UK TV review: There She Goes Season 2
James R | On 09, Jul 2020
There she goes again. That’s the sigh you can frequently expect to hair from Simon (David Tennant) and Emily (Jessica Hynes), as they return for another season of trying to raise their daughter, Rosie (Miley Locke). Born with an extremely rare and undiagnosed chromosomal disorder, Rosie has severe learning difficulties, which makes her as loveable as she is infuriating for her parents.
Season 1 saw the duo struggle painfully through the challenging of raising Rosie, with a bleak, hilarious, heartfelt honesty – that unflinching approach made the show one of the best of 2018, going on to win a BAFTA for Hynes. Now, it has graduated from BBC Four to BBC Two for its sophomore season, and that sincere streak is there stronger than ever, as we continue to see the family fighting through the day-to-day challenge of simply existing.
While Season 1 chronicled the dual timeline of Rosie as a newborn and aged 9, Season 2 picks up with a dual focus on Rosie aged 3 and 11, which opens up more obstacles and frustrations for all of them. In the back-and-forth hopping of the show’s timeline, we see how Simon is increasingly tempted to spend time with his work colleague rather than his wife, retreating into back garden cigarettes and nights out at the pub, while Emily stays at home dealing with not only Rosie, but Ben (Edan Hayhurst).
In the present day, Ben is older too, and Hayhurst is fantastic – and generous – as the overlooked son and sibling, who is often roped into babysitting duties without warning. Tennant, meanwhile, delves into even darker depths, taking even the most innocent of occasion as a chance to vent about his disappointments. Hynes is heartbreakingly good as Emily, capturing the rage and exhaustion of having to shoulder the mental and emotional workload of the household. And yet, even as they spend more time apart, there’s still time to enjoy just how much they do love each other, as Simon explains everything through pop-culture references and Emily, despite everything, understands and appreciates them. One moment in which they try to think up the worst possible superhero power is a joy.
Shaun Pye’s perfect balance of bitter and sweet starts to lean, ever so delicately, towards the latter the more the show continues, as Rosie’s growing up not only introduces more problems but also opens up more opportunities and reasons for hope and optimism. Miley Locke is sensational as Rosie, managing to be charming and innocent to the last, no matter how much she’s frustrating her parents. While she disrupts quiz evenings and holiday plans, or (hilariously) forces them all to celebrate Christmas in spring, she also starts to communicate more, from the word “mama” to the ability to say no – and all the rebellious difficulties that newfound ability to be explicitly stubborn causes.
The scale zooms out, too, to explore the pressures and perceptions of the wider world upon the family, as Emily and Simon begin to worry that they might be judged by teachers, parents or social workers. But any fear that others might be better at being parents than they is outweighed by the tangible joy and excitement of forging a closer connection with their child, and that promise of more intimacy to come leaves There She Goes moving from strength to strength in this gut-wrenching, heartwarming, funny sequel.
There She Goes Season 2 is available on BBC iPlayer until September 2020. Season 1 is available until 27th August 2020.