This Way Up season 2: Aisling Bea hopes viewers find hope in second season of her acclaimed Channel 4 comedy

Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan return as sisters Aine and Shona for a second series of hilarious but bittersweet comedy This Way Up.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 12 July 2021 - 4.47pm
Comedy

Sharon Horgan

Sitcoms

This Way Up was one of the best new TV shows of 2019, as Irish comedian Aisling Bea teamed up with Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) for a series filled with bittersweet humour, moments of joy and thoughtfulness.

Bea and Horgan star as sisters Aine and Shona, a classic double act who have a passionate, hilarious and believable relationship.

Balancing melancholy with rays of sunshine, fans of season 1 have been eagerly waiting for the next six episodes.

This Way Up - Need to know

Aisling Bea poses to promote This Way Up season 2 Channel 4

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Watch this if you liked: Catastrophe, Fleabag, Back to Life, Feel Good

The critics said: “Small in scope, infinitely charming, and intermittently devastating.” (The Atlantic)

What happens in This Way Up in season 2?

Channel 4 has revealed the following synopsis for season 2 of This Way Up:

"It's 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'?"

Aine (Aisling Bea) and Shona (Sharon Horgan) in a sauna in This Way Up season 2 Channel 4

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?

Talking about her hopes for season 2, Bea said: "Truthfully, I hope if you have had a rough lockdown or year, I hope you feel seen, I hope you feel hopeful and like it is worth battling through and giving it a go.

Aine (Aisling Bea) doing her make-up in This Way Up season 2 Channel 4

"I hope you identify with the show and see that there is a value and nobility to the middle ground of health where you don’t have to be a millionaire to be a good person or have a good life and that you are not supposed to be happy all the time, but that is OK."

Her co-star Horgan added: "It's hard hitting when it needs to be, but even when there's tough subjects being discussed, or, scenes enacted, there is a message of hope.

"This series sends a message to hold on to life because it’s precious. I think maybe, after the year we’ve all had it’s a good message to put out there."

When does This Way Up season 2 start?

This Way Up season 2 starts on Wednesday, July 14 at 10pm on Channel 4.

Filming This Way Up in lockdown

Aine (Aisling Bea) in This Way Up season 2 Channel 4

Filming the series during the pandemic presented a few challenges for cast and crew, but also offered unlikely opportunities for humour.

“Truthfully, shooting the show in the winter during a national lockdown was incredibly difficult on many levels,” said Bea. 

“But one moment I remember laughing my head off was with my brilliant make-up designer Lisa Kennedy who also did series 1, she kept me sane during the shoot and when we were shooting the sauna scene which is the opening of episode 1, Lisa had to cover me in red make-up to make me look hot and sweaty from the sauna. 

“And because there was a shot from above, that included painting my arse red, so I was down on all fours in a swimsuit during the winter in a pandemic while they wore medical masks and painted my arse red.”

Aine (Aisling Bea) curled up in bed in This Way Up season 2 Channel 4

Horgan added: “The pandemic did affect some aspects of the show’s narrative too – for example, Aasif Mandvi’s character, Vish. Aasif was actually in New York during the whole time as we couldn’t fly him back. Aisling thought it could work really well and give the show more of an international feel. I think it worked really well and it helped to foreshadow what was to come. In the series, the pandemic hasn't hit but it's around the corner.

“The distance between Vish and Shona and the fact that their relationship only took place over the phone and online added to the relevancy of the show.”

How to watch This Way Up season 2 in the UK

This Way Up season 2 starts on Wednesday, July 14 at 10pm on Channel 4.

All episodes available on All 4.

Season 1 is available on All 4 now.

Get all the channels you love with flexible BT TV

Our VIP, Big Entertainment and Entertainment packages include Sky channels with a NOW Entertainment Membership.