CRITICAL / REVIEWS SERIES – After two years of waiting, “The Witcher”, including Henry Cavill, is back on the Netflix platform. What is this season 2 worth?
The witcher : the crazy bet of Netflix
The huge success of Game Of Thrones on HBO has inspired many media, including Netflix. Thus in the middle of the 2010s, the American platform started a huge project: that of a serial adaptation of The witcher. Taken from the literary saga of the same name and written by the Polish Andrzej Sapkowski, this work already very popular in bookstores has become even more so with its passage through the video game box. Several video games inspired by the books have emerged from 2007. The most famous is undoubtedly The Witcher 3, released in particular on Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Going after books and video games was therefore Netflix’s daring gamble. A bet that has proven to be fruitful since since its integration into the platform’s catalog, The witcher has become one of the most watched series of the moment, all streaming services combined.
As a reminder, The witcher takes place in a medieval universe where Men are constantly threatened by monsters. It is in this context that appears Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher who is regularly assigned to fight these terrifying creatures. The series chronicles his adventures, but also those of Ciri and Yennefer – see our summary of season 1.
A season 2 far superior to the first
The first season was often criticized for its particularly complicated storytelling, which mixed up timelines galore. For this season 2, the series written by Lauren Schmidt is much more structured, narratively speaking. Since all the storylines this time take place in the same timeline, it’s easier for the viewer to know which timeline an action is in.
The same goes for the story, which is much more simplified and accessible to the general public. Indeed, whether for the interactions between the characters and the complexity of the universe of the series, season 1 of The WItcher seemed to be built only for those who had read Andrzej Sapkowski’s books. This is much less the case for this season 2 which goes straight to the point and is less embarrassed by sub-intrigues. The epic of Geralt and Ciri in the wide open spaces of the Continent are thus the central points of this second season. It is therefore around them that will be built the best passages of the series, from their clashes with bloodthirsty monsters to training the young princess to become a warrior as formidable as her bodyguard. And the political intrigues of Nilfgaard facing north? In the background. And that’s good !
Certainly, the series still has its usual flaws. The witcher always has rhythm problems, alternating very badly action sequences and more contemplative passages. Likewise, the writing, the dialogues and the characterization of certain characters remain particularly poor for a series that wants to be the equal of Game Of Thrones. Concretely, except Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer, most of the characters are inconsistent and not always worthy of interest.
However, what about the visual beauty of this series? As we know, Netflix has spent lavishly. As for season 1, the budget has once again been put to good use. The creatures present are as terrifying as they are fascinating to watch (you will only have eyes for the bruxa, this scary vampire), the fights are perfectly choreographed, and the production is original in many ways. As for the decorations and landscapes, lovers of green spaces can only be delighted. The first episode that revisits in a dark way The beauty and the Beast is, for example, proof of the almost perfect aestheticism of the series.
Henry Cavill excellent, and well accompanied
But the great strength of this second season is, without question, the new relationship between Geralt and Ciri. Both characters have a bond that recalls that of a father to his daughter. The duo are perfectly helped by the good performances of Henry Cavill and Freya Allan.
For the British actor, this is not surprising when we know thathe single-handedly saved many of the weaknesses of the first season thanks to his charisma. For the second, on the other hand, the case is a little more different. The actress enriches her game here and manages to give much more depth to a character who was lacking in the previous season. A necessary improvement to definitely rock the …