Lost in Space is back on Netflix with Season 2. As you might already know, I thought season 1 had a few flaws, but Lost in Space Season 2 is an improvement in every way.
The first thing that you’ll notice is that this season is jam-packed. A lot of plot is crammed into this season, to the point that it almost feels like two seasons at times. It’s roughly split into two major story arcs; the first being an intriguing attack by an alien contaminate that dissolves titanium, and the second being about a disagreement in leadership aboard the Lost in Space mothership The Resolute.
One of the major things I notice about this season is that the production value has skyrocketed. This show feels like it has a huge CGI budget, on par with a major Hollywood tentpole film. The space battles, the robots, everything just feels amazingly polished and well-executed.
The show still has a little bit of an issue with the Robinsons themselves being presented as heroes, but shown through their actions to be sort of naive, self-absorbed wild cards, but it’s not nearly as noticeable as season 1, and some characters even make reference to it later in the season, unlike the first season where everyone seemed to be completely oblivious to how insane the Robinson’s behavior was.
The Robinsons are not as unlikable as they were in the first season, but they still have a few cringy moments. For instance, Judy Robinson lands at the colony and, after having treated a few patients (usually repairing damage she caused), seems appalled and completely taken aback at having to settle into the role of an intern despite… being a 19-year-old doctor-in-training with no real professional experience. Another example is Will Robinson’s hard to watch emotional pleas about having a special bond with the robots. Maybe youngsters watching the show identify with those moments, but they just made me groan. Nevertheless, those moments are few and far between this season and thankfully shortlived.
As I mentioned, there’s so much content in this season that I almost felt like I’ve watched 3 seasons of this show now. I almost wish it was a little more finely edited; I feel like if they’d condensed the major plot points of this season, it could have been two episodes shorter without sacrificing any emotional impact or necessary elements of the story. Having said that, though, the pacing was decently strong, and there are more than a few climactic moments that stand out as real triumphs of sci-fi CGI filmmaking.
I would be impressed with this quality of visual FX in a film, let alone a Netflix show. Let me give you two examples that are spoiler-free as possible. There’s a moment where the ship passes through a Jupiter-like gas planet that’s visually stunning; and then another that involves climactic robot violence (come on, you knew this show was going to have robot violence right? So, it’s not a spoiler), and that was exceedingly well done also.
As for the cast themselves, I think every single one of them does much better this season. They come off as more realistic, nuanced characters, largely thanks to the performances. The actress who plays Penny, in particular, owns her screen time well. Don continues to be a charismatic force who… at some point they have to realize in the show that they treat like a useless comic relief character, but is probably the most responsible and heroic of the bunch, at least purely in terms of ‘saves the day’ points.
The season ends on a strong setup for season 3, so I imagine we can look forward to that in the coming year. Unlike season 1, where I was left with a feeling of “Eh, I’d watch a second season I guess,” I’m now actively excited for season 3, so I feel like the show leveled up quite a bit.
Check it out on Netflix and, as always, be sure to check the Movies & TV section for more reviews and analysis.