Di4ries season 2 continues the story of the students of the Galileo School after their protest to not shift to another place after the summer. Just like season 1, season 2 also seems to be 15 episodes long, but the creators have wisely decided to release it in two parts instead of one. It is important to remember that we are watching a story where the stakes aren’t that high, and technically, though there is a lot to explore, considering that the majority of the audience is not of the age group represented in the show, the attention span might not be steadfast.
Teenagers are a favorite topic in the media. And by that, we mean teenagers who we feel comfortable seeing treated like adults, even though we should not be. That is mostly the age group of 16- to 19-year-olds, and on-screen, they are fighting wars, changing families, finding themselves, training with supernatural powers, and whatnot. We can bet that half of our fear of missing out in life comes from watching these extraordinary teens on screen, who are often pitted against rather ordinary adults. Maybe that is why Di4ries comes as a breath of fresh air, somewhat. Their imperfection is very evident, and it is believable that they are in a stage of life where weakness and vulnerability are important parts of growing up.
Di4ries season 1 was very fluffy in this regard, but season 2 has pushed the limits a little more. We spotted that two of its plots, one about how the friends support one of their own regarding a picture (the same thing happened to Olivia Hanan) and the other about Bianca (similar to Jackson Marchetti, with gay parents who force him to overachieve, ultimately giving him anxiety and panic attacks), were a little too similar to Sex Education, another popular teen show on Netflix, but full marks to Di4ries for adapting it in its own unique way.
Essentially, when we watch stories of people in their late teens, the way the stories are written can deceive us into believing that we are looking at adults even when we are not. That allows us to feel a sense of relatability, and we start expecting higher standards of behavior from the characters. However, we have to give it to the writers of Di4ries for showing the troubles of 13- to 14-year-olds with committed accuracy. Except for a character or two, none of them are making good or completely reasonable decisions, and that is how things are at that age. There is the realization that they have a next step to think about and plan for, but the promises of the present weigh heavily on them, as it actually feels when someone is that age. This is where the show won by giving each character an episode of their own with their POV because it shows the complications of the teenage mind that is trying to do the right thing, which, according to their developing understanding, is the adult thing to do.
We also see that desire to understand oneself and the rights and wrongs it leads one to. The sensitive portrayal of Livia’s identity crisis needs to be appreciated, but somehow, there was a particular part of Isabel’s character that had our hearts. Oftentimes, romantics are misrepresented on screen as hopeless optimists who live by strong ideals. But it is only natural for them to wonder whether they are right or wrong, especially at an age when they are just growing into who they want to be as adults. Ideas and stories of romance are all around us, and some love them more than others and give them greater importance in their lives. It is much like understanding what your favorite color is and how it can be a dominant part of your life while still being able to complement the other colors of your wardrobe, and we like how Isabel’s confusion and questions are shown that make her something more than just a dreamy love interest.
On a different note, we feel as if the body-shaming plot of the season was supposed to be a talking point. While we agree with the writers on the importance of addressing this issue, we are not able to applaud its execution. First of all, we would have preferred if an actual fat person was at the center of this arc. If the motive of the writers was to make the audience think, it would have been more successful if the actress had been different because then the audience would have been forced to confront their own behavior along with the bullies and their deep-seated prejudices. By casting a straight-sized person for this arc, the objective of the plot was lost.
Moving on, we must admit that, much like season 1, Di4ries season 2 has been very scenically shot. Everything looks as good as it did back then, though we still wonder how the kids have such a raging social life. This is the series’ one flaw: everyone seems to be a wonderful conversationalist. And where are the pimples, the fashion terrorists, and the people making bad jokes? Where is that experience of being 13 years old? Where is the awkwardness at that age? But it is a forgivable flaw.
There are times when we feel that watching this show as adults is a pointless exercise. The troubles of the characters are long past our age, and we really don’t have to answer people the way the children have to. But then we remember that this is far from the case. We worry about our future and are often frustrated at how life gets in the way of relationships. We continue to make mistakes in love, and the search for identity is a lifelong process that only starts but never ends. Maybe with this perspective, Di4ries starts feeling a lot more relevant to us. It is nice to see the point where these things started for us and how, if we had been told different things or if we had different company, our own choices as adults would be different. With that idea, Di4ries is a cute watch.