Friday, April 21, 2023

Netflix Picks: Shadow and Bone Season 2

Netflix has recently released season 2 of the show Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series of books. As with the first season, this new one has again combined the stories from the original set of books and its Six of Crows spinoff. 

The series continues from where it left off in season 1, with Alina and Mal in hiding as they try to find the other amplifiers to help her to be stronger to destroy the fold. On the other hand, the crows have their troubles to solve as they arrive home. Compared to season one where their stories are connected for most of the episodes, their stories only fully come together at the end of the season. This meant having both stories unfold from both sets of books in the eight episodes of the season. 

Due to the limited number of episodes and the combination of both storylines, I was not surprised that just like in the previous season there were some changes made to the plot of the series compared to the books. The stories were mostly the same, with some slight but non-vital differences. As someone who was a fan of the books, I did not mind at all. It just made me a bit sad because the possibility of a spinoff to the story of the crows after Alina and Mal’s conclusion seemed unlikely since their story based on the books has pretty much concluded in this season. It seems more likely that there would be more of Alina and Mal if there would be a future season even though their story ends after the death of the Darkling in the books.  The season’s ending scene made it clear that more would come with their story, particularly where Alina is concerned. 

Although it was to be expected given the story, I was still sad to see the Darkling go. He was such a compelling character and Ben Barnes played him very well in these past two seasons. There was a part of me that always rooted for his redemption in both the books and in the show because what he became was the result of what was done to him in the past. He had good intentions, but he just went about things the wrong way. I think Ben Barnes was able to show that well with the way he portrayed the role. I wish there would be a way to still see him in future seasons, even if it is not as the Darkling himself. I would love to see him back with everyone else in season 3 if it ever happens. 

One thing that I was excited to see in season 2 was the entrance of a new character, Nikolai Lantsov. He was my favorite in the Grishaverse and I know that he has his spinoff so I was looking forward to seeing what he would be like in the show. I was a little disappointed, to be honest. I was expecting him to be a bit more of a larger-than-life character compared to how he was portrayed. He seemed to be such a character in the books, I wish they could have given done more with him in the show. I don’t blame the actor, I think he did his best, but I felt that something was missing with how he was presented. I am, however, excited that if those teasers in the last episode are to be believed, season 3 would have more about Nikolai and his story. Maybe then they can give him the lead-character vibe that he deserves. 

There is still no word if there will be a season 3 for Shadow and Bone. I read from one of the creators of the series that they had planned it to be at least a three-season thing but that they were open to more if it were possible. Given how Netflix cancels shows so easily, I am worried about the fate of this show. Even if it is one of the top-viewed shows, that does not seem to be a guarantee for a renewal. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they can make it happen. This is one of the few adaptations that I have not had any problems with and I hope that they can keep going for as long as they can. 


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