Shadow and Bone season two
Hit teen drama Shadow and Bone returns to Netflix for its second season to pick up where the action left off. After her attempts to stop the Fold (a physical mass of darkness) from spreading throughout the world, Alina (Jessie Mei Lin) makes it her goal to track down mythical creatures that will amplify her magical powers so that she’s strong enough to succeed. Now vilified by most of the population, she, alongside close companion Mal (Archie Renaux), join forces with a suave privateer (Patrick Gibson) and set out on their adventure. Meanwhile, criminal mastermind Kaz (Freddie Carter) and his band of misfits are on their own mission to reclaim their crime-ridden city from its current ruler.
The opening episodes of the latest season set up the beginnings of a bombastic fantasy adventure, even if the world and characters rely heavily on all the conventional genre trappings.
With its Chosen One protagonist, steamy love triangles, grand face-off between good and evil, and needing a glossary to understand the difference between a “Grisha” and “Volcra”, this series (which is adapted from the books by Leigh Bardugo) incorporates every teen fantasy trope into its DNA to the point that it becomes distractingly formulaic. The collection of characters, while played with charm and dedication (especially Kit Young as the wily Jesper), are one-dimensional in design and exist to serve specific archetypes. Thankfully, the action moves along at a swift enough pace that the bland personalities never become an issue. Rather, the focus is kept on maintaining a gripping plot line at all times.
Moreover, an over-reliance on slow-motion shots and ropey CGI hampers some of the season’s early set pieces. Despite being a little rough around the edges at points, this is nevertheless a stunning-looking show; the showrunners bring the war-torn lands of Ravka and its surrounding areas to life in vivid detail. As contrived as the script can be, watching Shadow and Bone is akin to stepping directly into this fantastical world to immerse oneself in the magic and adventure. This is what the series excels at, and it’s what will likely keep fans thoroughly invested for Alina’s next epic outing.
Shadow and Bone season two is released on Netflix on 16th March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Shadow and Bone season two here: