Review of “Dante’s Cove” Season 2

 
 

Thea Gill plays a fabulous bad girl, sweetly endearing herself to both Grace and Ambrosius while plotting against them both. Her scenes with Nadine Heimann’s Van are also fun to watch, with a flirtatious undercurrent running through them.

Tracy Scoggins (The Colbys, Dynasty) continues to be her wicked-diva best as Tresum practitioner Grace. Scoggins allowed more of her character’s vulnerability to come through in the second season, alongside her manipulative and power-hungry sides. Grace was also outed as the owner of the Hotel Dante, so I suspect we’ll see her mingling more with the residents in Season 3.

Marco, the new owner of gay club H2Eau, is played by Gabriel Romero, another of the openly gay actors in the cast. Toby and Brit are both bartenders at the club, and Michelle works there as a waitress. It would have been a great setup for more scenes between Brit and Michelle, but it didn’t happen — at least not in Season 2.

However, one of my favorite scenes did involve the club. In the first episode, Toby shows up for work in a tank top, and Marco hands him a short-sleeved shirt with a collar, explaining that H2Eau is going to be a class act from here on out. As Toby buttons the shirt from the bottom up, Marco stops him about halfway: "This isn’t a dive, but it isn’t church either."

H2Eau is also the setting for Michelle Wolff’s first scene as Brit. A male customer propositions her, and she simply says, "I’m into girls." Fortunately, Marco lets her wear tank tops.

The new actors are a great addition to the cast. The acting throughout is better than the first season, though I continue to be disappointed in Charlie David’s portrayal of Toby. Many male fans of the show believe that Toby and Kevin make a very hot couple, and yes, they look good together, but with David’s lackluster performance, it’s not particularly believable.

The new hotel is beautiful, with lush greenery, antique furniture and great views of the ocean. It does remind me of one of the running complaints about the characters in Friends with their huge Manhattan apartments — in Dante’s Cove, how can these minimum wage-earning 20-somethings afford to live in such a glamorous place? Van, for instance, had a job at the historical society in the first season, but now appears to take occasional house-cleaning gigs while spending most of her time painting and studying Tresum.

Special features on the second season DVD include short features on the men of Dante’s Cove, the women of Dante’s Cove and the out actors. And of course, there are the obligatory deleted scenes.

Here! TV, the LGBT network that airs Dante’s Cove on cable, picked up the series for a third season, and with the improvement evident between Seasons 1 and 2, we can hope for an even better Season 3. With the addition of out actors Jill Bennett and Jenny Shimizu, there will certainly be more lesbian screen time. And according to Michelle Wolff, who just spoke with AfterEllen.com from the Dante’s Cove set in Hawaii, the third season will include a love triangle among the characters played by herself, Bennett and Shimizu.

With here! expanding its availability nationwide this summer, it will be a lot easier to see Dante’s Cove when the third season premieres this fall. So do yourself a favor and check out Dante’s Cove: The Complete Second Season first. But don’t torture yourself with Season 1; the here! website will give you all the back story you’ll need to thoroughly enjoy Season 2.

Watch the trailer for Season 2 here:

Visit the series’ website for more information, get Season 2 on DVD, and read our interview with Michelle about Season 3.

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