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The Big Door Prize Stars Praise the Growth of Women Friendships in Season 2

The Big Door Prize Stars Praise the Growth of Women Friendships in Season 2


  • Season 2 of
    The Big Door Prize
    brings new friendships and relationships, including Hana and Cass, played by Gabrielle Dennis and Ally Maki.
  • Dennis and Maki reflect on the changing relationships and perspectives of their characters in the season, finding common humanity despite differences.
  • The show continues to explore the theme of self-discovery and growth, as characters like Hana and Cass navigate friendships, community, and love.

The Big Door Prize has just begun its second season, and we’re already seeing some big changes and delightful developments. The quirky dramedy follows the citizens of a small town after a seemingly mystical arcade machine shows up in the General Store promising to reveal people’s true potential. The ramifications are subtle with some and drastic with others, but everyone begins questioning their careers, relationships, hobbies, and lives. The result is an existentialist comedy with one of the kindest hearts on television (which makes sense, considering it comes from David West Read, a writer and executive producer of Schitt’s Creek).

One of the many joyful adjustments is the strengthening friendships between some of the women in town. Hana (Ally Maki) becomes a bigger presence in the second season after the surprise reveal in season one’s finale, and she begrudgingly befriends Cass (Gabrielle Dennis) and Nat (Marry Holland), leading to some funny and honest moments. Cass, meanwhile, explores her individuality and relationships, but just might risk losing Dusty (Chris O’Dowd) in the process. Maki and Dennis spoke with MovieWeb about the new season and their character arcs.

Ally Maki on ‘Finding Friendship and Community’

The Big Door Prize

The Big Door Prize


Release Date
March 29, 2023


Apple TV+

Production Company
Studio Dragon (CJ ENM), Skydance Television, Vidvad, Inc. (season 2)

Story By
M.O. Walsh

Streaming Service(s)
Apple TV+

We’ve previously spoken with Chris O’Dowd and Josh Segarra about their charming friendship in The Big Door Prize, but another warm and funny friendship that blossoms is Hana’s with Cass. Hana is practically nomadic and resistant to commitment, but she begins to open up with the good people of Deerfield. We asked Ally Maki what she’s liked most about Hana’s development in season two. “Oh my gosh, there’s so many things I like,” gushed Maki before explaining:

Hana is exploring all parts of herself for the first time
, but probably the most [thing I like] is her finding friendship and community, especially with this one right here for the first time.
It’s so fun to see her awkwardly go into this female friendship and not know how
, but figure it out along the way. I think that’s been the most fun. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt. This season is just amping up the stakes 10 times.”


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Gabrielle Dennis on the Emerging Relationships of Season 2

“We see a lot of new relationships emerging this season, new dynamics and things, and I think the girlfriend dynamic is so fun. Just the fun we get to have shooting those scenes,” added Dennis (playing the Yang to Maki’s Yin). “It’s definitely different from, you know, a lovers kind of relationship.” She added:

But I feel like, for me, the most exciting thing is always just to see Cass grow, and to finally get to a decision where she feels like she’s confident in her choice. And sometimes it takes her a little while to get there, because she’s easily influenced by others, but she’s finally — it’s starting to click.

“I think that’s exciting for any human being to finally be like, ‘Oh,’ the light bulb goes off. So I think I’m excited for the rest of her journey,” said Dennis.


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Cass and Hana Reflect Season 2 of The Big Door Prize

In many ways, the relationship between Hana and Cass reflects the changing relations and perspectives of season two. By bringing together very different characters (such as Aaron Roman Weiner’s Beau Kovac and Patrick Kerr’s Mr. Johnson), The Big Door Prize finds common humanity among our ideological and personal differences and explores big ideas. For both Dennis and Maki, interacting with each other was often their favorite aspect of season two.

I think our characters, weirdly, they bring out the Yin to each other’s Yang,” explained Maki. “They have more similarities than differences which, on the surface, you would think, ‘What could they possibly find in common?'” She continued:

“And I think, through really cool nuances that they’ve written into the script, you see them recognize things in each other that you may not have ever seen before.
I see the vulnerability in her, that maybe her life is not so perfect, maybe she’s lonely too, just like me
, even though she seems like she’s got this perfect life with her husband and her kid and everything kind of figured out for herself. So I think it is, like, understanding that it’s not always what’s on the surface for people, and I think that’s really cool.”

“Hana and Cass being such polar opposites,” added Dennis, “and like you’re saying, there’s that vulnerability. On the surface, Hana is extremely strong and impenetrable, but when you get to know her it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s a backstory to why she behaves this way.’ And we see that vulnerability, and it’s charming and endearing […] It’s a beautiful thing to watch friendships grow and to see themselves in each other.”

Season two premiered globally with three episodes on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, followed by one new episode weekly through June 12, 2024 on Apple TV+. The Big Prize Door is currently streaming on Apple TV+ and you can catch up on the first season through the link below:

Watch The Big Door Prize

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