Maria Bamford's Netflix series finds its hilarious groove
LADY DYNAMITE: SEASON TWO premiering November 10 on Netflix. Rating: NNNN
Lady Dynamite: Season Two finds Maria Bamford and company deepening the meta world they created in season one, with savagely funny observations about showbiz, mental health and self-improvement.
Maria (Bamford) has moved in with her shaggy boyfriend Scott (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) and tries to negotiate things like trust, finances and competitiveness, while her adorable German-accented talking pugs look on.
Based on the first four episodes, there’s a more solid structural spine to the series. Now, besides referencing Maria’s past in flashbacks to Duluth that resemble classic early 80s sitcoms (Mary Kay Place returns as Maria’s mom, but Kurt Braunohler replaces Ed Begley Jr. as her dad), each episode also looks to the future, where an Elon Musk-bankrolled series directed by Maria’s narcissistic agent (Ana Gasteyer) takes things even further into bizarroland.
Not that the series has become predictable. The second episode, guest-starring Judy Greer as a woman Maria befriends at a Debtors Anonymous group, takes a turn that is amusingly surreal (hint: there’s more dog acting), and another episode features Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway introducing Maria to the Hollywood Ladies Club. Lots of shots at gender and sexual politics here.
The show is so clever that it even references Netflix itself in the look of the logo for the production company that produces Maria’s futuristic show. And in case you were on the fence about that eccentric, scattered first season, at one point Bamford addresses the camera and lists four things that didn’t work in it.
Clearly she and the creative team learned a thing or two. And we’re all happier for it.