Though the pandemic-related shutdowns have had a profound effect on TV productions, Hulu isn’t just twiddling its thumbs. The streamer made several programming announcements today, including sharing a first look at and the premiere date for its Animaniacs revival, as well as the first trailer for Pen15 season two. And speaking of sophomore seasons, Hulu’s ordered a second serving of both its queer teen rom-com series Love, Victor and Padma Lakshmi’s food-and-travelogue Taste The Nation.
In a press release, Hulu touted Love, Victor as its most-watched drama (for its premiere week in June). This sorta-sequel to the 2018 film Love, Simon stars Michael Cimino as the eponymous, letter-writing (or rather, text-sending) teen navigating adolescence and queerness in addition to being the new kid in town. In her review of the first season, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya found that, like its cinematic predecessor, Love, Victor brims with tenderness but didn’t quite live up to its potential: “Many times, the default narrative for queer love stories hinges on the coming-out process, which is really just one small part of queer identity and desire. Love, Victor makes good on its promise to expand beyond the narrow confines of Simon’s story, but it doesn’t get very far.” This season two order should provide ample opportunity to do so (and was apparently already underway when Love, Victor premiered earlier this summer.)
Taste The Nation will also be back for a 10-episode season at some point in the future for more of Lakshmi’s insights into the rich and diverse food cultures found across this country. As Randall Colburn wrote in his review of season one, Lakshmi makes for “a smart and fitting host, her love for the food of her homeland having been shaped as much by her upbringing in New York City as her mother’s cooking.” One of the episode highlights of the season, “Don’t Mind If I Dosa” runs through “a lot for a half hour perhaps, but it situates Taste The Nation as a show that’s as much about cultural identity as it is food.”