Review by Sean Boelman
Although the first season of Industry was, perhaps unabashedly, an attempt to capitalize on the newfound enormous popularity of shows like Succession, it managed to gain enough traction to warrant a second season. Well thank goodness it did, because season two of Industry provides some of the best television of 2022 so far, even rivaling its HBO business world cousin.
Set years after the conclusion of the first season, these new episodes pick up after the gang has become full-time workers at prestigious finance firm Pierpoint as they get on with more financial troublemaking and personal debauchery. It’s like the creators of the series took everything about the first season and dialed it up to eleven. It’s smarter, sexier, and more suspenseful.
Indeed, at this point, this series is beginning to take its rightful place as “sexier Succession.” The romantic tension between the different players at Pierpoint really comes to a head in this season. What once felt like a melodrama has instead become much more complex, with legitimate discussions of its implications.
Something interesting that this season does is completely change the audience’s perception of the characters. Some characters who were once bratty are now some of the most approachable in the show, and others that were our de facto heroes are now showing their darker side. It’s something that could have backfired very badly, and yet they manage to make it work.
The actors have also really found their own this season. While Myha’la Herrold is still great here, Marisa Abela takes over as the commanding force this season. Some of the best scenes in the season are those in which Herrold and Abela get to act off of one another. Also a highlight is Jay Duplass, who is added this season in a prominent supporting role.
In terms of the technical financial stuff, the series still excels at making things exciting even if you don’t understand what is happening. In fact, that you don’t know what is happening makes it all the more suspenseful. Instead, the series focuses on what is at stake and makes your heart sink (or jump for joy) when the money dips or surges.
The fast-paced editing definitely does a lot of the hard work to make the series as successful as it is. It’s much more polished compared to the rough, up-close-and-personal feel of Succession, but it works in its own way. The quick cuts when partnered with the razor-sharp dialogue gives it a very natural rhythm.
While Industry might have started off in the shadow of another show, it has quickly risen to the rank of competitor. HBO apparently dominates the market on sharply funny high-level business satires, because this show is an absolute knockout.
Industry debuts on HBO on August 1 at 9pm ET/PT with new episodes airing subsequent Mondays. Seven out of eight episodes reviewed.