The first season of Big Boys charmed audiences in 2022 with its heartfelt coming-of-age story. Centered around a group of misfit students at the fictional Brent University, the show struck a masterful balance between laugh-out-loud humor and poignant drama. Viewers instantly fell for Jack, an awkward gay teen grieving his father’s death, and his unlikely best friend Danny, a blokey lad with hidden depths. With plenty of nostalgic references to the early 2010s, the series had a timeless quality that resonated with all ages. Fans rejoiced when a second season was announced, hungry to spend more time with their new favorite characters.
Now the boys are back, plunging viewers right into the action with the chaos of Jack’s dad’s raucous 60th birthday party. It’s a joy to slip back into this world, where grief and sexuality are explored with humor and heart. The core four friends feel like family as they embark on sophomore year, facing new challenges but still drawing strength from each other. While the laughs keep coming, season two promises even greater emotional depth.
With flashes back to formative moments in Danny’s childhood, the show expands its scope. The boys still have a lot of growing up to do, and it’s bittersweet to watch them stumble through early adulthood. For devotees of the first season, it’s deeply satisfying to see these troubled but big-hearted boys continue to find themselves.
Back to Brent in 2014
The core group of lovable misfits returns in Big Boys season two, transporting us back to their university days in 2014. Still reeling from the loss of his father, Jack continues exploring his identity as a young gay man. His best friend Danny remains a pillar of support, even as he confronts his own family trauma. Their friends Corinne and Yemi round out the gang, lending humor and heart.
This season follows the friends into their second year at Brent University. For Jack, university is still an escape from the grief consuming his family home. He fumbles through Grindr hookups and lusts after professors, hungry to experience the gay scene. We chuckle as Jack drools over Alison Hammond joining Strictly Come Dancing, his pop culture addictions providing comic relief.
Underneath Danny’s bravado, abandonment issues haunt him. Through flashbacks, we gain insight into his unstable upbringing. As Danny cares for his ailing grandmother, old wounds resurface. But he continues empowering Jack to embrace his identity. Their brotherly bond remains the show’s anchor.
Brainy Corinne and stylish Yemi also cope with family troubles and questions of identity. Corinne contemplates an abortion while hiding a secret fling. Yemi reckons with being a gay Nigerian man in Britain. Though the friends clash and tease, their love lights the way through life’s maze.
While the laughs keep coming, the tears flow more freely this season. Big Boys deftly explores coming-of-age themes like sexuality, grief, and mental health with sensitivity. During a period of huge social change, these students help each other navigate questions of identity. As they stumble into adulthood, this chosen family shares the journey.
Standout Performances Anchor the Story
While Jack Rooke’s writing shines, the phenomenal cast of Big Boys brings the fun and feelings to life. Leading man Dylan Llewellyn continues dazzling as the fictionalized Jack, conveying his character’s growth with nuance. No longer simply the grieving gay son, this Jack spreads his wings. Llewellyn juggles Jack’s fumbling sexual awakening with heartbreaking pain, his innate charm and wit holding our hands through it all.
As Danny, Jon Pointing exceeds his BAFTA-nominated debut. His performance simmers with machismo and hidden hurt, especially as more of Danny’s backstory emerges. Danny could caricature the “lad,” but Pointing makes him breathtakingly human. When Danny cares for his declining grandmother, Pointing wrecks us. He masters the physical comedy while peeling back Danny’s layers to reveal a lost boy underneath.
The supporting cast provides laughs and wisdom. As Jack’s brash cousin Shannon, Harriet Webb nearly steals the show with her crass but sage advice. Camille Coduri as Jack’s mother Peggy again proves a formidable scene partner, pivoting hilariously from vulgar to maternal. Izuka Hoyle’s Corinne and Olisa Odele’s Yemi grow into richer roles, both maneuvering nuanced emotional arcs with spirit.
Special praise belongs to Annette Badland as the formidable Nanny Bingo. Though her screen time is limited, she packs a punch. Badland portrays Bingo’s tough love beautifully, never letting sentimentality turn cloying. These layered performances collectively take Jack Rooke’s vision to new heights.
Laughing and Crying in Equal Measure
One of Big Boys’ greatest strengths is its ability to fluidly oscillate between humor and heartache. While tackling weighty topics like grief, mental health, and sexuality, it never loses its comic touch. This tonal duality makes the moments of raw emotion hit even harder.
Season two doubles down on melancholy, tempering the laugh-out-loud gags with somber flashbacks. We see young Danny abandoned by his parents, crying for help that never comes. When Jack’s father dies, his family’s sorrow permeates the scene’s absurdity. These gut-wrenching moments remind us of the very real pain beneath the punchlines.
Yet the jokes keep the show from becoming maudlin. Jack’s fumbling Grindr adventures will have you cackling through the tears. His cousin Shannon brings her signature wit, knocking the characters down a peg when they begin to take themselves too seriously. Even lower-key characters like Jack’s lecturer have hysterical one-liners that leaven the drama.
Rooke’s script juggles tones as deftly as the characters juggle their problems. He knows precisely when to slide from raucous to reflective, using humor to endear us to the characters before peeling back their layers. The friend group’s easy banter and antics form a refuge, making the flashes of sorrow hit harder.
Big Boys argues that life’s intricacies demand a variety of tones. Growing up is a rollercoaster of emotions, careening from silliness to devastation in a moment. Its complex characters can’t be defined by any one feeling, but rather by the sum of their experiences. Just like real life, their stories encompass the scope of human experience.
This nuanced balance makes the show relatable and real. When we chuckle knowingly at an absurd predicament before being moved to tears, we recognize our own lives. Laughter and grief often intermingle, and Big Boys acknowledges that messy truth. Its deft navigation of comedy and drama makes the world feel whole. We close each episode smiling through tears, grateful for the wholeness of feeling.
The Winding Road to Self-Discovery
At its core, Big Boys is a narrative about the circuitous path to self-acceptance. As the characters stumble into adulthood, they come to realize discovering yourself is not a singular event but an ongoing journey.
The show explores coming-of-age not as a linear progression, but as a gradual accumulation of experiences shaping identity. For Jack and Danny, university marks the first time they are free to explore who they are outside of their home lives’ constraints. Yet the friends grapple with understanding sexuality, mental health, and loss in the context of formative family trauma. Their development into fully-realized adults is peppered by moments of progress and painful setbacks.
Jack’s sexual awakening rarely follows a straight line, mirroring most people’s clumsy intimacies. His first fumbling attempts at gay romance are punctured by moments of doubt, embarrassment, and prejudice. Yet he grows more comfortable asserting his needs and embracing different facets of queerness.
Meanwhile, Danny’s mental health struggles ebb and flow. He is healing yet still haunted by the scars of his unstable childhood. Danny learns healthy coping mechanisms from his chosen family even as toxic masculinity creeps back in. It is a refreshingly honest portrayal of the nonlinear nature of progress.
The support of their friends cushions the characters’ falls on this uneven road. Jack, Danny, Yemi, and Corinne form a family bound not by blood but by true understanding. They hold each other through crises of identity, sexuality, grief, and mental health. Their connections prove that while we may feel alone on our solitary journeys, we still need guidance from loved ones.
Big Boys portrays the LGBTQ+ experience with nuance largely missing from mainstream media. It explores queer intimacy, homophobia, and the discovery of community sensitively without sanitization. Jack’s faltering steps into gay culture ring true to life. Too often, coming-of-age narratives present tidy self-actualization. Instead, this show celebrates the messy realities of growing into one’s skin.
A Fresh Voice in the Sitcom Sphere
While Big Boys draws on classic sitcom tropes, it puts a progressive spin on the format. The core friend group evokes ensembles like Friends, playing on that dynamic. Yet the show departs from familiar formulas with its intimate look at LGBTQ+ experiences.
At its center, Big Boys has an odd couple friendship between the straight Danny and gay Jack. This seemingly cliché scenario is transformed into an emotionally nuanced exploration of masculine intimacy. Danny breaks the stereotype of the brash, bumbling straight man to become a nurturing ally.
While Jack fills the gay best friend role, his inner world is richly developed. Too often, LGBTQ+ characters serve only as sassy sidekicks rather than fully-realized protagonists. Here, Jack claims the narrative focus without the trauma and tragedy of lesser shows. His identity encompasses endless possibilities.
Big Boys also avoids the repetitive storytelling trap where each episode resets without broader growth. Our players progress through layered arcs across the seasons. They retain the sitcom structure as an anchor, while exploring poignant themes not traditionally at home in comedy.
This allows the show to feel both comfortingly familiar and refreshingly novel. It proves sitcoms can evolve beyond reductive stereotypes and recycled punchlines. When diverse voices claim comedic spaces, they push the art form forward rather than repackaging the status quo.
While paying homage to its predecessors, Big Boys distinguishes itself with resonant stories that happen to be very funny. It embraces the sitcom’s storytelling power but expands its perspective. In doing so, the show makes a home for voices across sexuality, gender, and background.
Why We’ve Fallen for Big Boys
With its sophomore season, Big Boys cements itself as a new comedy classic. The show fires on all cylinders, from Jack Rooke’s insightful writing to the stellar cast. It tells resonant coming-of-age stories while pushing representation forward. Most of all, these big-hearted boys draw us in with their humor and humanity.
Rooke has crafted a sitcom that could only come from his unique perspective. His writing navigates complex themes with equal parts intellect and feeling. Though clearly personal, the stories feel universally relatable. Rooke handles heartbreak and joy with unflinching honesty that never veers into cynicism.
Helping realize Rooke’s vision is a phenomenal cast. Dylan Llewellyn makes the fictional Jack leap off the page with his winning charisma. Meanwhile, Jon Pointing brings such emotional depth to Danny that we ache for this lost boy. The supporting players also shine, creating a true ensemble piece. Each performance adds new shades to this colorful world.
In celebrating these multifaceted characters, Big Boys provides representation largely absent in mainstream media. Where too many shows relegate LGBTQ+ stories to the margins, here they take center stage. Big Boys makes space for the full spectrum of sexuality without straining for sentimentality or scandal.
Most importantly, the show brims with humanity. These friends grapple with the universal struggles of discovering oneself and building a family. Their stories represent the breadth of human experience beyond convenient stereotypes. Through flaws and all, we recognize ourselves in their stumblings towards self-love.
That raw relatability makes Big Boys feel like a friend. We laugh and cry along with its compassionately drawn characters, emerging better for knowing them. Their journeys offer catharsis and hope to anyone searching for their place in the world.
With its big heart, Big Boys continues to push boundaries quiet and representation. We’ve fallen in love with Jack, Danny, and company. More than a great sitcom, it’s a mirror reflecting our shared humanity. Here’s hoping this new classic keeps growing up with us for seasons to come.
The Perfect Blend of Laughs and Heart
With its second season, Big Boys further cements itself as a poignant and hilarious reflection of modern British life. By blending silly situational comedy with sensitive character growth, the show strikes the perfect chord. We bond with its lovably flawed characters as they fumble towards maturity. Their emotional journeys give weight to the belly laughs.
Big Boys proudly carries the torch of British humor while updating the formula for a new generation. It tackles universal questions of identity with razor-sharp wit and disarming empathy. While subverting stereotypes, the show still feels comfortingly familiar in all the best ways.
Fans will surely be clamoring for the boys’ return after this pitch-perfect second outing. There are still so many awkward milestones and hard-won lessons ahead for Jack, Danny, and friends. The journey of self-discovery has only just begun. With its deft balance of humor and heartbreak, Big Boys deserves to see that journey through.
For now, we can savor the bittersweet joy of this stellar sophomore season. Funny, tender, and boldly human, Big Boys remains a shining standout of modern British comedy. We can’t help but root for these characters who feel like family. Here’s to growing up with this poignant, hilarious show by our side.
Big Boys Season 2
With its sophomore season, Big Boys comes into its own as a poignant reflection on the messiness of becoming an adult. By skillfully weaving humor and hardship, the show creates a compassionate portrait of millennials muddling through self-discovery. Buoyed by sensitive writing and stellar performances, Big Boys tugs our heartstrings as often as it tickles our funny bones. This rare balance makes the series a new classic sitcom for the ages.
- Excellent writing and character development
- Balances comedy and drama masterfully
- Great acting performances, especially from Dylan Llewellyn and Jon Pointing
- Explores themes like grief, relationships and sexuality with nuance
- Witty, relatable dialogue and situational comedy
- Departs from tired sitcom tropes and stereotypes
- Some emotional moments feel manipulative or forced
- Supporting characters like Corinne and Yemi feel underdeveloped
- Plot points can feel repetitive episode to episode
- Overreliance on nostalgic 2014 references