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Mark your calendars for the premiere of the second season of the hit Italian period drama My Brilliant Friend, which arrives on HBO next month.

My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name
My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name: Gaia Girace as Lila, Margherita Mazzucco as Elena — Photograph by Eduardo Castaldo/HBO

Based on Book Two of Elena Ferrante’s “Neopolitan Novels” quadrilogy, My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name follows Elena and Lila’s journey into adulthood as they weather romance, heartbreak, success, and betrayal.

The series debuts in the US on Monday, March 16, at 10 PM ET/PT, on HBO. It will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and partners’ streaming platforms, including the HBO channel on Amazon.

The new season begins where the first season (one of my favorite Euro TV shows of 2018) left off: with Lila (Gaia Girace) newly — and unhappily — married to upper crust grocer Stefano Carracci (Giovanni Amura), and Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) unsure of her future, both romantically and academically.

Believing she lost her own identity when she took her husband’s name, Lila is defiant in her marriage as their world continues to orbit around the Solara family, while model student Elena comes to realize that she is not happy inside or outside her neighborhood.

During a holiday in Ischia, the two girls reunite with their old childhood acquaintance Nino Sarratore (Francesco Serpico), now a university student with great expectations. The seemingly random encounter will forever change the nature of their bond, projecting the girls into two completely different worlds.

Lila becomes a skillful sales assistant in the elegant shoe shop in central Naples owned by the powerful Solara family, and Elena obstinately continues her studies as she prepares to attend university in Pisa. As their worlds expand and they’re forced to deal with more adult and complex problems, Elena and Lila fight to find their place in the rapidly changing Italy of the ’60s, while their fraught relationship continues to vacillate between love and contempt.

Reprising their roles in the second season are Elisa Del Genio as young Elena and Ludovica Nasti as young Lila.

My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name is an HBO and Rai Fiction series produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for The Apartment and Wildside, and by Domenico Procacci for Fandango, in collaboration with Rai Fiction and HBO Entertainment, and in co-production with Mowe and Umedia. Distributed internationally by Fremantle in collaboration with Rai Com, the executive producers are Lorenzo Mieli, Mario Gianani, Domenico Procacci, Paolo Sorrentino, Jennifer Schuur, Elena Recchia, and Guido De Laurentiis.


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My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name Premieres on HBO in March 2020
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