be dealt with here feels organic and, more importantly, relatable. Dealing with matters of mental health, work and life balance, unplanned parenthood, and coming to terms with feeling about relationships in the opposite way to what society intends, the Canadian comedy manages to ditch some of its classist apartness and feel as though its about people like you, or me, or someone we know.
Of course, the essential message — motherhood is quite complicated — is hardly revelatory, but it’ll be true as long as people exist, and it’s nice to see that truth evident in mothers who represent different lifestyles, even if Workin’ Moms Season 2 could still stand to cover a broader spectrum. Reitman’s frankness is appealing, refusing to paint its cast as matronly saints devoid of foibles and anxieties. I’m not surprised the show enjoys an eager audience, though I’d still suggest it isn’t as consistent in its humor as it could be — or as it likes to think.
Still, I’m all about growth, and Workin’ Moms Season 2 is pretty undeniably an improvement on its predecessor. Let it never be said that I can’t change my mind.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.