While the concentration of these early episodes of Sirens Season Two has been on the core trio of EMTs, the producers and writers are doing a fine job making sure the rest of the acting company get their small moments of glory. And through that, we’re getting to see the comedic chops of so many of these performers come to the fore.
So far, the winner of this little acting footrace has been Josh Segarra. He perfectly captures the guileless mind of Billy, a very talented cop with a very simple mind. Throughout “Briandipity,” the first of two new episodes this week, he is a marvel to watch—his Jack Lemmon-like freak out in the squad car while trying to wrap his head around the idea of fate, the hilarious back and forth he has with Theresa about all the weird sexual stuff he and Maeve are getting into, and his pure joy at being able to enjoy a burrito and his favorite soda.
All the actors, though, get their small and big moments through these two episodes. Kelly O’Sullivan, who plays Voodoo, especially shines in “Transcendual” as she pushes Brian to confront the fact that, in spite of his best intentions, he hasn’t really transcended his interest in sex. She carries this great expression on her face throughout, a knowing look that says that she’s been through this before and is patiently waiting for Brian to realize how silly he’s being. O’Sullivan gets her moments of joy, too, in “Briandipity” when she gets a look at the x-ray of a man with a piece of rebar sticking in his side. I also loved seeing Stats (played by Maura Kidwell) reveal her love of volleyball and get caught up in Brian’s blow by blow retelling of the plot of the movie Serendipity. I know that the big three—Hank, Johnny, and Brian—are really the centerpiece of the series, but I’d love for them to divert one or two episodes into the off the clock lives of these women.
If there’s going to be a breakout star of Sirens’ second season, I would put my money on Kevin Bigley. He’s already had plenty of time at center stage during the first episodes (particularly his epic prom king speech in episode two), but he keeps shining through these two new installments. I loved watching him tossing his head back and forth and muttering to himself as he attempted to “not care” about the woman giving he and Voodoo a lapdance, and adored his joy at telling his co-workers every last detail of Serendipity long after they’d lost interest in the story. Like Billy, his view of the world is so singular and brimming with childlike enthusiasm, and Bigley brings that to life with ease and charm.
Both of these episodes are worth your while, but if I had to lead you toward one, I would send you right to “Briandipity.” As much fun as it is watching Theresa and Hank come to terms with the fact that they’re not getting checked out at the gym that they got memberships to, the first episode of the night emphasizes the full cast so much more. The sparks truly start to fly when they bring all of them together in a room, or in one memorable scene, send the EMTs and Johnny’s dad to a liquor store to buy lottery tickets as a way to keep their hot streak of luck/serendipity going. For a show boasting a cast that’s heavy on relative unknowns, the chemistry they’ve been able to develop as a unit in such a short period of time is one of Sirens’ abundant strengths. The more they flex those muscles, the better the show is.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.