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Television

SeriesFest ’21: ‘This Way Up’ and the complexities of mental health

Star and creator, Aisling Bea, talks the new season of This Way Up.

The first season of This Way Up was met with positive reviews and critical acclaim. Though the next season won’t be released until next week, SeriesFest was fortunate enough to host its US premiere and screen the first two episodes. Afterwards, star and creator Aisling Bea spoke about the upcoming season of the BAFTA award winning series.

Bea and on-screen sister, Sharon Hogan, continue to have great chemistry and their love for each other helps anchor the show despite drama in their worlds. With Áine’s pupil, Étienne, heading off back to France, it provides her the opportunity to explore a romance with his father, Richard. It’s been a while since she’s had a serious relationship and their experiences make for plenty of awkward comedy. Elsewhere, Shona feels disconnected with her friends after moving out of the city to live with her fiancée. Her recent engagement also causes friction with Charlotte, whom she began to have feelings for.

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During the panel portion, Bea wanted to show how tricky it would be to have an affair with someone you work with. Hence, the pair of Áine and Richard. While one of the major themes of the initial season was loneliness, the latest would be all about communication and words. Bea was fascinated how most bad situations occur due to miscommunication.

this way up seriesfest
Photo: SeriesFest

She also wanted to address her character’s mental illness. She was tired of beating up Áine in season one and so she had her start feeling things rather than having bad things happening to her. With mental illness, there can be a myriad of things causing it that you can’t quite put your finger on. Things are looking up for Áine this season and she’s where she wants to be but she still has this weight and sadness to her.

With regards to the future of This Way Up, Bea has an idea where she’d want to take the characters and how it will all end but it hasn’t been renewed yet. If you enjoy the series and want to see if Áine receives a happy ending, watch this new season to give it better odds of a pick-up.

All episodes of This Way Up will be released July 9 on Hulu. SeriesFest is taking place from now until July 11. Catch our recaps from the event of The Republic of Sarah, Dave, and Man Eats Wild.

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