HBO’s beautiful and acclaimed adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels returns for a second season, focussing on the complex relationship between two childhood friends: the self-contained, bookish Elena “Lenu”, and the dazzling, jealous Lila.
The books are framed by narration from acclaimed novelist Elena “Lenu” Greco, now elderly and reflecting on her childhood in Naples, and in particular on her difficult friendship with Lila, whose beauty and cleverness outstripped Lenu’s own – but who was trapped by circumstance and thus unable to fulfil her academic potential in the same way Lenu was.
The second season is based on Ferrante’s second novel in the series, titled The Story of a New Name, which like the first book is set against the harsh and oftentimes violent backdrop of Naples in the ’50s and ’60s.
In season two Lenu (Margherita Mazzucco) and Lila (Gaia Girace) are no longer children now but young women, with Lila newly married to the repugnant and physically abusive Stefano. Meanwhile Lenu is working to obtain a university education, and improving on her creative writing – but she finds her introduction to romance and sex to be nothing like she’d hoped.
The two women also compete for the attention of older boy Nino, who is jealous of Lenu’s writing talent (something she’s oblivious to).
Read on for everything you need to know about My Brilliant Friend season two.
My Brilliant Friend season 2 release date
For UK-based viewers, the series is available for Sky Atlantic subscribers to watch from Friday 19th June.
My Brilliant Friend season 2 trailer
You can watch HBO’s original trailer for season two below.
My Brilliant Friend cast: Who is returning?
Margherita Mazzucco plays Lenu, with Elisa Del Genio continuing to guest as the younger version of the character. Likewise, Gaia Girace appears full-time with Ludovica Nasti guesting as the young Lila.
With the exception of Antonio Pennarella as Don Achille Carracci, the local mobster, most of the main cast is expected to be back for season two, with fresh faces for the new episodes including Giovanni Cannata as Armando Galiani, Professor Galiani’s son; Francesco Russo as Bruno Soccavo, Nino’s friend; Bruno Orlando as Franco Mari, Elena’s first boyfriend; Daria Deflorian as Adele Airota, Pietro Airota’s mother; and Matteo Cecchi as Pietro Airota, Elena’s second boyfriend.
Check out what else is on with our TV Guide