We never had any doubts that Wolf Like Me season 2 would prove to be as enjoyable a ride as season 1. But it was just better in so many ways. We remember the early 2010s, when we couldn’t get enough of movies and shows with vampires and werewolves. However, most, if not all, of them were centered around a teenage fantasy of these supernatural beings. It was about how they were larger than life and how entire stories were motivated by love that seemed too good to be true. As we grew up, we found that we still enjoyed those stories, but not in the way we did back then. It used to seem enough if the guy and the girl ended up together after overcoming all supernatural and human hurdles. But now, we want to see how the relationship would work with real-world practicalities, and the hilarious take of Wolf Like Me seasons 1 and 2 on that topic has made us very happy.
First things first, while season 1 introduced us to the situation of Mary and Gary, Wolf Like Me season 2 showed us how and why they work as a family. What we have liked about the cinematography of the show is how well the limited locations are used for the benefit of the story. On that note, we have always loved the detail about the door to the basement having a painting of some flowers. When it comes to the actors themselves, they have never done their job well. Isla Fisher’s nervous energy is always on point, and Josh Gad is easily impressive with his microexpressions that rule his character. But the show stealer remains Ariel Donoghue, who plays Emma. Right from the beginning, she has been able to perfectly capture the angst of the child who is grieving for her mother but whose concern remains the well-being of her father and now Mary as well. It is through Emma’s character that we realize how well-written the show is and how committed the makers were to keeping the narrative sharp. That is a huge part of what makes the comedy of Wolf Like Me so appealing. Much like season 1, the second season primarily uses situational comedy, which is so subtle because of the supposed grim nature of the premise. There are some beautiful one-liners that make our day, and they are all balanced together in a way that doesn’t make us chuckle out loud but leaves us feeling a smile in our hearts.
At the end of the day, Gary and Mary want nothing more than to be able to be a couple in love, welcoming their child into the world while continuing to be a family with Emma. The werewolf factor is just a manageable detail, and we absolutely adore how it is treated as such. In fact, it is all a giant metaphor to destigmatize mental health. We say this because of a conversation we heard in another series, SKAM France (Lucas and Elliot). One of the protagonists of the story wants to break up with his boyfriend because he doesn’t know how they can be together since the other has bipolar disorder. One of his friends tells him that life isn’t hard as long as both people take care of themselves in their own capacities and stay aware of how to talk to each other. That conversation feels very relevant in the context of Wolf Like Me, where Mary’s problem starts out by being the cause of May and Gary wanting to part ways but eventually learning to work around the issue to build a life together. That is why we believe that Emma’s mental health, as addressed in the seasons, isn’t just a plot point but a way of referencing that it is about finding the right balance with people, as long as the love is present and an intent to communicate is kept up at all times.
Something else that works so well for Wolf Like Me is that the characters bring a strange relatability to the table. Gary is the father who is trying his best to protect and provide for his family; Mary is the person who is an emotional anchor between the father and the daughter; and Emma has started growing up and is invested in her parents finding their own happiness. In a very untraditional set-up, the roles taken on by the three primary protagonists are very traditional and endearing. It is also a pleasant surprise that our favorite relationship in the show is Mary and Emma.
Despite us liking Gary and Mary together while admitting that the actors react well to each other, we have always believed that Mary and Emma, played by Isla Fisher and Ariel Donoghue, have greater chemistry. The way their characters have always sensed the feelings of each other can only be described as something primal in nature, including how the two of them fight for each other in whatever ways they are able to. In our opinion, some of the strongest stories are those where the characters are developed with the most organic dialogue. The writer of Wolf Like Me, Abe Forsythe, seems to think the same, and that is why it manifests itself through such understated humor. Jokes are how one tries to ease tense situations, and these are the jokes one would make if one had a sense of humor and weren’t trying too hard. We love it when people find this balance, and we are almost tempted to check out the rest of the author’s works. There are many of them, and it will keep us occupied for a good number of days, something we are sure that we won’t mind.
We also like how the impossible situation of the family or pack has been made to look so aspirational. They are all grappling with their different kind of normal, but it seems to bring out the best in the characters. We see that despite their doubts regarding themselves and each other, they are able to make the best choices because they constantly prove themselves to be capable of placing their family above all else. There is nothing to not love about Wolf Like Me season 2, and it is the one show we couldn’t get enough of this week. We don’t say this often, but we wouldn’t have minded some more episodes or perhaps even a longer runtime with this. Either way, this remains a must-watch.