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Netflix's 'Sex Life' Season 2 Is a Hollow, X-Rated Hallmark Movie

By Isabel Parigi | TV | March 16, 2023 |

By Isabel Parigi | TV | March 16, 2023 |


For all its faux A24-style neon lights and headline-catching nudity, the second season of Netflix’s Sex/Life is more hollow than its first, runs rife with cliche, and is so on the nose it is often hard to watch. Unless you are willing to search through the six-episode second season for the handful of sex scenes per episode, I do not think Sex/Life Season 2 is worth the six-hour streaming (attention) investment. However, if an X-Rated Hallmark movie piques your interest, it could be the show for you.

Sex/Life follows Billie Connelly (Sarah Shahi), a former New York City party-girl turned Connecticut wife and mother of two. After an ex-boyfriend reenters her life, she begins to crave the adventurous sex and wild nights of her twenties. Without spoiling the meat of Season 1, a passionate love triangle ensues. Season 1 saw Billie accounting for what she had found in motherhood and marriage and what she had lost as a sexual and social person. To make things worse, her husband, Cooper Connelly (Mike Vogel), doesn’t miss life before Connecticut and parenthood at all.

In Season 2 Billie is separated from her husband, living back in New York City, still lusting over the gorgeous (emotionally stunted) ex-boyfriend of her twenties, and dating a passionate downtown chef and restauranteur. She feels the strain of co-parenting with her former husband and notices new ways motherhood impacts her personal and professional lives. Billie reckons with heartbreak, betrayal, and dating in the city. Her investment banker ex-husband (formerly the perfect husband and father) goes full finance-bro in an uncharacteristic coke-fueled tailspin, and her beautiful best friend Sasha Snow (Margaret Odette) deals with romantic and professional growing pains of her own.

Sex/Life Season 2 follows the Hallmark rhythm so precisely, even the steamiest scenes feel boring and the supposed plot twists feel methodical. Building plots around sexual tension and release only works so many times in a forty-ish-minute drama before the satisfaction wears off. It doesn’t help that the characters outside the core cast are one-dimensional and often come off as caricatures when they join a scene. To prove one of the other Connecticut husbands is more misogynistic than his early behavior suggests, for example, he calls his wife a slut under his breath, teenage mean-girl style. The dialogue before and after sex scenes are particularly on the nose: “You came,” says Cooper, answering his front door. “Well, not yet,” responds a trench-coat-clad blonde woman posing seductively in the door frame.

Season 2 dives deeper into Sasha’s personal and professional life: she publishes a pop-psychology book about feminism and non-monogamy, dates a statuesque ex-boyfriend of her own, and is offered the keys to her own “fem-pire”. Although she gets the space to escape romcom best friend purgatory late in the season, she spends the first half #girlbossing, going viral, and being canceled … The She-EO cliché trifecta. It is hard to watch people in 2023 — even those as beautiful as Odette — earnestly use the term “#slay” or “#independentwoman4life”.

Sex/Life gives the impression of a ChatGPT-generated series with the Netflix genre tags: Steamy, Adult, Romance, Girlboss. If that is what you’re looking for, Sex/Life Season 2 sits you front-row for a parade of beautiful, rich, oiled-up, horny people that checks all of the aforementioned boxes. As I wrote in my notes while watching the show, however, “Neon lights and [full frontal] nudity, do not a good show make.”

Sex/Life Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix.

Isabel is a writer based in New York. You can follow her on Substack and Twitter.