Stream the stunning Story of a New Name
Based on the best-selling Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante (one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World in 2016), My Brilliant Friend is the story of a life-long friendship spanning 60 years. The Story of a New Name is the second instalment of the series.
Set in a Naples recovering from World War II, My Brilliant Friend has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is at #237 on IMDb’s list of Top Rated TV of All Time, where it holds a score of 8.6/10.
The new season follows Elena and Lila’s journey into adulthood as they weather romance, heartbreak, success and betrayal. The story picks up where Season 1 left off, with Lila newly – but very unhappily – married to upper-crust grocer Stefano Carracci and Elena unsure of her future, both romantically and academically.
“Elena is at a difficult time in her life, because everything she imagined about the concept of love is destroyed in front of the harsh reality that she has to face,” says Margherita Mazzucco, who plays Elena.
My Brilliant Friend is created by multi-award-winning Italian director Saverio Costanzo (Venice winner Hungry Hearts), with Alice Rohrwacher (Cannes winner Happy as Lazaro) co-directing.
Saverio reveres their source material. “Ferrante hides the most powerful things in the details, in the little moments,” he says.
The series is executive produced by the same team that brought us The Young Pope and The New Pope –
Paolo Sorrentino, writer-director of the Foreign Film Oscar winner The Great Beauty, Lorenzo Mieli, and Mario Gianani.
“Breaking down geographical and linguistic barriers, betting on the past to speak about the present, and on the specific to turn it into something universal – these were the challenges when we began work on the first season of My Brilliant Friend,” says Lorenzo. “The challenge of the second season has been to bring into that world more of a depth and freedom than before.”
The stellar Italian cast includes Gaia Girace as Lila and Italian Golden Globe and Venice Film Festival awards winner Alba Rohrwacher (Hungry Hearts, Happy as Lazzaro, I Am Love) as the voice of the adult Elena, who narrates the events of the series.
As young Lila, Ludovica Nasti won Best Breakthrough Actress for Season 1 at the Italian Golden Globes, where My Brilliant Friend was nominated for Best TV Series in both 2019 and 2020. It won Best Drama Series at Monte-Carlo TV Festival 2019 and was also nominated for 2019 Critics Choice, Peabody and Shanghai International TV Festival awards.
In Season 2, as Elena and Lila’s worlds expand and they’re forced to deal with more adult and complex problems, the friends fight to find their place in the rapidly changing Italy of the ‘60s, while their fraught relationship vacillates between love and contempt.
A chance reunion with their childhood acquaintance, Nino (Francesco Serpico), now a university student with great expectations, is set to change the nature of their bond forever, projecting the girls into two completely different worlds.
“From that moment, everything will change,” Saverio says, adding, “They don’t really understand each other anymore…”
“Elena and Lila, they manage to give strength to each other in this violent world,” Margherita says. “Despite this, they find themselves inevitably distant, because they live two completely different lives.”
“There is a growing competition,” adds Gaia. “Sometimes there is envy.”
It’s hard to think of a more striking show on television. – IndieWire
The Hollywood Reporter included My Brilliant Friend in their roundup of the 10 Best Shows of 2020 So Far, saying the series “portrays postwar young-womanhood in all its victories, devastations and frailties. This season’s story, told with seemingly no expense spared, is where the girls’ paths start to truly diverge, as one pursues dreams beyond their impoverished neighborhood and the other finds herself irretrievably chained to it.”
“It’s hard to think of a more striking show on television,” says IndieWire, while Rolling Stone hails the series as “masterful… gorgeous and gripping.”
If you’re as hooked as we are, the good news is My Brilliant Friend was recently renewed for a third season, which will follow the events of the third novel in the series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay.
The whole of Season 2 is currently on Showmax, with new episodes landing weekly on DStv Now.