“Chewing Gum” season two packs a flavorful punch

Chewing Gum

Rashida Otunba

Season two of the hit show, “Chewing Gum” released on Netflix April 4, bringing us back into the colorful world of Tracey Gordon (Michaela Coel) and her friends in London’s Tower Hamlets community. This season’s premiere takes place three months after season one left off, with Tracey coping with her breakup from short-term  boyfriend Connor (Robert Lonsdale), an event that occurred during the hiatus. The first episode of the season works to catch the audience up on the character’s lives within the three months, with Tracey and Candice no longer speaking and Tracey’s sister Cynthia (Susan Wokoma) trying to reinvent herself following the disastrous ending to her wedding to her closeted fiance Ronald (John MacMillan), and her mother Joy (Shola Adewusi) struggling with the downfall of her “ministry”.

Although Tracey’s storyline took center stage in mapping the narrative, this six episode season was all about the development of the supporting characters, with Tracey’s story arc taking a backseat to the plots of side characters. This season we learned more about Candice and her longtime boyfriend Aaron and we also got a peek into the mindset and personality of Cynthia, whose religious zeal was made to be a running joke last season.

Overall, this season was more emotional than last season, with characters emotions and insecurities being woven into the story (in the most comedic manner, of course). This go round is not as funny as last season, with some jokes feeling forced or falling flat, but the story and plot of this season makes the characters seem more three-dimensional and realistic.

This show sheds light on serious topics such as religion, sexuality, personal appearance, insecurity  as well as family ties and friendships using comedy. Even when discussing hot button issues like race and the fetishization of black women, this show utilizes comedy to its advantage and turns a realistic scenario into something so ridiculous that the audience cannot help but laugh at the character’s antics. In addition to more serious situations, this season also continues Tracey’s quest to lose her virginity while also maintaining its unflinching portrayal of sexuality on-screen, with Tracey’s jaw-droppingly funny attempts at seduction.

This season is a solid sequel to season one’s introduction and audience members who are looking for more hilarity from Tracey & Co. will not be disappointed.

Both seasons of the show are available on Netflix, and it is rated MA due to the mature content and sexual situations.