And here we go, it’s the end of a series of reviews that begin just a little over six years ago, when I reviewed the first episode of the first season of this series. And now here’s my review of the second season finale, which turned out to be the series finale as well.
Written by Charles Kline and directed by Jared West, I’ll just get it out of the way by “spoiling” the fact that, yes, all of our lead characters are given traditional happy endings for their arcs, be it in their personal or their professional lives (or in a couple of cases, both).
In the Venticap offices, Avi (Daniel Messier) lands a major client that invests $100 million dollar with their firm, and is proud to have done it ethically, without using the damaging info that he paid a spy to get on a rival firm, which we saw in episode 23, to which he thinks Peter (Steven Ross) for setting him straight. Afterward they along with Regina (Brandin Rackley) and Tippi (Riley Steele) all celebrate.
Afterward, Regina and Avi have sex in his office, and Regina reveals that this helped her complete the one last item that she found that she had left on her “Phucket List“, although she won’t tell him what it was. But then we see her go back to her office and pull out the list, where she crosses out the line “have sex with someone you love.”
Things don’t go as well for Peter as Tippi breaks up with him for real, and for good, this time. This is because he was wanting to get serious but she tells him she’s still young and wants to enjoy herself. She also reveals that she’s been banging a ton of other guys this whole time anyway. Peter is dejected at first, but Avi gives him a pep talk, saying Tippi was too young for him anyway and pointing out that he’s a handsome successful man in New York, so he’ll have no trouble finding other women.
We see Melissa (Jayden Cole) having sex with Edward (Kavan Reece) at Club Embryo, but afterward she says it’s the last time. Elizabeth (Justine Joli) holds a company meeting and announces that the club finally made a profit in the last month, which she credits to the work of Melissa, and admits that even though she didn’t like her at first Melissa had done such great work that she wants her to take over her job of managing the club. And she also announces that she’s leaving, she’s dumping Edward and is now with Nikki (Tristan Graas aka Valentina Vaughn) who makes a brief return appearance from the previous episode, and that the two of them are leaving to go hike across Europe. The latter news disappoints Doug (James O’Shea) as he was still hoping for another chance with Elizabeth, after their hook-up in episode 23, but later he and Melissa get together.
And Bella (Heather Vandeven) has sex with Vincent (Danny Crawford) and they both finally admit that they love each other. In the end, Vincent arranges a surprise party for Bella, which is also a showcase for a bunch of her photographs, as he says she’s ready to become a professional photographer now, a dream she’s had since the first season. She’s thrilled, but also reveals that she’s not quite ready to completely give up modeling yet, and decides to pursue both careers for now. THE END
It was a good episode itself. But overall I will say that this season is a bit of a mixed bag, compared to the first season. I think this is due to something I noted in my review of the first episode of season 2, which is that although the first season was based on the novel Life On Top by Clara Darling, this second season seems to have just been made up by the producers of the show, not upon the official book sequel that Clara Darling wrote called Hot City Nights. So while the first season had different writers on different episodes it still worked as they were all following the storylines of the novel, this time it often felt disjointed, as sometimes characters behaved inconsistently from episode to episode. Even just focusing on the character of Bella herself, I had a reader comment in my review of episode 11 from season 1 that even though as that season came to a close Bella was rethinking her hedonistic lifestyle but in the next season, she’s as wild as ever. And that’s the truth. She does show and sometimes makes comments about being dissatisfied in her life, but it’s inconsistent. Like in episode 19 she has sex with Vincent and admits to having feelings for him, and that continues in the next couple of episodes but then in episode 22 she’s having random casual sex with an ex-boyfriend from high school. And then that character is never seen again.
The season also lacked the cohesive main friendship unit of season 1. The four characters of Bella, Sophie, Maya, and Cassia were a tight foursome, we cared about what happened to them individually and as a group. Losing the last three was a huge handicap going into this season. Bumping up Regina to a lead made sense, and Jayden Cole was a great addition as Melissa, but then sometimes they’d try to make Tippi one of the leads, and that character never felt connected enough. Christine Nguyen’s Lena character was a good addition and had potential, but they didn’t use her enough (she appears in this episode in a minor role), I also thought Danielle Petty as Bella’s agent Stephanie but they didn’t use her enough either. The characters of Elizabeth and Kayden Kross’ Delilah (who is also in this final episode) also could have been good leads, but weren’t used that way.
So out of the two seasons, I think I season 1 is better. Season 2 is good, but feels almost like a separate show. Altogether though it’s a show that I highly recommend to softcore fans. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS
Jason Majercik is selling Life on Top SEASON 1 & SEASON 2 (FULL SERIES: 26 Episodes) (7 DISCS) for $89.99. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for his softcore inventory list
Next up, I think I need to read the books now…
Categories: SOFTCORE TELEVISION