Many series have chosen to integrate the COVID-19 pandemic into their plots and this is the case with P-Valley. The interests in the striptease world are fairly well represented with all the consequences that entails. The pandemic puts the P-Valley strip club on the brink of bankruptcy, but that’s without taking into account all the resulting intrigue that will move the series forward. The show isn’t dead and P-Valley plans to keep it alive for a while longer. During the first season, P-Valley was quite unpredictable, but quite easily took over the themes that made Starz so successful (and also this recognizable side among all other US platforms or channels). P-Valley had managed to introduce characters whose ambitions were complex and whose desires were really different from what one could have imagined. Thanks to unpredictable and at the same time quite solid plots, the series could have kept its promises.
However, this season is not perfect. The difficulty of making a season 2 is felt in P-Valley in spite of everything and yet it finds a whole host of ideas to shine at the same time. If only visually. The series uses the theme in such an interesting way to deliver something visually remarkable. We’re leaving the usual framework of Starz series while still finding the narrative archetypes. At the end of Season 1, Hailey bought the Pynk from Promised Land, the company that wanted to build a casino instead of the club. All of this inevitably crushed the mayor’s hopes to buy the club for a handful of dollars and resell the land for millions. All of this will affect Season 2 and its evolution. So it’s an opportunity to make a new introduction to the P-Valley universe while also introducing a small twist that no one in the world (and in reality) saw coming: COVID-19.
What I hate about this season is the fact that some of the plots that could have lasted a few episodes drag on through the entire season. We have a feeling the writers may not be as inspired as they were in the previous season, which progressed by leaps and bounds from episode to episode. This does not mean that the season is a failure. Despite everything, there are so many interesting things, if only in the relationships between the characters that remain at the heart of this series. We therefore find many elements that we saw in the previous season, but with the difficulty of evolving them into something as solid as Season 1. The dance scenes are always breathtaking and staged with small onions. Especially since the Pynk is now equipped with new pole bars that allow for different shows. It’s on this aspect that the series really always works so well.
All the slightly supernatural elements also underline the southern Gothic aesthetic of the series. It is reminiscent of True Blood of Claws on many occasions. This is good quality for P-Valley. Some characters have been unfairly cast aside this year, while new ones are introduced without much development or backstory. I think it’s a shame not to be satisfied with what’s already there and develop them further in favor of new characters that are rather bland. The other plot of the season after COVID-19 is police brutality against African Americans. This fairly strong theme is not always used well throughout the series. I would have preferred P-Valley to focus on the violence this causes on the streets in the United States. The season then revolves solely around the tension between crime and punishment. This thematic change (and the accompanying devastation of the club and dancer team) makes the series too greedy for what it can tell.
Despite a whole host of qualities and always more ideas, P-Valley sometimes gets stuck in its overflow. It is so rich that the writers fail to intelligently juggle all the plots and all the characters to create a balanced sequence.
Rating: 5/10. In short, a season 2 that has its qualities, but also a lot of mistakes in the management of its new characters and new plots, making the whole thing a little too greedy for what the writers can do.
Available on Starzplay