‘The Big Door Prize’ Season 2 Review: A Series That Continues to Rise to the Occasion

The Apple TV+ original series The Big Door Prize hit the ground running with its debut in early 2023. It received massive praise from critics, and the first season hit 92% on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate. The series was quickly greenlit for a second season, which is set to debut on April 24, 2024. Because of the authenticity of the script and the performances, The Big Door Prize was one of my favorite 2023 series. I will break down my review of the second season and let you know if it matches the passion of season one.

Season 2 of The Big Door Prize follows the residents of Deerfield as the Morpho machine sets them up for the mysterious “next stage.” As everyone’s potentials are exchanged, new relationships are formed, and new questions are asked. The series stars Chris O’DowdGabrielle DennisJosh Segarra, and Crystal Fox.

Chris O’Dowd in "The Big Door Prize," premiering April 24, 2024 on Apple TV+.
Chris O’Dowd in The Big Door Prize. Image courtesy of Apple TV+.

The Heart: Authenticity & Relationships

The writers did a phenomenal job in season 1 of making you emotionally invested in Dusty (O’Dowd) and Cass (Dennis), so much so that their relationship became a strong anchor for your expectations in season 2. There was an authenticity within the writing of season 1 of The Big Door Prize that made it relatable for the general audience, leading to its sweeping success. It wasn’t a surprise to see it renewed, however, I was worried they wouldn’t be able to capture that magic again in season 2.

The prospect of potentially separating Dusty and Cass made me apprehensive initially. However, the execution beautifully delved into the authenticity of a couple grappling with the question of their compatibility. It never felt contrived and instead felt like a real-life couple wrestling to determine the worth of their relationship. It’s one of the most compelling portrayals of a relationship I’ve witnessed on TV.

Gabrielle Dennis brought such a heartbreaking yet awe-inspiring delivery to Cass. In the show, she’s playing a character whose husband is exploring other options as they both suggest that they should and have to sit back and watch it like nothing is happening. But the most beautiful thing that Dennis does here is showcase what it’s like to find yourself through the triumphs and tragedies of a relationship. Dennis delivers the best work of her career, and I can’t wait to see this character explored even more in season 3 if we get it.

Comedy, Mystique, & Critique in The Big Door Prize

The Big Door Prize season 2 writers understood what makes the show special, which is the balance of comedy and drama. Often, within the second season of a show, writers can lose sight of what made their first season so great, but with this series, they were able to craft genuine, heartfelt moments along with the comedy and always keep sight of the overall appeal. Although the season starts slowly, it finds its footing in that second or third episode and never looks back.

Of course, we have the Morpho factor, and I was intrigued to see how the writers would maintain its mystique while keeping it interesting enough to add to the overall story. As we morphed into the “next stage,” it took a few episodes to find the groove, but once you begin to see the impact the Morpho is having on the characters, it starts to show how vital it is to the plot. The unique aspect adds an extra layer you must take seriously while driving home the show’s final moments.

Gabrielle Dennis in "The Big Door Prize," premiering April 24, 2024 on Apple TV+.
Gabrielle Dennis in The Big Door Prize. Image courtesy of Apple TV+.

Comedy helps make the show great

The comedy defines the balance of what makes the show so great. First, you have Chris O’Dowd, and his portrayal of Dusty is a lot of fun because there’s a simplicity to Dusty that makes some of the smaller dumb things that he does a lot funnier because of how odd he is playing Dusty. Then, on the other side of things, you have Josh Segarra, who’s playing Giorgio. Giorgio is probably hands-down one of the funniest characters I’ve seen written on TV in a long time – an outlandish, larger-than-life personality who thinks he’s the most important person in the room at all times. Segarra’s delivery of these lines, demeanor, and commitment to the character add such a fun, rambunctious character.

My most prominent bone to pick with the season was that it wrote the last episode to set up a potential third season. While it does close the door on some of the chapters presented throughout the season, it didn’t do enough to feel like a finale. I don’t mind setting up another season but don’t do it at the expense of missing important details to truly close out a chapter.

Final thoughts on The Big Door Prize Season 2

Ultimately, season 2 of The Big Door Prize continued to deliver a fun and unique original series. I’ve said this before, but Apple TV+’s ability to greenlight series like The Big Door Prize shows that their top brass have an immense eye for great content. The top-notch acting, blended with strong storytelling and the authentic nature of the premise, makes this series one of the best shows on TV.

The Big Door Prize Season 2 will be available on Apple TV+ on April 24, 2024.

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