‘P-Valley’ cast talks Season 2, why the show resonates with viewers, and who’s really running things at The Pynk

The much anticipated second season of the critically acclaimed show premieres on Starz on June 3

If you haven’t caught yourself randomly singing this line, “Down in the valley where the girls get naked…,” you just might be missing out on one of the hottest television shows on Starz. P-Valley became a fan favorite on #BlackTwitter, and it’s returning for its much anticipated Season 2 premiere on June 3. 

Created by showrunner Katori Hall, the show takes place in Mississippi following the lives of strippers at a popular nightclub, The Pynk. Due to the pandemic, the series was on a hiatus for almost two years, and let’s just say fans were not happy about the wait.

TheGrio spoke exclusively with the cast to discuss why the show resonates with fans, who the real boss of The Pynk is, and more. 

Brandee Evans and Elarica Johnson are pictured on the set of “P-Valley,” season 1, in 2019. (Credit: Starz Media Room)

Brandee Evans, who plays Mercedes, says that the show became a part of who fans were as people and that she’s even built relationships with many fans from DM’s and messages calling them her “framily.”

“You see yourself, you see your family and that’s why it’s resonating. Stuff doesn’t really touch you unless you feel like, ‘Oh I understand it.’ It may be interesting to you, but this [show] is touching.”

Nicco Annan, who plays the beloved Uncle Clifford, says there are so many characters within the show that fans can relate to and see themselves in. “If you don’t see yourself, you run the risk of feeling like you do not exist in a world where you can question that,” he said.

Annan explained that the show does a great job capturing “the human experience” even if you aren’t a member of the community. “Seeing this shows whether you are from this community, whether you are full-figured and identify with Uncle Clifford, or whether you are a rapper and into music identifying with Lil Murda, or you are a businesswoman, or on Only Fans [or other] online brands. I feel like there is something for everyone to plug in to.”

The “P-Valley” cast is pictured on set during Season 1 in 2019. (Credit: Starz)

P-Valley continues to highlight the human experience this season, leaving no topic off-limits. Shannon Thornton (Miss Mississippi) and J. Alphonso (Lil Murda) have some of the most complex storylines this season. Fans are taken on a journey as the characters work to discover who they are. 

“Katori said something that I thought was really beautiful: ‘Sometimes you need fiction to tell the truth.’ These people are going through some very real-life stuff. So many people can relate. There are so many men that are grappling with their sexuality, and there are people that are in abusive relationships that are looking for a way out,” Thornton shared.

The Season 1 finale left many fans on the edge of their seats after “Murda Night” left one person dead and Autumn Night/Hailey Cotton seemingly became the new boss of The Pynk. When talking with the cast about who’s running the club, though, the answers were pretty unanimous: Uncle Clifford.

Elarica Johnson (Autumn/Hailey)’s view is that according to the numbers, Hailey is the boss, but we all know who the real boss is. “Uncle Clifford. You would never think of anyone else running that club, even if someone owns more of it or has more money,” Johnson said.

Even the creative force behind the show agrees.

“I almost think of Autumn as the executive director and Uncle Clifford as the artistic director,” Hall said.

But viewers will see the power struggle play out onscreen throughout the season.  “You would think they would be tighter after what happened on Murda Night, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes greed can take over people,” Annan shared. 

It’s safe to say fans will have a lot to say when the show returns on Friday, and you can expect #BlackTwitter especially to be up in arms. P-Valley’s second season premiere airs on Starz at 9 p.m. EST on June 3. Season 1 is streaming on the Starz app now.

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