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Servant: Critics more than happy to babysit 'chilling' and 'remarkably funny' second season on Apple TV+
Dead babies are never a laughing matter, but in the case of Servant, critics are willing to make a macabre exception.
Reviews for Season 2 of the Apple TV+ series this are now coming online and folks are apparently in stitches about it. In her A- review for Entertainment Weekly, writer Kristin Baldwin calls the sophomore outing "remarkably funny," adding that "the horror saga from Tony Basgallop and M. Night Shyamalan also remains a gripping mystery, blending tension-release giggles with even bleaker moments of terror."
Giving Season 2 an 8 out of 10, JoBlo's Alex Maidy also points out the show's glaring dichotomies, stating that it's both "deeply unsettling" and "oddly beautiful, especially in how it lingers on the preparation and presentation of meals. Food and wine are as central to this story as the Turner's home, a location that shows more layers this season than we saw in the previous one."
Journalists obviously weren't given access to screeners of the entire season, as Baldwin can only guess at what's coming down the pipeline: "The sophomore season seems to be building steadily toward another chaotic and awful reckoning with Leanne, and this is one nightmare I'm in no rush to escape."
As viewers may recall, Season 1 ended with Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) leaving her nanny post and reuniting with her shady cult. As a result, Sean and Dorothy Turner (played by Toby Kebbell and Lauren Ambrose respectively) were forced to reckon with the full tragedy of losing their son, Jericho. Whether Leanne revived the toddler via magical means or simply replaced him with an impeccable lookalike is now immaterial. The Turners just want the baby back.
The A.V. Club's Alex McLevy gives the new season a B, writing: "Season 2 does possess a much surer sense of blackly absurdist humor about its ever more outlandish story. Whereas the comedy often previously came from the belief-beggaring state of affairs themselves, the show now wisely leans into the aggressively heightened performances of its leads, letting the actors sell the inherent ridiculousness of supposedly rational adults making increasingly outrageous decisions for what they’re convinced are the best of reasons."
Writing for Cult of Mac, Scout Tafoya says that their "only complaint" is that they want more of the show. "Where the first season served up a slowly burning collection of mysteries, the new season takes the form of a ticking-clock potboiler. Several episodes unfold across a single day, and it’s astonishingly easy to just keep watching."
FanSided's Sandy C. posits that Rupert Grint, who plays Dorothy's wine-loving brother, Julian, "continues to be the standout in the series. Grint’s character’s popularity was heard loud and clear after the first season, as he has some of the best scenes and lines in season 2. We also get to see a different side of him and relate to how much he cares about his family."
"Servant’s sumptuous aesthetic is an important aspect but it is the cast that really makes this story sing," says Emma Fraser of whattowatch.com. "From Lauren Ambrose’s nuanced portrayal of a mother who doesn’t realize what she did (and who will stop at nothing to get her 'son' back) to Nell Tiger Free’s ability to flip between scared and determined as nanny Leanne, this is a captivating ensemble that ensures the suspense does not fizzle."
The first episode of Season 2 premieres on Apple TV+ this Friday, Jan. 15, with the remaining nine being doled out on a weekly basis. A third season has already been ordered by Apple TV+ and if Shyamalan has his way, the show will run for at least three more.