HBO’s ‘Industry’ Season 2 Is as Sexy, Druggy, and Gripping as Ever

“Isn’t it lucky that no one was ever satisfied?” Eric Tao, played by Ken Leung, with his junior colleagues Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold) and Rishi Ramdani (Sagar Radia) before bursting into laughter in Industry Season 2.

This cynical yet cheerful observation could well be the tagline for the HBO TV series, back on August 1, about a mostly young, hyper-competitive and horny group working out of London’s office. Pierpoint & Co.

If you have enjoyed utter chaos of Industryfirst season, you might be wondering what other financial drama — full of graphic sex, drug use, and violence — left to feature in the second round. But as Pierpoint’s creepy cross-product business executive suggests, there’s always more money to earn, colleagues to sabotage, customers to sleep with, and ketamine to snort in the corrupt financial world. . And unlike an equally sensational show like HappinessThe writers and creators of the series, Mickey Down and Konrad Kay are interested in examining the strength and joy beneath all of these pearl-like clutching moments.

Of the industry the first season came pretty low in late 2020, but managed to become a sleepy hit thanks to critics and Media Twitter (probably tweeting about those sex scenes). The first eight episodes were like watching an uncensored, corporate version of Survivor when a group of students after graduating from the center had to endure an extremely toxic and stressful working environment with the goal of securing a permanent position at a prestigious bank.

Some, like the crafty expatriate Harper, the privileged multilingual Yasmin Kara-Hanani (Marisa Abela), and her food sidekick Robert Spashing (Harry Lawtey), miraculously fend off the villains. evil bosses and prove their worth on the exchange. While others, like Oxford graduate Gus Sackey (David Jonsson), have become disillusioned by the field. Another person (RIP Hari) actually died on the job.

In Season 2, the remaining trio are still very much alive and not really growing in their personal and professional lives. In this particular perverse ecosystem, there is never a single task, negotiation, or transaction that does not raise some ethical conundrum or require a degree of humiliation — no matter how much you get. many positions. Notably, there is a stronger focus on female protagonists in this regard, particularly in light of the ways in which Yasmin and Harper seek empowerment opportunities in a male-dominated workplace while often reinforcing status quo.

The season begins three years after students’ graduation at Pierpoint and one year after the COVID-19 pandemic. After locking herself in a luxury hotel during quarantine, Harper escapes her COVID fun by attracting a celebrity new client named Jesse Bloom (also known as Mr. COVID because of the capital for the money. his rarity during the pandemic), whom she happened to share the same floor with. Notable HBO Jay Duplass plays the perfect Bloom to douche-y finance-bro, startling those with suits Heir seems a little more comfortable. The two engage in an intense game of cat and mouse, in which, in one instance, Bloom makes Harper feel equal and, in the meantime, punishes her for not answering random calls at 12 o’clock. your morning.

Harper understands that Bloom is treating her like he treats a female intern. But their relationship, as well as the one she develops with an executive from the New York office named Danny Van Deventer (Alex Alomar Akpobome), may reap greater rewards than the relationship. that she strategized with Eric last season — as you can imagine, the baseball bat-wielding hothead failed.

Meanwhile, Yasmin now seems more comfortable as she has been released from the supervision of Kenny (Conor MacNeill), the manager of her sexist, sadistic ring, after he found how to recover – until he’s back in another position and can’t be silent about all that “listening and learning” he’s accomplished.

She eventually became interested in a career in private wealth management after meeting a stylish, ambitious French woman named Celeste (Katrine de Candole) from the department. She also becomes entangled with a young forex trader named Venetia (Indy Lewis), who defies Peirpoint’s oppressive social order making Yasmin callous and resentful, despite what she’s had to suffered in his first year.

Both women reflect the two choices Yasmin believes she has as a highly-financed woman: a prostitute or a game-changer. This leads her on a dizzying, often disappointing, journey of self-improvement, which includes reuniting with her estranged playboy father and making some unexpected (but not overly surprising) choices. at the expense of female colleagues.

Viewers can thank newly hired executive producer Jami O’Brien for this season’s great care – and confidence – in showing the limits of whores and the kind of violence that women can inflict. out for each other.

Viewers can thank newly hired executive producer Jami O’Brien for this season’s great care – and confidence – in showing the limits of whores and the kind of violence that women can inflict. out for each other. Last season contained this kind of post-feminist skepticism. But in Season 2, the show is able to build on these ideas in profound ways without delving into false, misguided territory about how power works. Also, the majority of episodes, like Season 1, are directed by women.

The men are less focused — that is, until their emotional subplots and excellent performances sneak up on you in productive ways. Eric is given treatment to the protagonist for a few episodes, as his past working at the Pierpoint office in New York is replayed and as he struggles to maintain a dominant force. Nicole (Sarah Parish), the client who sexually abused Harper during a car ride in Season 1, returns as Robert’s client, which leads to another side situation with some tragic implications carpet. And, despite giving Pierpoint the middle finger last season, Gus is still featured in the picture as Harper takes him a job tutoring Bloom’s son and then finds himself taking on an entry-level job. low in politics.

Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass) in Industry Season 2

Nick Strasburg / HBO

Shock value of Industry certainly toned down a bit in the second season — perhaps because the first season did a great job at teaching viewers how to watch and what to expect. However, the sex and drug use remains as excessive and graphic as ever. Yet all of its merits feel artfully portrayed and necessary within the bleak miniature in which these characters operate. In this world, sex is almost always transactional, complicated, inappropriate, and rather sad.

Without the simple story of IndustryAs the first season, there’s more opportunity for the episodes to stretch and twist, especially when we consider the characters’ troubled pasts and lives outside of work. We see Harper mention that she appreciates finance because “you’re working in the present tense forever.” Likewise, the “present tense” parts of the film, where the characters yell at each other on the trading floor and in the boardroom, are more thrilling than the discussions between Yasmin and her estranged father. . But the series has always managed to lure you back with its characters’ ruthless and mobile power plays — not to mention a number of performances that will hopefully be nominated for an Emmy next year.

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