Besties Kate and Michael are put to the test in Season 2 of ‘This Close’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tap - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

Se­crets, as we all know, can be re­la­tion­ship killers – which Michael comes to learn the hard way at the out­set of Season 2 of “This Close.”

Pre­mier­ing Thursday, Sept. 12, on Sun­danceTV, the eightepiso­de sopho­more round of this dram­edy picks up im­me­di­ately after the events of the Season 1 fi­nale, with Michael (Josh Feld­man) be­ing rushed to the hos­pi­tal after hav­ing been hit by a car while chas­ing after best friend Kate (Shoshan­nah Stern), who had just let him have it for keep­ing from her the fact that her fi­ance Danny (Zach Gil­ford) had lost his job.

So in Season 2, it’s about rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and re­boot­ing the friend­ship, though the past seems to keep get­ting in the way as old flames and dis­tant par­ents resur­face.

“Season 2 is a lit­tle bit of a mir­ror to Season 1 in a way,” Stern ex­plained to a re­cent gath­er­ing gath­er­ing of jour­nal­ists in Bev­erly Hills, Calif. “I think that (after) a lot of the things that are hap­pen­ing within their friend­ship in the first season, you see a bit of a role re­ver­sal in Season 2 ... de­pend­ing on who’s keep­ing se­crets, who’s keep­ing se­crets from them­selves and from each other, who will step up in a time of need. Yeah.”

The sec­ond season also brings in a slew of guest stars in­clud­ing Mar­cia Cross (“Des­per­ate Housewives”), Cam­ryn Man­heim (“The Prac­tice”), Steven We­ber (“13 Rea­sons Why”), Lisa Rinna (“Days of our Lives”), Mar­garet Cho (“Bright”) and Austin Nichols (“The Walk­ing Dead”), who will join re­turnees Gil­ford, Ch­eryl Hines, Mar­lee Matlin, Colt Prat­tes and Moshe Kasher.

Nichols, who plays Kate’s first love, took on the task of learn­ing sign lan­guage for his scenes with hard-of-hear­ing ac­tors Stern and Goldman (who are also the se­ries’ cre­ators, writ­ers and ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers), which he says was a “fun and chal­leng­ing” ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It can be scary enough be­ing an ac­tor and walk­ing onto a new show,” he ex­plains, “and to add that el­e­ment was re­ally scary ... also be­cause Shep, his char­ac­ter, is some­one who signs. And I think part of why Kate liked and loved him was be­cause he was sort of lov­ing and good in that way in speak­ing her lan­guage. And so, I re­ally was scared that I wasn’t go­ing to be able to do that very well. And I re­ally wanted to give a lot of time and love to sign­ing. And it was re­ally hard, but I hope that it works out OK.”

Shoshan­nah Stern stars in “This Close,” which re­turns for its sec­ond season Thursday on Sun­danceTV.

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