Beacon Hill Season 2 makes a soap-tastic return

It’s been six long years, but the wait is finally over: Beacon Hill the Series is back with Season Two. The soap-tastic web series created by Jessica and Linda Hill—you might know them from a little thing called Bella Books!—and produced by soap royalty Crystal Chappell (Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, Venice) originally premiered in 2014. Now it’s back for Season 2, with some big changes but the same drama that won us over in Season 1.

There have been some major changes in casting, including the two leading ladies. Originally played by Alicia Minshew and Sarah Brown, lead characters Sara Preston and Katherine Wesley have been recast with Nadia Bjorlin (Days of Our Lives, Venice) and Marem Hassler (Riley Parra). The editing does a terrific job of cutting the new characters into the previous season flashbacks, and you’ll quickly love both Nadia and Marem as the two exes torn apart by the pressures of a political family and the patriarch’s machinations.

Beacon Hill the Series
Nadia Bjorlin and Marem Hassler as Sara and Katherine

Before we get into the new season, let’s revisit the Beacon Hill saga. Journalist Sara Preston is the granddaughter of Senator William Preston (Ron Raines), a political juggernaut who controls his family like he does his political dynasty in Boston. Katherine Wesley is a bright, young politician and the likely successor to Senator Preston. Before all of this, Sara and Katherine were deeply in love, but their relationship fell apart and Sara fled to New York.

Sara’s mother Claire (Crystal Chappell) is taking care of her father, the Senator, as he recovers from a stroke. (She’s also hiding a big secret.) His new wife, the much younger Evelyn (Melissa Archer) has just returned from…well, avoiding her husband, and is the focus of much distain in the family. When Sara hears of her grandfather’s illness and the possibility of her ex taking his place, she leaves NYC (and her girlfriend) behind to head to her hometown to investigate. Her first meeting with Katherine is frosty, but the history between them is hard to ignore, even as the drama rachets up around them. Now, on to Beacon Hill Season Two!

Spoiler alert: The following contains minor spoilers for Season Two of Beacon Hill the Series.

We pick up right where we left off. So, who the heck is at the door? You’ve waited six years to find out, but you’re going to have to watch for yourself to find that out! Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Well, actually I just did, but trust me it’s worth it. I will tell you, the visit sends Claire into a tizzy, and she falls deeper into her alcohol haze.

Beacon Hill the Series Claire
Who do I have to murder, then possibly cover up, to get a Blood Mary around here?

Speaking of alcohol, after having it out in Season 1, Katherine is warming to Sara’s attempts at friendship over a glass of wine from J&L Vineyards (nice Easter egg, Jessica and Linda). Sara invites Katherine to dinner, and while she’s reluctant at first, Katherine agrees. It’s clear that Katherine’s heart is still guarded since Sara left, but their connection is hard to deny.

But wait, don’t get too comfy in this reconnection yet! Guess who shows up to the Preston manor and gets an awkward introduction to the fam? Sara’s girlfriend Diane (Jessica Morris). When Sara returns and finds Diane waiting, she’s pleased…but also not. She has to cancel her dinner with Katherine, who was just in the middle of picking out a fierce “see what you’ve been missing” dress with her friend-with-benefits, Laura (Rebecca Mozzo).

Katherine and Laura
You can almost hear her heart breaking.

In the meantime, Susan Preston (Jessica Leccia), drops by to visit her grandfather-in-law, aka the Senator, much to Claire’s chagrin. See, Claire is on her way to a clandestine meeting, and isn’t in the mood to be interrupted. Susan knows Claire is up to something, and even offers to drive her, but Claire refuses.

Speaking of dropping by Chez Preston, it’s like Grand Central Station up in there! The next visitor is politico Andrew Miller (Ricky Paull Goldin) who stops by to speak with Senator Preston who reveals his plan to use Katherine as a pawn. When Andrew tries to collaborate with the Senator, he’s quickly shot down. He also finds out that the Senator has a very specific plan for Katherine and it sits about as well as gas station sushi.

When Andrew leaves with his tail between his legs, the Senator flashes back to when he was threatened by Carter (Alexis J. Smith) a powerful lobbyist who has something major over him. Her threats may be the reason behind his plans for Katherine, but all I know is that Carter is not someone you want to mess with. She’ll even take the scotch right out of your hand!

Carter
I drink your milkshake

Evelyn heads upstairs to check on her husband and slips in some casual conversation about tech company investments. You know, pillow talk. It seems the Senator is a little suspicious of what Evelyn has been up to and tells (not asks) her to move her things back into his bedroom. She seems less than thrilled, and also maybe a little scared.

We finally get to see what Claire has been up to when she meets up with her estranged mother, Isabel (the always glorious Hillary B. Smith). Over tea and tension, Claire confesses that she’s looking for someone named “Jason” who I am fully expecting to be Claire’s child. Isabel plays dumb, but she’s far too smart to be convincing. Claire chugs a glass of the good scotch and warns that she’s not done with her mother yet.

Beacon Hill the Series Isabel
“Well, I have tea but I’m fresh out of sympathy.”

It’s a really fantastic scene, and a real delight to watch these two powerhouse actors play off each other. Hopefully we’ll see more of Isabel in future episodes. Speaking of that, new episodes of Beacon Hill the Series come out every Friday at 3 p.m. EDT / 12 p.m. PDT. Available world-wide. Just head over to Reel Women’s Network and pick up a season pass.

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