Aisling Bea's award-winning comedy This Way Up returns to Channel 4 for second series
Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea reunite their sister act for the Merman-produced comedy.
PRAISE FOR SERIES ONE:
"... as fiercely realistic as it is funny" ***** Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
"I want to watch it again" **** Carol Midgley, The Times
"Deftly preys on your fears and pricks your sympathies. At the same time [... ] a gratifyingly high gag rate" **** Jaspar Rees, The Daily Telegraph
Aisling Bea's Merman-produced comedy co-starring Sharon Horgan has been commissioned for a second series (6 x 30) for Channel 4 and Hulu. Bea took home the Breakthrough Talent BAFTA Craft award for writing series one earlier this year.
In the forthcoming series, viewers can expect more bittersweet sister-related shenanigans, including ill-advised trips to infra-red saunas, and possibly another sung duet... to give the people what they want.
Series two is set after the events of the series one finale, with things in flux for Aine (Aisling Bea, Living With Yourself; Quiz) and her sister, Shona (Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe; Military Wives).
Aine's starting to leave her time in rehab behind and live less cautiously, which may not be entirely wise. Will she and Richard (Tobias Menzies, The Crown; Game of Thrones) make a cheeky go of it? Or continue to exist in the odd tension of the employer-employee dynamic? Or is emotional risk the "sexy bit"?
At the end of series one we saw Shona newly engaged after Vish's (Aasif Mandvi, Evil; The Brink) proposal, despite sharing a stolen kiss with business partner, Charlotte (Indira Varma, Game of Thrones; Luther). How will Charlotte and Shona manage running a new business together after *that* kiss? Will Shona be able to go through with marrying Vish? Planning a wedding? Can she tell him what happened? Is there anything more to tell?
Despite the sisters' numerous ups and downs, This Way Up centres on the unshakable bond between Aine and Shona and their passionate, caring, often-angry, always-hilarious relationship. In the darkest moments, when faced with overwhelming loneliness and sadness, the two sisters will always save each other and bring each other back into the light.
Creator Aisling Bea said: "I am over the moon that our little baby This Way Up gets to grow up and start school. Thanks to its grandparents Channel 4 and Hulu for paying its school fees and to my wonderful team, crew and cast for helping bring it to life the first-time round. I was so overwhelmed by the love and support for the show.
The themes of loneliness and vulnerability seemed to connect in a far more widespread way than I had anticipated, and it feels particularly relevant writing series two during the last few months. I was so touched by the people from different countries, ages, genders and backgrounds who have gotten in touch to share their stories since the show has aired. I'm entirely grateful to be working and to be able to get our brilliant team back to work too, even though it is odd as hell filming during a worldwide pandemic. Our priority will be to keep our crew and cast safe and healthy whilst also staying creative and trying to make the best show we can.
I hope you love seeing where Aine and Shona have moved on to. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has offered myself and Sharon large record deals since hearing us sing Zombie and please wear a mask literally, but drop your metaphorical one."
Merman co-founder Sharon Horgan said: "It's been a really tough, strange old year. We know we're lucky to be back working at all but especially lucky to be working again on This Way Up. Aish continues to make us laugh and cry with her observations on life and love and loneliness. I can't wait to be her sister again so I can legitimately give her a dead arm whenever I feel like it."
Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Comedy, said: "In This Way Up Aisling and the team have created something both beautifully observed and infectiously funny. It was a glorious first outing packed with skilful writing and outstanding performances. Like all fans of the show, we can't wait to dive back in!"
This Way Up has been recommissioned for Channel 4 by Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor for Comedy and Fiona McDermott, Head of Channel 4 Comedy. It is written by Aisling Bea, produced by Merman and distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios. It is again directed by Alex Winckler and produced by Gavin O'Grady. Executive Producers are Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea. The series will air in the US on Hulu.