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In episode one of Netflix’s Sex/Life, there’s a scene where the show’s protagonist Billie finds her young son holding a jar with a butterfly trapped inside.
“What have you got there, honey?” She asks.
The boy gazes lovingly at the trapped monarch, “It’s a girl, she’s mine, and I love her.”
“She can’t breathe in there, and she’s going die if you don’t let her out,” Billie responds in a soothing, motherly tone. She then teaches her son a life lesson. Opening the jar, she says, “let’s see which way she goes,” and they both watch her fly away.
That one scene sets up Billie’s struggle throughout the run of season one, life inside a jar. And it’s our first clue what the all but assured Season two will be about – which direction Billie flies when she’s released.
Chances are you’re reading this because you’ve feasted on all eight episodes of Netflix’s Sex/Life season one but are hungry for more. Inspired by BB Easton’s novel 44 Chapters About 4 Men, the uber-sexy series makes similar fare like Fifty Shades of Grey and Sex in the City look like Hallmark movies in comparison. Of course, after everyone picked their jaws up off the floor, they immediately clamored for more of the boundaries-pushing show, and now Netflix has complied.
Netflix renewed Sex/Life for a second season. The streamer has also revealed that the first season of the steamy drama was viewed by 67 million households in the first four weeks of its May 25 release, making it the third-largest audience for an original Netflix series only behind the first seasons Bridgerton and The Witcher.
“Sex/Life is a dream come true,” says showrunner Stacy Rukeyser. “To create a show about empowered female sexuality that has entranced so many millions of viewers is not only immensely fun but also incredibly gratifying. When I think about all the women who have reached out from all over the world to say that the show speaks to them in a deeply personal way, I am so inspired. I’m thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to continue telling this story for Billie and all of us.”
Set to return for Season 2 are Sex/Life’s series regulars Sarah Shahi, Mike Vogel, Adam Demos, and Margaret Odette. Production will take place once again in Toronto.
The female-written and directed show’s controversial take on female sexuality raised a lot of hackles from critics who condemned it as “the pornification of Netflix” and as revealing the “low key truth about a woman’s mindset.” Often, the reviews are polarized along gender political and sexual lines because most understand exactly what the butterfly analogy in the first episode means. After all, Billie has a successful husband, two beautiful children, and a mansion in the suburbs. Society tells us she should count her blessings, right? So why would Billie want to be released from that jar? But her once amazing sex life has grown stagnant, and deep down, she believes freakiness between the sheets was part of the deal. So why shouldn’t she long for the time when her world was a beautiful and sexy oasis? Much of the series involves her adjusting to monogamy, motherhood, trying to keep things spicy in the bedroom with her successful but boring husband, and fighting the temptation to bang her pretty and fabulously well-hung ex-boyfriend.
To curb her urges, Billie spills her guts in highly suggestive and detailed blog posts. Her husband snoops and reads them, and the drama you might expect ensues. He puts up an angry front with her, but they secretly turn him on. This is a second clue as to the plot of season 2, an event that starts some serious soul searching (and fucking) as the couple navigates the choppy waters of what appears will become an open relationship but, if the cliff-hanger of the final episode is any indication, will be one-sided in Billie’s favor.
So who else has the feeling, based on the last five minutes of the last episode, that Bille’s husband now approves of her pending extramarital dalliance?