Jackie Pascoe, an emotionally frayed blonde of a certain age whose voice constantly crackles in distress, comes barging in on celebrity daughter-in-law Chardonnay's latest at-home photo session with the press, this one to show off (or exploit) her new baby boy. Jackie bluntly brings to the company's attention a pressing, unpleasant fact: a woman is floating facedown in Chardonnay and hubby Kyle's swimming pool.
So begins the second season of BBC America's British series about pro soccer stars and their wives, all of them foundering in the gaudy-tacky malaise that has come with fame and fortune. As with any prime-time soap, there's the pleasure of keeping up with the plot. (Chardonnay's baby is really Jackie's, the result of her indiscretion with team captain Jason.) But what gives Wives its special verve—its coarse joy—is the animal vitality of its characters. Shopping, bed-hopping, drinking or just kicking each other on the field, they bite into every pursuit with mindless appetite. No one seems to want to be happy so much as sated.
The acting is appropriately hot-blooded and hotter tempered. And the fashions, intentionally or not, are eye-catchingly deplorable. Kyle at one point goes to dinner wearing a blue-on-blue ensemble that looks like Dr. Seuss menswear.