It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since Starz’s “Run the World” first hit our TV screens — even the cast are surprised when they think about the show’s long hiatus. But the good news is the Harlem-set dramedy is finally back for season two, which kicked off on May 26, and 30-something-year-old besties Whitney (Amber Stevens West), Renee (Bresha Webb), and Sondi (Corbin Reid) are ready to get back into the swing of things. Of course, the half-hour series returns for much more drama, sisterhood, and romance following season one’s wild finale, but that’s not all viewers can look forward to.
“We just leaned in harder because we became even closer friends during the break in between, so it was easy to dive right back in.”
“There’s some fun stuff that happens this season,” Stevens West teases to POPSUGAR. “There are the big things that are fun this season — there’s a wedding and there’s a funeral. And there’s always antics around those kinds of celebrations in real life.” But more than that, the “Run the World” star says viewers will surely enjoy “seeing all these women choosing themselves and having to navigate their romantic lives in a different way than they did in season one. That’s pretty exciting.”
The ladies of “Run the World” say it was pretty easy to return to their regular routine almost one year after their show’s May 2021 debut. They even say shrinking their main ensemble of four down to a trio — Andrea Bordeaux, who played Ella, exited the series in February 2022 — came with ease. “We just leaned in harder because we became even closer friends during the break in between, so it was easy to dive right back in,” Stevens West shares of her castmates, who jokingly refer to themselves as a girl group named DS3, though they note they should’ve gone with their first name initials instead (ABC). “It’s a take on Destiny’s Child,” Webb jests.
“Run the World” concluded with a bit of a shake-up after Whitney confessed to her fiancé (and now ex), Ola (Tosin Morohunfola), that she cheated on him. Finding solace in her sister circle, Whitney tries to piece her shattered life back together, which is where season two picks back up. But the road ahead isn’t easy.
“With Whitney having only been in this one relationship her whole life and then blowing that whole thing up, she’s now having an opportunity to decide if that really was the man of her dreams and that’s what she wants to pursue, or look elsewhere and live a more authentic version of herself with the next partner,” Stevens West says of her character’s arc. “We’ll see.”
Whitney isn’t the only one facing challenges in season two. Webb’s Renee finds herself in her own dilemma — romantic and professional — after quitting her fancy job at Eclipse in season one, and she’s still struggling with her separation from her husband, Jason (Jay Walker). But the challenge of starting her own business — and a romance with someone new — will pose obstacles Webb says other women may find relatable.
“Renee’s character, for the first time, is trying to figure out what success looks like for her and what happens when you’re uncomfortable with the decisions you make, and how you navigate those conversations so that you can walk in your truth and honest life,” she says. “So she’s dealing with that, and I feel like that’s really aspirational for women, to take a chance and have grace for themselves while they figure it out.”
“Run the World”‘s second season sticks with that theme of “figuring it out” as all the ladies (sans Ella) are stuck between a rock and a hard place as they struggle to navigate where they are and where they want to be in their lives. “There’s a line that’s definitely an extension of [one] we have in season one, where I say, ‘How we move or when we move, there’s only one direction: straight ahead,'” Reid recalls. “I think each of our characters definitely lives that mantra in this season in the sentiment that they’re not afraid. You see the problems brew, brew, brew in season one, and they sort of bubble up to the surface, and then you see them be willing to let it explode and blow it up because it’s about choosing what you want and need and not being afraid of what the consequences could be. And then they’re there for each other to pick up the pieces and reassess.”
“I love that we give permission for Black women to be any way they want to be because that’s good enough.”
Reid continues, “I think it’s very easy when you get into your 30s to go along to get along sometimes, because you think you’re supposed to have everything all figured out and settle down. But these are modern women with modern problems and ambitions, strong life views, and you get to really see them walk in their purpose fearlessly and unapologetically.”
With “Run the World,” Webb considers it a privilege to be part of a series that encourages all women, especially Black women, to “take a chance on yourself, believe in yourself, and follow your heart.” “It’s so important,” she adds, “and I think that is the message, you know, to live out your life even if you’re trying to figure it out.”
Stevens West agrees; as she puts it, “I love that we show the diverse way that Black women are.”
“We are shown one way for a Black woman to be, and she’s a strong Black woman, but we’re showing how dynamic we are. It’s OK to be a Black girl who loves trivia night at a bar and can answer all the geography questions, because we don’t normally see successful Black women in those spaces,” she adds proudly. “So I love that we give permission for Black women to be any way they want to be, because that’s good enough.”
“Run the World” has already promised that season two will continue to “focus on the bonds of friendship and power of Black sisterhood as the ladies fashionably navigate through the ups and downs of love and careers in their pursuit of world domination.” So when asked how else the cast describes the new season, the three ladies readily answer — on cue as if they are actually Destiny’s Child — “Bold, authentic, fierce!”
“Run the World” airs new episodes on Fridays on Starz.