Get ready, Poptarts because BARBELLE is finally back! Season 2 premieres Wednesday, April 10 on KindaTV’s YouTubechannel, and pop duo Alice O’Hara (Gwenlyn Cumyn) and Veronica Vale (Karen Knox), aka BARBELLE, are headed out on a sold out tour. The tour comes hot on the heels of their very public breakup, and now that the two have now privately rekindled their romance, they must again keep secrets from their adoring fans. They won’t be alone out on the road though as Lulu (Cynthia Hicks) joins as their opening act.
Similar to Season 1, co-creators and stars Cumyn and Knox plan to use BARBELLE to tell stories that involve much more than pop star antics. While there will be plenty of musical fun, including brand new original songs, Knox and Cumyn also explore vital topics such as the #MeToo movement and the destructive effects social media can have on a person. Knox told The TV Junkies that the series’ success, currently 4 million views to date and counting on KindaTV, gave them the confidence to really tell these stories. “It was really encouraging to see how much people enjoyed the show. It definitely proved to us that there is an audience out there that is hungry for this type of content and they do want more.”
Knox and Cumyn recently gave us all the inside info on what to expect in Season 2, which will again consist of 10 episodes with KindaTV releasing a few episodes every Wednesday. Read on below for the main reasons why we’re so excited for more BARBELLE!
After Alice and Veronica worked all of Season 1 to hide their breakup from fans, news of it was just becoming public as the duo were reconciling in private. As Season 2 kicks off, Alice and Veronica now find themselves looking to keep their relationship under wraps as they head off on a sold out tour. While viewers may be excited to see Alice and Veronica back together again, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is a healthy one. Cumyn said Season 2 holds a “complicated reconciliation that both of their therapists would not approve of.”
One of the reasons that Alice and Veronica’s relationship has issues is the fact that Lulu is still very much a part of the equation. “We’re going to take this to math class — it’s a triangle,” Knox said. She went on to explain that “there’s definitely lots of tension and a competitive angle to winning Alice’s heart.” For her part, Lulu will try to win Alice by being what she thinks she wants and that, of course, means being more like Veronica. “She’s adopting these party girl antics that don’t necessarily jive with who she is. She definitely has an edgier, sexier look” Knox told us.
Fun new characters
Lulu won’t be the only one joining Alice and Veronica on tour. She has two new bandmates that are along for the ride as well: Gerard (Xavier Lopez) and Sandrine (Nadine Bhabha). Knox called Sandrine “a woke Disney princess,” and Cumyn explained that she is “a bit in Lulu’s shadow, but ultimately just wants love and attention.” Knox was particularly enthusiastic though about the inspiration behind Gerard, Lulu’s drummer. “I have an ongoing obsession with the front man of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way,” and thus, she found herself pleasantly surprised when it was Cumyn who suggested him as inspiration. “She said we could even name him Gerard! It was something I was down to do, but I didn’t think Gwen would be behind,” Knox explained before adding that Gerard “probably has some of the best one-liners.”
In addition to Lulu’s bandmates, Knox also said that they were “lucky enough to have Sarah Webber join the cast in a guest star appearance.” Webber, who is know from her popular YouTube channel, is “really talented and we can’t wait for everybody to meet her character.”
The music goes next level
If you’ve watched BARBELLE, then you’ve probably also gotten a song or two from the series stuck in your head long after watching. Prepare to have that happen all over again as Season 2 features a ton of new and original music. Not only will there be new songs from BARBELLE and Lulu’s band, but Knox and Cumyn were excited to feature the work of local Toronto musicians such as LCON, TIKA The Creator, Bossie, Maylee Todd, and Cat & The Queen. “We had a great time writing and working on all the music. There was more of a collaborative hand this season which made it even more fun for us,” said Cumyn. She previewed that the duo has “one monster anthem and we just love it.” The good news for fans is that Knox said “there are plans to release all of the original music so people can listen to it.”
The BARBELLE team BTS returns as well
Along with Knox and Cumyn, perhaps two of the biggest returns for Season 2 were behind the scenes. Season 1 director Kelly Paoli returned to direct Season 2, along with cinematographer Victoria Long. “I can’t underestimate what an effect and mark they put on the show. So much of the style is thanks to their creative genius,” Cumyn told us. Knox added that “it was essential to have them back,” with Cumyn agreeing that “there’s no BARBELLE without Kelly and Victoria.” Paoli and Long, along with some other returning BARBELLE crew, also meant that “it made being back on set like a big family reunion on Day 1,” said Knox.
Tackling vital topics
“This is a great platform that we’ve been given” Cumyn said when touching on why she and Knox wanted to explore some more serious topics in Season 2, including Veronica’s sobriety and the #MeToo movement. “The things they are dealing with aren’t just things you can sweep under the rug or pretend aren’t happening. It felt like a necessity to give them life,” she explained. Knox said that they were writing Season 2 of BARBELLE in the peak of the #MeToo movement and said that she spent “a lot of time on the internet and find myself really influenced by the pop culture zeitgeist.” She said during this time that “the headlines were just dominated every day with some new giant in the entertainment industry who was being accused of sexual misconduct.”
Thankfully, with BARBELLE streaming on KindaTV, “we aren’t bound by a network or beholden to producers,” who would maybe try and shape the stories Knox said she and Cumyn wanted to explore. Since this is their series and “as the executive producers of the show, we’re given free reign to explore exactly what we want to explore.” Knox also said “as young women who were working in the entertainment industry, it was something I couldn’t not talk about. It was something I needed to respond to as an artist and writer. It had to become part of this season because I couldn’t get it out of my head. I needed an artistic outlet to dissect it, see what it looked like and what it meant.”
Who is ready for more BARBELLE? Sound off below!
BARBELLE Season 2 premieres Wednesday, April 10 on KindaTV.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.