Not unlike the season two premiere of 'Divorce,' Pete Holmes' weird, sort-of autobiography show begins its second season after a separation from his wife. As we can probably remember, Jess was caught in bed with another man which inevitably left our shattered couple in a sticky situation.
As a deeply religious newcomer to the comedy scene, Pete's awkwardness and inexperience can be funny and cringey to the audience — however, after an entire season of the fact, it can get a bit tiring. I think fans were, and are, looking for a more in depth story about Holmes that's different from other comics.
Adding to the already philosophical theme of the first season, the second season premiere tackled a question we've all thought about before: what is the meaning of life?
Season two begins with Pete "crashing" with Leif — the guy who slept with his wife — and sadly eating Chinese takeout. According to Indiewire, this scene stays very true to his personal experiences, albeit the more individual path the show will be taking. He's also still working at the Coldstone Creamery to make ends meet and handing out flyers to earn his sets at The Boston, a Manhattan comedy club.
One problem I did have with the first season was the embarrassment that happened to plague Pete as he worked in the ice cream shop. The stigma is that a grown man should have a "respectable" job and a reputable career, but so many people are struggling in today's world that it's not that uncommon anymore for someone like Pete to hold a minimum wage job.
In 'The Atheist," Penn Jillette guest stars as himself and monologues to Pete about his Christian beliefs. He reveals that you can't really believe in this high and mighty power if there's literally no evidence to say it exists. Certainty is definitely not possible and even though religion is a method of coping, Jillette talks about atheism as an equally beautiful entity.
Of course, with any existential crisis, it sends our protagonist on a binge night full of drinking and shenanigans.
The show is also still pushing Pete's love life as an arc and starts with his weird advances towards Ali, the female comic he met at The Boston. Even though Holmes reportedly tuned down the level of aggressiveness given the current state of sexual harassment and accusations towards comics such as Louis C.K., it still kind of perpetuates the fact that men can hit on women they work with as appropriate.
This first episode definitely set up the premise for the remainder of season two — as Pete explores more about himself and his beliefs, we might stray a little further from the mediocre stand-up routines used as filler. We can also hopefully expect more guest stars like Jillette and Sarah Silverman from the first season.
Season two will definitely explore more of Pete's freedom from restricting faith and perhaps teach us all a bit more about freeing ourselves.
Amber Wang is a freelance writer for Popdust. She also writes for other sites such as Gearbrain and Trueself, along with being a student at NYU.
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