If you thought the sex-positive and queer-inclusive Game of Keys (El Juego de las Llaves) Season 1 was messy, just wait until you watch Season 2.
I was provided with free advanced screeners of the first four episodes of The Game of Keys Season 2. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Warning: This review contains some spoilers.
The first season of The Game of Keys introduced us to a group of 30-somethings getting to experience the freedom found from attending a swinging or partner swapping party. While I’m not the biggest fan of messy narratives, I’m all for giving such content a shot but only if the creative team is self-aware of said messiness and isn’t trying to promote a show as something it’s not. The Game of Keys is that type of series. And that’s why I binged watched the 10-episode long first season (released in 2019) to be ready to dive into the season two screeners I received.
Quick recap! The Game of Keys Season One had the ensemble go through lots of relationship drama to come to a realization about their true feelings. While Leo (Hugo Catalán) and Barbara (Fabiola Campomanes) were able to work things out, Adriana (Maite Perroni) left her longtime husband Oscar (Humberto Busto) which allowed him to finally become closer to Gaby (Marimar Vega). And Gaby’s husband Valentin (Horacio Pancheri) took a big step when it came to accepting his queer sexuality.
The Game of Keys Season 2 opens a few months later with the core cast of characters trying to make sense of their new lives. Gaby’s pregnant with Oscar’s child. Oscar and Adriana’s teen daughter Mica (Abril Michel) is living with Oscar and Gaby at their new place. Barbara’s urging Leo to find a suitable and non-political job to support the family while she handles a vengeful new boss. Valentin realizes that it’s time for him to come out of the closet to his parents (which I’ll get to in a bit). And Adriana’s trying to figure out where she socially fits after losing her husband, daughter, and one of her closest friends.
I liked Adriana’s arc in the first season and the same goes for the second outing. Going by what I have seen, while Adriana might think she regrets getting involved in the partner swapping game by Siena (Ela Velden), deep down she realizes that agreeing to the game was the best course of action for her at that time. The game allowed Adriana to put a lot of things in perspective. Her life with Oscar wasn’t as perfect as she or the others had thought. There’s was a sense of uncertainty between the married couple when it came to whether or not they still actually loved each other or if, after being married for so long, they had just grown used to being around each other.
With Adriana’s high school crush out of her life (for now), I liked the second season allowing Adriana to explore her feelings further. There’s definitely something romantic brewing between her and Siena. However, Adriana doesn’t like being controlled and being told what to do. She finally got the freedom she wanted, and I hope Siena understands that if she wants to continue being friends (or even more) with Adriana.
The Game of Keys Season Two introduces viewers to Astrid (Alejandra Guzmán), Siena’s rich mentor. It was nice to see an even older woman join the narrative and showcase that being expressing your sexuality doesn’t need to stop at reaching a particular age. We also get a new character named Guillermo (Cristián de la Fuente) who is likely going to make things a bit complicated for Adriana. I’m really interested in seeing where that so-called relationship will go. Also, is it just me or does Fuente resemble John Cena and Dominic West?
Barbara’s mother Gloria (Laura León) also enters the story as a religious woman wanting Barbara and Leo to get married already. She’s definitely not a fan of Leo and has a lot to say about how Barbara’s living her life and raising their two kids. Seeing Leo, Barbara, and Carmen (Helena Haro) try and hide the fact that they are a throuple from Gloria made for some very funny moments.
With the introduction of three new characters, the first four episodes of The Game of Keys Season 2 kept things fresh while continuing the characters arcs from the previous season. I also liked how Mica’s getting a bit more focus due to being a teen who has had a lot of things change in a very short period of time. Here’s to hoping Mica gets the support she needs.
Coming to Valentin, his journey in the sophomore season of The Game of Keys is about coming out to his parents. During the first season, his parents put a lot of pressure on him to have a child with Gaby. Season 2 continued that narrative arc by involving Valentin and a pregnant Gaby in a very weird (yet enjoyable) mess in front of Valentin’s rich father. I do feel the writers did a good job of showing Valentin’s conflicted emotions. He wants to come out to his father, but he also doesn’t want to break his father’s heart. I do think Valentin’s journey mirrors the experiences of many queer people around the globe. It’s also nice to see an older gay character going through such moments instead of having another coming-out story involving teens or young adults. Just because someone’s older, it doesn’t mean coming out automatically becomes easier. Here’s to hoping Valentin does the right thing as this season progresses.
Along with Valentin being gay, we also have bisexual rep via Siena and a handful of other main characters. Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire cast realizes they aren’t necessarily 100% straight as the show progresses. And while the main narrative is fun and messy, the queer representation, in my opinion, has been handled quite well in this series. If I were to nitpick, well, I wouldn’t mind seeing more bisexual representation coming from the male characters. Also, for those who might not know, The Game of Keys Season One was a GLAAD 2020 nominee for “Outstanding Spanish-Language Television Series”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the second season gets nominated again.
If you’re into watching a well-written and enjoyably messy series that features drama, humor, queer representation, sex-positivity, women creatives behind and in front of the camera, I highly recommend you checking out The Game of Keys.
Produced by Corazón Films, Pantaya (De Brutas, Nada), and Amazon Prime Video, The Game of Keys (El Juego de las Llaves) has nudity and sexually intimate situations. So, be mindful of that.
Go watch it!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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