After spending most of last season getting to know one another and each other’s work styles, Sam (Meredith MacNeill) and Kelly (Adrienne C. Moore) are now officially partners on Pretty Hard Cases. This new territory allows the pair to prove that they are never better than when they are working together. In Season 2, which premieres Wednesday, January 5 at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem, the ladies are also trying to leave some baggage behind. Will they actually be successful at that? You’ll have to tune in and find out.
The season opens with Sam as an empty nester who is embarking on a new love life with Nazeer (Al Mukadam). Meanwhile, Kelly has realized her feelings for Nathan (Daren A. Herbert) and is trying to forge some new bonds with her estranged sisters. However, as it tends to do, work gets in the way and they quickly are up against a new gang. Sam and Kelly quickly are forced to put their lives on the line again as they attempt the riskiest takedown of their careers.
Luckily, The TV Junkies recently had the chance to speak with stars MacNeill and Moore. The pair previewed what’s ahead for Season 2 and why they were excited to get back on the case. They also shared some insights into the new characters joining the action this season and how Sam and Kelly’s personal lives will be explored.
The TV Junkies: How excited were you both to come back for Season 2? I always think Season 2s are the most fun because we’re already familiar with the premise and these characters. What was it like for you to come back?
Meredith MacNeill: It was fun. We had a quick turnaround because of COVID pushing the first season, but I was excited to get back for all those reasons. I knew the relationship between the two characters and learned a lot in the first season. Adrienne and I are both big fans of the cast and crew so it was nice to see everyone again.
TTVJ: Sam and Kelly are now officially partners in Season 2. While we know there’s a love and respect that exists between them, what kind of conflicts may we see arise related to how these two work together?
Adrienne C. Moore: As the partnership has been solidified, fans will see that they get a little too close for comfort this season. It’s like all those friendships that you have, once you get through the hard times and are on even footing, then you get too comfortable, too nosey, and too into each other’s business. Like always, our personal lives will blend into our professional lives and you’ll see how we navigate getting too close to each other.
TTVJ: I can’t see Sam getting too nosey at all! [laughs]
MM: No, she doesn’t ask any questions at all. But in Season 2, she becomes a bit more aware of who she is, only as 40-plus women can do. At the same time, that doesn’t stop what Adrienne said about the hiccups and bumps of a friendship that’s deepening. They are navigating it all and while their blended skill-set has improved, because of the closeness at work, there’s still some friction there.
TTVJ: What’s going on with Sam’s son, Elliot (Percy Hynes White)? He was in some serious trouble at the end of last season.
MM: In Season 2, Sam finds herself an empty-nester. Elliot is in Florida with Sam’s mom. It’s exciting for her because she has this awakened drive to put time into her love life with Naz. However, it’s not too long before we meet Sam’s mom, and then not short after, Elliot comes back. So her newfound freedom and love life is not only impacted by her mother but then also by her son.
TTVJ: Speaking of Sam’s mom, can you preview a little bit about her and the guest star playing her, Sonja Smits?
MM: We’re blessed to have the incredible force of Sonja Smits to play my mother. As much as Sam and her mother seem initially different, I think they have similarities in their strengths, curiosity, and sense of adventure. When you get to see someone’s parents, you get to know different layers of that person. That’s what this is for the audience, you get a greater understanding of Sam and where she’s coming from. You also get the added joy of seeing Sonja do her thing.
TTVJ: Adrienne, we also get more time with Kelly’s family. What will that help us learn about Kelly this season?
AM: You’ll see a little bit more of Kelly’s siblings. The focus, in terms of family for Kelly, is the lack thereof in her own personal life. You really see how she comes to terms with the fact that she’s alienated herself and how she deals with that.
TTVJ: The ladies both had some interesting love lives happening, or starting to happen, at the end of last season. Where do things stand for Sam with Nazeer and Kelly with Nathan?
MM: At the beginning of the season it looks like Sam and Naz are dating, it’s just that Sam is super horny and would really love Naz to make the first move. So there’s that dynamic going on right away and it’s super fun to play.
AM: Kelly isn’t realizing how she alienates herself in her relationships. At the end of Season 1, we left off discovering she really does have feelings for Nathan and wants to make things work. However, he’s sort of moved on and then, someone from Kelly’s past comes back. This past love interest makes her wrestle with those feelings, the issues why that relationship ended, and why it’s preventing her from moving forward and achieving the goals, wants, and desires she has in wanting her own family.
TTVJ: The show had some pretty fabulous guest stars in Season 1. Can you preview what fun guests you have coming on board in Season 2?
MM: Well, I’ve already talked about Sonja, who is playing my mom. Adrienne got to spend a lot of time with K.C. Collins.
AM: Yes, he plays my blast from the past this season. He’s an impeccable artist and it was really interesting discovering a past relationship where it was a best friend and lover, all the while figuring out how to convey those emotions while staying six feet apart from one another. [laughs] I’m teasing, but it was really interesting to explore the different levels of Kelly’s past love relationships. Her relationship with Len, played by K.C., versus Nathan and how those affect her.
We also have Ben Bass, but I won’t give away what his role is in the show just yet. He was a lot of fun to have on set.
MM: Yes, Ben was a blast and we had many laughs with him. He worked with Sherry [White] and Tassie [Cameron] before on Rookie Blue. Charlotte Sullivan also came in and was on Rookie Blue. She’s there a good half of the season. We got to meet her on location out in the woods and it was one of my favorite days.
AM: We have a slew of returning guest stars as well. For example, Tricia [Black] and Miguel [Rivas] are back as Detectives Chase and Swallows.
Pretty Hard Cases Season 2 premieres Wednesday, January 5 at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.
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.