Netflix took sci-fi fans back to the outer reaches of space as a holiday gift thanks to the bingeable offerings of Lost in Space’s second season. Now the reviews are out for the nostalgic hit that keeps putting the Robinsons back in intergalactic danger.
The second season sees the intrepid colonist family and their companions blasted into a new corner of space without their most famous teammate: the robot. Trailer after trailer set up the intense, environmentally perilous season of TV and introduced new faces (like JJ Feild) to the cast, but now that people have gotten a chance to see the full season upon its launch today, a more solid picture has emerged for the series’ sophomore offering. It’s all perfectly passable and, if fans were already on board, more of the same—for better or worse.
Here’s what the critics had to say:
Norm Wilner of Now Toronto wrote that the second season of spacefaring fun starts off strong thanks to the separation of core family and the rest of the colonists, but that things soon return to business as usual for the show. It’s a great start, “but after showing us that the core cast can easily carry the show on their own, watching Lost In Space go back to its comfort zone feels like a mistake.” That means more conversations and fewer action-packed races against the clock. While Parker Posey delivers “a whole new spin on the scheming, wheedling stowaway Dr. Smith,” the rest of the season is merely passable—which is frustrating to the critic after so much demonstrated potential.
Forbes’ Merrill Barr calls the second outing “a truly lean piece of meat,” with “moments aplenty where the family uses their whit and smarts to solve a problem rather than utilizing the tried and true brute force method of many of its contemporaries.” Outthinking problems has always been a hallmark of a show that historically angled more Star Trek than Star Wars. Season Two, according to Barr, exemplifies that divide by leaning “heavily on the throwback ‘science heroes’ aspects of its concept.”
At IndieWire, Tyler Hersko writes that for all its “heart” and “breathtaking vistas,” the second season of Lost in Space plays it too safe. Basically, while the content is enjoyable enough, it’s just more of the same from the first time around. Hersko feels the opposite of Wilner, in that the first episodes are weaker than when the show reunites with the Resolute’s crew. As the problem solving keeps getting smarter, the critic was after similar development from the characters themselves, but was disappointed when the season “doesn’t do much to expand on” them. But with “visual splendor” and a heaping helping of silly fun, S2 showcases potential: “the series could become a genuinely great sci-fi adventure if Netflix decides to renew it for a third season.”
Danette Chavez of The AV Club concurs: Season Two is beautiful, full of danger, and completely passable. She writes that it “feels like a do-over of the first season,” where the family overcomes obstacle after obstacle in various episodic escape rooms. Fun, but slight. Aside from Posey’s performance (“the actor combines real vulnerability with an inclination for mayhem”), Chavez finds little to love and much to acknowledge as solid—and perhaps even a better entry point for newcomers to the series.
Finally, Matt Fowler at IGN described the season as “less land-locked” than the first, which allows the cast, effects, and story to flourish. While also noting that the “unrelenting disasters can drag” things down, Fowler writes that the restrained 10 episodes allow Posey and her castmates to excavate larger themes from a narrative that always seems to be falling apart around its heroes’ ears.
Lost in Space's second season is out on Netflix today.