‘Human Resources’ Season 2 Review: Animated Series Peaks in Final Episodes


Watching Season 1 of Human Resources was the animated series equivalent to going through doodles of a notebook from a 15-year-old. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but, more often than not, the Big Mouth spin-off favored repetitive dick jokes and scatological humor while structure took a bit of a backseat. That’s the main reason why Season 2 is such a huge improvement on the first, with a batch of episodes that look and feel like the series is finally able to wield its full potential.

Just like in the first season, Human Resources follows the work routine of the Hormone Monsters and how their individual lives and jobs influence and reflect human behavior, with the voice cast featuring Aidy Bryant, Randall Park, Keke Palmer, David Thewlis, Maya Rudolph, Nick Kroll, Hugh Jackman, and Miley Cyrus.


The best evolution from the new season of Human Resources is the series realizing it doesn’t need to let go of the jokes that it wants to do in order to tell more compelling stories. There’s a lot that an animated series with roughly 30-minute episodes can accomplish, and we got a taste of that in Season 1 with “It’s Almost Over,” which is by far the best episode of the series. Fortunately, that episode is linked up with another in Season 2, and that makes that story even richer and more philosophical. Most important of all, it doesn’t forget to be funny.

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‘Human Resources’ Season 2 Blends Long-Running Story With Humor

Image via Netflix

The new season of Human Resources also explores its own mythology a lot more thoroughly in order to create running jokes. In fact, this batch of episodes is so much better that we get something for everyone: Long-running jokes, bits that only get payoff episodes later, season-wide arcs, throwaway jokes, and even an episode that completely flips the narrative to tell the story from completely different points of view – again, never sacrificing the humor that really makes it stand apart

Season 2 of Human Resources is also more interested in its own characters. For the first time, we really get a sense that we’re getting a deep dive into their psyche, as opposed to the slate of monsters being pretty one-dimensional in the previous season. That works perfectly because, due to its unique premise, Human Resources needs to find elements that help viewers connect with the story, and those avenues are better explored when the bizarre nature of the Hormone Monsters clashes against human costumes, or when something so outside the box pops in that we can’t help but laugh out loud about it – this season’s “zombie” episode is one of the best examples.

‘Human Resources’ Season 2 Humanizes Its Monsters Even More

Image via Netflix

This evolution happens with practically every character, but mostly with Connie (Rudolph) and Maury (Kroll). In Season 1, they hardly ever deviated from the sex-maniac storylines that did nothing but escalate in shock value. Now, they can still keep doing it, but this happens simultaneously with their worries about parenthood, what they expect from their child, and even questioning their own sexual impulses. Similarly, Rochelle (Palmer) gets an inner growth arc that’s both bizarre and completely relatable, while Pete’s (Park) obsession with rules gets better fleshed out… the impactful moments of character growth add up.

Human Resources Season 2 does a great job of dealing out the perfect amount of meta-humor — jokes related to Big Mouth storylines, the streamer they’re on, and even who’s voicing which character are delivered so quickly and unexpectedly you might miss them if you’re not paying close attention. Those jokes are cleverly spaced out in a way that you never get tired of how self-aware the show is. What partly contributes to the overall tone of the series is how the show subverts what you would expect from the involvement of big Hollywood names, with some voices sticking around a lot longer than you would expect and others getting discarded before you even know what happened.

Human Resources Season 2 also makes great use of its runtime – almost 30 minutes per episode isn’t the norm for animated series, even on streaming platforms – and you never reach the end of an episode thinking that you stayed in that bizarro world longer than you would have wanted. Part of what helps time fly by is the great one-liners that keep the episodes going and are bound to make you cackle for at least a few seconds (“The fuck popcorn ever do to you?” and its context is one of the best).

Season 2 of Human Resources is the perfect example of how “elevated” humor doesn’t always need to be highbrow. You can include sex jokes, bathroom humor, nonsense, and all kinds of “lower” comedy and still manage to tell heartfelt and riveting stories in the same series — all while being funny as hell within your own context thanks to set-ups, punchlines, callbacks, and everything that makes comedy great. It’s just a shame that this only happened in Human Resources‘ second – and last – batch of episodes.

Rating: A-

You can stream all episodes of Human Resources on Netflix.

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