Warning! Spoilers for Avenue 5 ahead!
The story so far: The Avenue 5 is a cruise spaceship that takes its passengers on a a eight week journey. Funded by billionaire and self-proclaimed genius Herman Judd, the vessel encounters a malfunction that drastically changes the return time. While the crew are trying to figure out a way to get everyone home before supplies run out. Along the way, Captain Clark develops an accent and tensions understandably arise.
The premise of the show opens up various interesting scenarios. One of the most obvious is how will everyone feel? What was once a two month voyage as now turned into a number of years. Unsurprisingly, some will want to listen to what the ship’s engineers while others will want quicker action taken. Naturally, this will lead to friction on the ship.
Karen basically leads one of the factions. She has a take charge attitude that has her husband hanging on her every word. More importantly, the entire ship wants to know what she thinks. ‘And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…’ shows that Karen may be in a little over her head, however. When she learns of a secret the crew has kept from the passengers, she immediately regrets eavesdropping. Of course, this does not stop her from telling everyone on the ship about what she heard. Though her news is bad, it endears her to the people on the ship even more.
There has been an obvious tension since the debut episode of Avenue 5. And it makes complete sense. Many of the passengers were already wary about being aboard the craft for various reasons. The fact that their time on the ship has been drastically extended added to the fact there is not enough food to last the entire trip only adds to the feeling of dread.
Episode two draws the fears out more. Where Karen previously just seemed like a rabble rouser, she now is someone who can generally be feared to lead a rebellion. Captain Clark just seemed like he was over his head in the first episode. Now, there are serious questions as to whether he is the person to be in charge even in a ceremonial function. Add to the fact that Judd is oblivious to the danger, consumed by profit, and angering the people who can help the ship get back home, and it adds a greater sense of danger to the show.
The show never loses its humor, however. What makes Avenue 5 work is how wiling it is to try everything. From slapstick, to witty retorts, to black comedy, the episode throws everything at the viewer. Despite the amount and variety of jokes, it never seems like they are forced. The laughs flow naturally without ever taking away from the danger of the situation.
The second episode of Avenue 5 is an improvement on the basic storytelling of its very strong debut. The stakes have been high from the start, but episode two makes them more tangible. There is also examples of weakness shown from different people on the ship. This is a great idea since constant jokes due to the dire situation would begin to wear thin. This is a show that will only get better as it finds its footing.