Netflix Watch of the Week: The Witcher Season 2

Henry Cavill continues his quest to warm dragon-loving folks’ hearts as stoic monster hunter Geralt of Rivia in the second eight-episode season of Netflix’s enjoyably bingeable The Witcher series.

The show found a following as a witty and gory B-movie sword-and-sorcery adventure based on the Andrzej Sapkowski novels – more Xena: Warrior Princess than Game of Thrones, with one heck of an infectious bard tune (Toss a Coin to Your Witcher).

In this Witcher go-round, the storytelling structure and vibe get a twist toward the conventional as its hulking, yellow-eyed central warrior becomes more protective father than beast hunter.

Season two finds Geralt and teenage Ciri traveling the land with his faithful steed Roach, running into old friends and finding sanctuary in the Witchers’ mountainous keep. After losing her entire family and kingdom in Cintra, Ciri seeks to find her way and understand her abilities. But Ciri’s also pursued by several forces, so Geralt juggles keeping her safe while also dealing with an uptick in new deadly monsters.

The shift to everyone being in the same time and space eliminates a lot of exposition, as we know the main “Witcher” personalities now, and the series builds out its mythology as more of a usual fantasy show: Everything’s played a lot straighter, and it’s missing the hot-blooded camp quality the series initially embraced. The show at its core is still pretty enjoyable for a dark fantasy, and characters like the flame-conjuring rogue mage Rience, help in that regard.

Of course, Geralt is a magnet for various odd creatures, and Cavill is top-notch when slicing and dicing various things and people. It’s the quieter moments, however, like when Geralt’s having a heart-to-heart dad chat with Ciri, that the actor gets to showcase the beating heart of a guy who’s not supposed to have a human side.

With an onslaught of fantasy fare vying to be the next Thrones, from The Wheel of Time to the anticipated Lord of the Rings series, toss a coin to Cavill for keeping it real.

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