The D’Amelio Show starts Season 2 by trying to establish a growing rivalry between the two sisters, Charli and Dixie. We follow Dixie on her journey to prepare for the 2021 Jingle Ball tour while we watch Charli struggle with her “passion.” Dixie is taking her music career to the next level while Charli struggles to figure out what she wants.
So far, most of this show’s drama has been generated from internet discourse about the D’Amelio sisters. The show paints the internet gossip, speculation, and constant commenting on their personal lives as the be-all and end-all of the sisters’ mental health. This has become increasingly common for reality shows and internet personalities—The Kardashians have made points about this on their show. Many YouTubers, tik-tokers, and celebrities alike have commented on this phenomenon.
In the first season of The D’Amelio Show, this narrative garnered much sympathy for the girls because while expressing frustration with the internet’s toxic energy, it also made it abundantly clear how young these girls are, particularly Charli.
While filming the new “Charli’s Passion” storyline, Charli would have only been about 17 years old. Sure, kids are putting together extracurriculars and prepping for college applications at that age. The difference is that what her parents—mostly her father—are pushing on Charli as a “passion” is a clever way of coding the real goal: a uniquely-Charli branded pursuit of revenue.
They’re asking a teenager to decide her career path, not like how kids who choose education streams have years of opportunity to change their minds and find other things they’re interested in. Charli is being pushed to decide on her “passion,” which could rapidly escalate to a full-blown career because of her notoriety. Tunnel-visioning her future to something that may not be her true calling could hurt her down the line.
Every whim of interest is magnified.
Dixie was learning to sing and how to be a musician while putting out music. Plenty of musicians spend years working on their craft, finding their sound. Dixie had to do that publicly, which opened her up for more scrutiny because she wasn’t fully prepared. And now, the D’Amelio parents are pushing Charli to make a similar decision about her “passion”.
While it was easy to find sympathy for Charli and Dixie in the first season, the second season made their decisions even harder to understand.
The narrative of a sisterly rivalry feels contrived even with producers stoking the fire by adding internet gossip about it because in every confession of Charli and Dixie they are incredibly considerate of one another. They appear highly aware of the other’s feelings, motivations, and struggles.
Something about The D’Amelio Show makes me feel for these girls but also angers me that the show exists. The portrait of the girls makes it hard to see the reason for the media circus around them. Not so much for Dixie, whose goal is a Top 40 spotlight. But for Charli, it doesn’t seem like anyone has asked her if she even wants to be famous.
Does she enjoy this life?
Charli is now 18 years old. It’s hard to say what the rest of the season will show about her true colors. For now, it feels like this life is just convenient for Charli, not what she wants. Her parents seem to see this and are pushing her to figure out what she wants, but it’s coming off as another way to find a revenue stream, not for a straight and true passion.
The first two episodes of The D’Amelio Show are available to stream on Hulu and Disney+. New episodes come out every Wednesday.