The Hook Up Plan Season 2 Review - Female camaraderie at its honest best

The Hook Up Plan Season 2 Review - Female camaraderie at its honest best
Movie Rated

There are very few digital shows that explore female bonhomie in its truest colours. Either they are portrayed as tomboyish caricatures desperate to showcase their authority or are otherwise restricted to being dumb-witted bimbettes talking supposedly ‘girly’ things. Only the second French web series to be produced by Netflix, Plan Coeur (releasing as The Hook Up Plan in English) in its second season, thankfully takes the middle road approach. The three protagonists of the series Elsa, Emilie and Charlotte are the women whom we see and meet every day, messed up in their ways, broken inside, dealing with relationships, chaos at work and having to pay their bills. All of them have their mood swings but stick to each other through their thick and thin. While the first season of the show was all about how Elsa ends up falling for a male escort Jules set up by her best friends to move on from a nasty breakup, things take a turn for the worse here. Elsa develops trust issues with Jules, who claims to have given up prostitution completely and wants to settle down with her. Emilie’s partner Antoine doesn’t seem ready for marriage yet. Charlotte is still trying hard to find her identity after being a college dropout. And Elsa’s past continues to haunt her. Although the premise of the first season of the show was quite breezy, the second one comes with more maturity and depth in the way it perceives adulthood, though not everything translates into the execution. The Hook Up Plan could have as well been titled ‘Moving On’. The mood of the narrative is quite interesting because it showcases how indecisive can a bunch of girls be in their transition towards adulthood. The girls aren’t always decked up, they don’t say nice things to each other and have insecurities personally and professionally. The success here is that the directors don’t make a big deal about it. It’s like them almost saying, ‘Ce La Vie’. The show rightly says best friends may not be those who always cuddle upto each other. They can sometimes hide things amongst themselves, their over-possessiveness can spell doom for their relationships; nevertheless, they are companions who make the world seem a better place to live in. The situations of the series are quite poignant and relatable and so are a few characters. For instance, the boss of the firm, where Elsa works, only speaks one word at a time in a bid to reduce carbon footprint (?). An intern in Charlotte’s office turns a stripper for Emilie’s wedding. A lesbian tries to check if Jules has given up on prostitution yet. Two of the three best friends have a couple of unintentional homosexual moments, there’s a guy who wears a womanly wig to turn a nanny. The mood, the backdrop, the ideas are all impressive but the emotional thread is essentially absent. As much as you would want to appreciate the nuances in the story, the show is hardly affecting and sometimes, feels very superficial. The translation between the script and the execution isn’t quite seamless. Though the characters, their ideologies warrant your attention, the performances are just okay. The on-screen camaraderie between the actors Joséphine Draï, Zita Hanrot and Sabrina Ouazani who play best friends needed more zing to it. Marc Ruchmann on the brink of transformation is the surprise package - he has sparkling eyes that obviate the emotion in him quite naturally. Syrus Shahidi as a boyfriend with commitment issues proves his performance could go beyond his good looks too. The Hook Up Plan in its second round isn’t as breezy or carefree as the first. Provided you can navigate past the absence of emotion in it, there’s a lot to cheer and appreciate. Rating: 2.75/5

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