By Dave B.
The second season of Netflix’s Kingdom picks up right where the first season’s intense cliffhanger ended. The zombies have developed the ability to function in the daylight and attack in force before the Prince and his comrades have had time to establish their defenses. Meanwhile, the Queen’s heinous plan to guarantee secure the throne progresses, paving the way for a three-sided showdown between the Prince, the Queen, and the Undead.
For the most part, Kingdom: Season Two is great. It has enough drama, intrigue, and action to satisfy nearly any fan of zombies, political thrillers, or historical dramas. The 6 episode season is full of truly moving moments and some amazing acts of heroism. The overly large cast and some occasional unexplained jumping from one scene to another are relatively minor quibbles that don’t detract from the overall quality of the show. As far as the writing quality, the first season was written with a swaggering bravado, by people who knew they had a surprise hit on their hands and were certain the show would be renewed. Season two is somewhat different in style. It’s written with a confidence that that the disparate plot threads can be wrapped up in a consistent, concise, compelling manner, and in a short amount of time…At least until the final episode.
To be blunt, the second half of the last episode nearly ruined the entire season for me. Where most of the season is intelligent, forthright, and engaging, the finale stumbles. The plot turns on a dime to feel manufactured instead of organic. Characters begin acting rather foolishly, simply to set up more drama. Personally, I can overlook that to some degree. What’s less forgivable, is that the writing style changes from one of confidently moving towards a conclusion, to staggering towards a setup for another season. The change is all the more glaring because its really the only tonal misstep I’ve seen in either season of this show.
Kingdom: Season Two is good. Very good. It successfully builds upon a fantastic, fast-paced first season and matures into a thoughtful, dynamic show that is extremely easy to binge watch. But despite maintaining its compelling action and pace, the writing quality diminishes right when it needs to shine most. I can see a third season being just as entertaining as the prior two. I just wish that the final step to get to that third season were written with the skill that Kingdom has amply demonstrated that it’s capable of.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.