Smiling Friends Season 2 Review – Another surreal and entertaining Charlie and Pim adventure!

Season 2

Episode Guide

Episode 1: Gwimbly: Definitive Remastered Enhanced Extended Edition DX 4k (Anniversary Director’s Cut) -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2: Mr. President
Episode 3:  A Allan Adventure
Episode 4: Erm, the Boss Finds Love?
Episode 5: Brother’s Egg
Episode 6: Charlie, Pim, and Bill vs. The Alien
Episode 7: The Magical Red Jewel AKA Tyler Gets Fired
Episode 8: Pim Finally Turns Green


Unbeknownst to certain folks in Hollywood, animation is an artistic medium everyone can sit down and enjoy. However, not all shows should be viewed by pre-schoolers and teenagers. Most shows like Family Guy, South Parkand The Simpsons are targeted toward adults and do an excellent job at captivating their audiences by giving them tales wreaking of humor and wit. 

Smiling Friends is a new adult animated series released on HBO MAX and CartoonNetwork’s AdultSwim block. This series has spawned two seasons, each containing about 11-minute segmented episodes. The story follows the Smiling Friends, Charlie, and Pim, who must make their organization’s clients smile to appease their boss, Mr. Boss. While our protagonists’ journey sounds simple, viewers will learn that’s far from the case. 

Much like Season 1, Smiling Friends Season 2’s plot is mostly episodic. Where one episode has our protagonists help a bumbling video game mascot find his footing, another has them plotting Mr. Boss’s wife’s demise. At the same time, some episodes contain callbacks to prior chapters from Season 2, rewarding audiences with juicy intel about specific scenarios that occurred in them. 

Additionally, fans will admire the show’s creativity and unpredictability. The entire fourth episode dedicated to Allan’s paper clip outing is a great example of the former. What starts as a simple grocery store outing transforms into a secret agent-like expedition for Allan. This chapter also ends with a twist that’ll leave some fans amazed. As for the latter, episode five comes to mind. 

This episode has Charlie and Pim meet a mad scientist (Daniel). However, instead of a world-ending plot, the showrunners subvert viewers’ expectations, giving our leads the task of helping Daniel make amends with his brother (Doug) over family drama. On that note, Season 2 offers great themes and commentary on certain life-oriented and gaming industry dilemmas. 

Some examples include the internal conflict between Daniel and Doug, Gwimbly’s boss’s lack of care for Gwimbly’s gaming property, and the underlying drama between Armzo and his manager. It’s matters like these that’ll make viewers chuckle and reflect on what’s occurring in the entertainment and retail industries alongside the everyday world we live in today. 

Also, Season 2 contains varied forms of humor. The comedy consists primarily of tedious arguments and conversations, instigated fisticuffs, or out-of-nowhere scenarios. Smiling Friends also utilizes cameos to decent effect. Much like Season 1, Season 2 features a few guest stars like Channel Awesome’s Nostalgia Critic who helps Charlie, Pim, and Allan significantly in the chapter he appears in. 

Story praise aside, Season 2’s storyline has its shortcomings. For instance, some chapters don’t offer the best humor imaginable. President Jimble and the prankster aliens chapters come to mind. While the former’s episode offers fine political jabs, the gross-out humor in that chapter was dreadful to sit through. As for the latter’s episode, there was a segment where Charlie and Pim discuss games and other matters during a getaway scene. 

That moment was overly drawn-out and unbearable to watch. Many folks will prefer Charlie’s lengthy argument with the aliens more than that scene since it’s humorous and contextually makes sense. Additionally, some after-credit scenarios tease ideas that’ll leave fans disappointed that the subject’s never brought up again. Desmond’s infatuation with Charlie is one example of that. 

Although the after-credit segments could be touched upon in a future season, some fans may feel upset that a few after-credit scenes weren’t tackled or expanded upon sooner. Finally, several Season 2 story segments aren’t as gripping, plot-wise, as others. The second episode might be the weakest of the bunch, mostly because the chapter’s direction feels aimless, its comedy stale as old bread, and its conclusion subpar.

As for Smiling Friends’s characters, they’re enjoyable to follow in Season 2, with a few getting more time to shine. First, Charlie and Pim remain a fun duo to follow. The two go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly and are fascinating to examine individually. This is due to the showrunner’s placing them in appealing scenarios. From Charlie’s one-on-one foray with Desmond to Pim’s desire to help President Jimble, this duo remains admirable. 

Allan and Mr. Boss indulge in some satisfying excursions too. While many adored Allan’s personality in Season 1, the showrunners relegated him to a role on par with the show’s one-off characters. Fortunately, Allan received special treatment in Season 2 and was involved in numerous Charlie and Pim adventures, in addition to his own. This allows folks to develop a deeper connection with Allan. 

Mr. Boss receives a slightly similar degree of treatment as Allan. The showrunners insert him into a few of Charlie and Pim’s adventures, giving audiences reasons to develop a fondness for him. Unfortunately, Glep doesn’t receive exceptional screen time in Season 2. He has his amusing and cute moments. However, some may find the other leads or one-off characters like Gwimbly more entertaining than Glep. 

Season 2’s visuals were a huge step up from Season 1. That’s not to say Season 1 didn’t provide a visually engaging experience. It’s possible that fans’ remarkable reception to Season 1, enticed the series’s creators’ higher-ups to award them the tools necessary to deliver a more attractive sequel. From its off-the-walls acid trips to its creative character designs, Season 2’s imagery will amaze any animation junkie. 

However, not all its visuals land a solid home run. Season 2 contains several scenarios where the imagery feels overwhelming or lackluster. Doug’s character model and movements in episode 5 come to mind. Although the team animates him humorously throughout the episode, especially during his fight with Daniel, there are times when his design doesn’t mesh well with the show’s different locations.

Additionally, Spamtopia’s cityscape and its residents’ designs were creative. However, seeing all that creativity in motion made Pim and Mr. Boss’s adventure feel too chaotic and bothersome. It’ll remind folks of the old YouTube Poop era animation styles you’d see on that platform. Despite these visual hiccups or nitpicks, Smiling Friends fans can rest knowing that Season 2 will satisfy them visually. 

Smiling Friends’s OST was fine. Its soundtrack is on par with most adult-animated programs you’d find today. Fans will adore the voice acting more than the melodies that play during the show’s thrilling and mundane moments though. From the character’s random outbursts to the casual chats they hold, the sound team did an excellent job at capturing the vibes one would expect from a Smiling Friends sequel. 

Smiling Friends was a wonderful adult comedy when it was released. Much like other programs made by passionate creators, it shows that the animation sphere can house numerous projects, each offering something old or refreshing for fans to watch in the comforts of their homes. Although Smiling Friends isn’t the greatest comedy on planet Earth, Season 2 shows why it’s likely to remain a fan-favorite for years to come. 

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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