7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Body Pop - 'til you drop....Don't stop!",
This review is from: Beautiful People: Series 2 [DVD]  (DVD)
The second series continues in much the same format as the first. We see a present day Simon Doonan reminiscing about an object in his possession, and then we flash back to the mid-nineties where we get to see the teenage Simon and the story surrounding its acquisition.
There is a distinct change to the series though, it's not as laugh-out-loud funny as the first series - it has more serious moments and is sometimes quite dark. It certainly doesn't suffer for this though, it makes the characters even more believable and you empathise with them throughout each and every episode. Despite the more austere parts, The Beautiful People crams in zany scenes and plenty of abstract irreverence, it's also important to note that the series is *still* hilarious and delivers more laughs per episode than many full series!
Simon is now a little older and a little wiser. He isn't quite as naÔve as he was in the last series and it's clear that he's beginning to understand his sexuality. His best friend and neighbour Kylie is gloriously camp and there are moments of glamour when the set bursts into song a-la stage musical, there's even an appearance by Elaine Paige. The two journey through school and the bullying which was briefly touched on in the first series is now more prevalent in Simon's life and the subject is dealt with using sensitivity and humour. The same can be said for the history behind Kylie and mum's move to Reading which involves a gritty tale of domestic violence.
The present day Simon gets more screentime in the second series and instead of merely narrating events, he gets his own distinct plotline which spans all six episodes and sees him eventually find the Beautiful People he always wanted to live with. He doesn't have to travel far to find them.
Throughout the episodes we are treated to some excellent comedy, and the final episode is absolutely brilliant. It resolves issues raised in the series and I actually felt quite emotional as certain plotlines reach a natural conclusion. All the performances are solid but Olivia Coleman is especially fantastic as Simon's mother - the role allows her to flex her acting muscles and show us how great an actress she really is. The final episode really does feel final, I don't think they'll make another series of this which is a shame as it was such a great show - but on the other hand, loose ends are tied up neatly and because of the way the show works we know how Simon turns out in the end.
In a nutshell: The creators of the series should be rightly proud of The Beautiful People - they've produced a show which manages to show some of the most camp and outlandish situations on television and still make it feel as though it could be happening in the house next door. The series' strength lies in its ability bring both the real and the surreal to the screen with affection and humour, it's evident that the writers have a great fondness for the characters they are dealing with - and that's something I shared with them whilst watching.