Sunday, January 16, 2022

TV Show Review: The Mandalorian - Season 2

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Amazing visuals, good story
Cons: Story can be slow at times
The Bottom Line:
Keeping The Child safe
Searching through the galaxy
Can be slow, still good

“Wherever I Go, He Goes.”  “So I’ve Heard.”

I really didn’t intend to wait so long to get back to season 2 of The Mandalorian.  I enjoyed the first season, but I figured I’d let a few months go before I moved on.  Suddenly, I found the new year starting and I hadn’t watched season 2, so it was definitely time to fix that.

If you aren’t familiar with this series, it is a Disney+ original series set in the Star Wars universe, specifically a few years after The Return of the Jedi.  Our main characters, who goes by The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), is a bounty hunter who was raised by the refuges of the planet Mandalor and lives his life according to their code.  In the first season, his bounty was The Child, but instead of turning him in, he went on the run, trying to get this baby of Yoda’s species to safety with people who will know how to raise him.

Season two picks up in his quest to find some place where The Child will be safe.  His attempts to find others of The Child’s species take him all over the outer reaches of the galaxy.  His biggest clue is to find other Mandalorians who might have an idea where The Child might be safe.  But each stop along the way finds him facing more danger from ice monsters or sea pirates as two examples.  Will he ever succeed in his quest?

There isn’t a large main cast in this series with only The Mandalorian and The Child appearing in each episode.  Of course, we do have some recurring characters, like Gina Carano’s Cara Dune and the main villain so far, Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon.  This fits The Mandalorian’s character since he is a loner, but it is weird since I’m used to more characters in a series.

My main complaint with the show, however, is the pacing.  While all of the episodes feature action at some point, there are some pretty slow moments, especially early in the episodes.  Maybe my attention span is just too short.  But by the end of each episode, I’m caught up in the story.

This does go away as the season goes along.  I felt like, more than season 1, this one was telling us part of a story, with each episode one chapter of the whole and leading us to someplace in particular.

Along the way, Star Wars fans will be pleased to see who pops up.  A couple of characters from other Star Wars properties show up this season, one as a live action character for the first time.  Honestly, I also felt like the series was more anchored in the larger Star Wars universe this season, and I’m only a casual Star Wars fan.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I missed a bunch of other cool references.

Visually, this show is amazing.  Each episode features exotic locales that make it feel like we are on a new planet.  I can’t imagine the challenges of filming this to get so many new planets.  Yet the sets feel like they are part of the Star Wars universe, as do the aliens we meet along the way.  And the special effects work as well.

I have a friend who has complained about the climax of the season.  (No spoilers to follow.)  He maintains that the climax involves a Deus ex machina.  I was watching for that, and I can almost see his point.  I would maintain that the climax was set up part way through the season, so I’m willing to buy it.  Most fans were thrilled with it.

Speaking of which, I’m curious to see where they are going to go in the third season.  It feels like it will have to be something different, but we’ll see.

The acting is mostly good.  The Mandalorian never takes off his helmet, but we still manage to care for someone whose face we don’t see and who rarely seems to show emotion with his voice.  The one weakness for me was Katee Sackhoff, who appears in a couple episodes here.  I’ve never been a fan of her acting, and nothing here changes my mind.

While I don’t find that I love The Mandalorian as well as most people do, I did still enjoy season 2.  Now, I can enjoy the first spin off and be ready when we get season 3.

1 comment:

  1. I've been enjoying reading your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I was a latecomer to "The Mandalorian" as well. I watched both seasons for the first time last year and I watched them again this past month. I enjoyed them the first time, but even more so the second time. It's interesting that you pointed out how your short attention span may have something to do with your perception of the pacing. I also have a short attention span and I was thinking that may be the reason why I enjoyed the slow pace. Lol. It wasn't overwhelming, which I think helped me enjoy it. I also just finished watching "Moon Knight", which was very intense. So maybe I just needed the slower pace after that. :-)


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