I mentioned last time about Dare Me’s similarities to HBO’s Euphoria and this week the show solidifies this further with an abundance of stylistic shots including zooms, slow-mo segments and monologues. It’s not a deal breaker but with a reasonably slow-paced slice of drama this week, it does become more noticable.
Episode 2 of Dare Me begins with Colette overseeing another gruelling training session before telling the girls to go home, except Addy and Beth though who join Colette in her office where she offers them both a cigarette. She asks the girls to keep her mishap to themselves and despite Beth’s antagonising, Addy reassures her, “Don’t worry Coach, we’ve got your back”, a statement that Beth picks up on and talks to Addy about later on.
Colette does damage control and breaks up with Sarge Will Mosley, telling him she can’t take any chances right now given how many eyes are on her. Leaving and heading back to training, Colette faces competition and push-back from the girls regarding the top girl being changed to Tacy for the session. For now at least, Beth and Addy stay on her side.
The next day, she shows the girls a video and tells them exactly what they’ll be working on. Taking Addy aside, Colette mentions that Beth isn’t much of a team player and doubts her tenacity in the face of the squad. Allowing a moment of weakness to wash over her, she tells Addy that her affair “isn’t what it looks like”.
In the changing room however, Addy expresses concerns that Beth may be lying about not capturing the video, until her best friend goads her and convinces Addy to check. She refuses initially but in private snatches up Beth’s phone and heads home, intent on breaking into Beth’s phone, eventually doing so using the password “Addy”. It’s something that prompts her to look through the archival videos of them together until something called “hiderhole” pops up.
While Addy tries to get the password cracked, at school she plays poker face as Beth greets her coldly, potentially aware that she has her phone. As the focus then shifts across to Beth, we see her convince her Father to cough up some money, which she immediately hands over to her Mother, commenting on how easy it was to get.
That evening, Colette deliberates over sending Sarge a message, giving in to temptation while sat in the car contemplating her options. During a musical montage she decides against it, sitting in the car in darkness for several minutes, before seemingly heading back in with her husband.
While Addy checks the trash on Beth’s phone and finds traces of the video, Beth gets close to Sarge’s army friends in a bid to potentially blackmail Sarge over what she has. However, our army friend heads to Addy’s house and hands over the bracelet Colette left in his car, explains to her that he and Colette “go way back.” With this news, Addy heads over to talk to Colette, convincing her to see Sarge while she babysits.
A montage closes the episode as our trio of characters commit sins – Beth uploads the video of Colette which she did have hidden after all, Colette engages in steamy sex with Sarge and Addy gets a bit too close with the bed sheets. All of this converges with a puddle of oozing blood and someone’s trainers just next to it. Whose is it?
With the whisper of murder on the horizon and some lovely stylish shots, Dare Me does well to keep things interesting but the editing and general aesthetic feels very similar to Euphoria. The story itself doesn’t progress an awful lot this episode either, but the deeper character connections between the trio of girls fronting this one is enough to keep things engaging.
For now though I’m reserving judgement until I see a few more episodes and as much as I’m enjoying this, there isn’t an awful lot to work with here. Still, it’s early days and there’s plenty of time for this one to pick up but for now, Dare Me feels pretty formulaic in its approach.
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