Preview: Carter kicks it up a notch in Season 2

If the first episode is any indication, Season 2 of Carter is going to be very, very good. The Canadian original, starring Jerry O’Connell as actor-turned-private investigator Harley Carter, roars back with a stellar premiere on Friday at 9 p.m. ET on CTV Drama Channel that showcases the comic talents of O’Connell and Kristian Bruun.

Created by Garry Campbell, Andy Berman takes over showrunning duties from Campbell. The result—at least from what I’ve seen in Friday’s debut, “Harley Wears a Wig”—is a show that has evolved in its second season. Episode 2, “Harley Loses a Finger,” follows at 10 p.m. ET.

Here’s the official synopsis for “Harley Wears a Wig,” written by Berman and directed by Peter Wellington:

Harley Carter’s first official case as a P.I. is a kidnapping with a surprising twist.

And here are a few tidbits and additional thoughts from me after watching a screener of the episode in advance.

Harley as a P.I. rocks
It would have been silly to try and make excuses for Harley to keep dropping into the Bishop Police Department as an actor applying his skills to solving cases. Growing the character allows the show to move forward and land great comic payoffs.

Harley + Dave = Laughs
Kristian Bruun’s Dave is Carter‘s secret weapon. When he, O’Connell and Sydney Poitier Heartsong are together on-screen, giggles are guaranteed.

Colin Mochrie guest stars
Speaking of laughs, Mochrie helps kick off Season 2 in style as Neil Jacott, a man who asks Harley to find his missing wife, played by Debra McGrath. Mochrie’s Neil is an odd duck, and Sam doesn’t take him seriously.

Lyriq Bent joins the cast
John Bourgeois is out and Lyriq Bent is in as Bishop’s new police chief. I’ve been a fan of Bent’s for years—most recently on Mary Kills People and Shoot the Messenger—and his straight man role as Joyce Boyle simply kills.

Carter says goodbye
A sweet storyline involving Dot (Brenda Kamino) and an episode closing credit allows the series to bid farewell to Koji and Denis Akiyama, who passed away last year.

Carter airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on CTV Drama Channel.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.