In simple words, part 2 of Fatal Seduction was a lot better than Part 1. Magic really happened the moment the creators decided to dial down on the objectification of women and focus more on the story. It was still very soapy and a tad bit random, but a lot more entertaining than what Part 1 had offered us. However, maybe the batch of the first seven episodes justified their name better than the last seven. When we saw Part 1, we knew that the seduction in the narrative, aka Jacob being with Nandi, was deliberate and quite fatal to her life and to her past. There was no such thing in Part 2, and it mostly covered the fallout of Part 1, except for an unexpectedly dangerous player in town. At one point, it feels like there might be too many secrets unfolding and some very unnecessary twists. However, we didn’t mind them at all because they provided a justification for the characters’ motivations. It was probably the underwhelming shadow of Part 1 that made us start Part 2 with so many apprehensions, but we were only delighted to find that we did not need them.
Another thing that surprises us is how well-behaved the characters are. Jacob, who remains an obsessed lover, shows the capability of thinking with a straight head, and Zee, whose entire life is thrown into turmoil, still doesn’t become a bratty teenager. It is a trope we absolutely hate, and we must applaud the writers of Fatal Seduction for saving Zee from turning into that. Nandi continues to be a victim of her circumstances, and it is annoying how no part of the narrative is in her control. Leonard is mostly relegated to the hospital bed this season, so a lot of the heavy lifting is done by Vuyo and Zee. This is clearly an upgrade from the Nandi, Jacob, and Leonard love triangle of Part 1.
Now that we have made our opinion about Part 2 of Fatal Seduction clear by establishing the difference from Part 1, we must wonder how the series would feel if the entire 14 episodes were watched in one go. We bet we would not like it at all because we feel like it is the distance between Parts 1 and 2 of Fatal Seduction that has made us appreciate the latter without it seeming too haphazard. We wonder if this is a case of separating the broth made by too many cooks.
Fatal Seduction has three directors, Johnny Barbuzano, Nthabiseng Mokoena, and Zuko Nodada, and their filmographies are indicative of very different styles. The head writer, Steven Pillemer, along with his team, has done an excellent job of bringing them together as much as possible, but we wonder what the brief at hand must have been for him. They had to address the story of a woman whose life starts falling apart because she has an affair with a man much younger than herself, and all this is somehow connected to a sordid past orchestrated by her husband and best friend. We understand that this is not a story about emotions or empowerment. It is about the repercussions of crossing the line by multiple people and the bad luck it invites. We have refrained from using the words “repercussions” because “Fatal Seduction” is not about a moral dilemma. It is about a boring life taking a dangerous turn.
Often, stories of affairs, on screen or in text, reinforce the idea of the sanctity of marriage by painting the consequences of straying from it as the punishment for a sin. Maybe that is why there is a “fatal” element to it, because the person who becomes the third party in the marriage has to be the right amount of corrupt: enough to be tempting for the morally righteous spouse but not too much so that they don’t get their full commitment and the cheater realizes the importance of their marital home and the need to return to it.
This beaten path is why we often turn away from stories based on fatal affairs. It is not a coincidence that “obsession”, “dangerous”, and “extreme lengths” are the words and terms one undoubtedly encounters when describing these stories, telling us how done to death they are. Jacob in Part 1 seemed like he was going to do the same thing, which is why we weren’t as excited for Part 2. Don’t get us wrong, Part 2 was exciting, but it felt like it swerved hard from Part 1, making it seem like two different stories were roughly stitched together.
We may get past it, but we would also like to discuss the aforementioned soapy quality of the drama. Our experience tells us that there is no middle ground with it; one can either love it or hate it. In other words, it is either well done or just terrible. Part 2 of Fatal Seduction was well done. If you must compare, some of the terribly done ones were series like Fake Profile and Lady Voyeur. Drama and over-the-top twists feel good only when they are balanced out with something, and Fatal Seduction catches onto that, which is what makes the soapiness look so good.
Hindi TV series can probably take notes from Fatal Seduction or even some Colombian or Spanish telenovelas. This is making us think of Against The Ropes, a Mexican series that had ample amounts of drama but actually ended up being so endearing and well structured. That could have done well to be released in two parts.
Despite its redemption with Part 2, we are still hesitant to recommend this series to anyone because of the time it will take to get to the good part. Even then, it is nothing groundbreaking but simply fast-paced and decent. We have high expectations for Season 2, which we suspect the makers are keen on considering how Part 2 of Fatal Seduction ended. Maybe these 14 episodes will be worth watching for that purpose.