(Cable+Showtime) Yes, I have previously posted about WORK IN PROGRESS, and yes, WORK IN PROGRESS has been canceled and has been off-the-air for several months now, but I still want to boost it because it’s amazing, and not just because they literally shot it next-door to me.
Re-read the prior post for the particulars but I wrote that during the first season, and despite the fact that I’m not a self-proclaimed fat, queer woman, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
WORK IN PROGRESS S1 centers on suicidal ideation due to the death of a therapist and general dissatisfaction in life. WORK IN PROGRESS S2 is all about discerning what you need with therapy. It’s an extremely complex and thorny season of TV, but vastly appreciated, because we can all use therapy; don’t say you don’t need therapy because I guarantee you that you over-use your loved ones for emotional labor and that’s a shitty thing to do! But knowing what you want from therapy is also extremely difficult, and requires quite a bit of self-reflection and acknowledgement, and successfully navigating that is a lot.
There’s always the question as to the means and ends of therapy, of when one can move along from trauma, when the problem is ‘solved’, and the penultimate episode reckons with that and it had me in tears.
Life is complicated. I hate this. I hate hurting so much. I hate thinking and feeling so much. This entire goddamn blog was started during the pandemic and I’d be a liar if I said it’s anything other than a way to try to process everything, and WORK IN PROGRESS is — well, was — an astounding piece that I could latch onto. Not just because it was shot in my neighborhood, not because of it being queer-adjacent, not just because it reflected on the lost past of Chicago’s Girlstown, but that it fundamentally grapples with people trying to fix themselves in an entertaining, but enlightening ways.
The show was unfortunately canceled after the second season, however, I feel lucky a second season exists. It resolves itself naturally and in its own humanist way, and is a work I will consistently extoll to others because of how frank it is, how heartfelt it is, and how singularly Chicago it is.
I initially wrote this post several months ago and sat on it because, well, reasons. I just learned that Showtime has gone all HBO MAX and scrubbed it from being available to stream for unknown reasons. Please keep your eyes peeled for its reappearance but, goddamnit, of all of the second seasons of shows to remove from streaming services, this seems absolutely hateful. My apologies for recommending something that is absolutely unavailable for the time being unless you have a proper cable subscription.