In its second season, Matt Groening’s Disenchantment could have followed either of the two sophomore release paths:
- Run with the gimmicks of the first season and not further the characters or plot in any meaningful way
- Take the core of what made the first season attractive, build upon it, and enhance it
Thankfully, Disenchantment followed the later course, and I found it generally better than the first season. The jokes were crisper, the characters felt more real, and there was a good balance between diversion and overarching plot.
Episode eight, “In Her Own Write” is a major highlight of the season. As Bean sets out to process her grief and confused emotions through writing, Luci acts as her writing demon (which all writers have, of course). The jokes here are painfully as Luci “encourages” Bean by prompting her to compare her art to others’, etc.
Bean remains a somehow-likeable main character despite her many, many flaws.
Bean’s mom, Queen Dagmar, remains the “big bad” as revealed at the end of season one. She remains such at the end of this season, though she was not the antagonist of each episode.
Both Luci and King Zøg do some soul-searching. However, Elfo does not play nearly as central a role here as he did in the first season (I was okay with this…)
The people of Dreamland remain woefully ignorant and delightfully superstitious, though this fact is used to introduce some tantalizing possibilities for upcoming seasons when a steampunk traveler from nearby “Steamland” crashes in Dreamland on a mission to kill Zøg.
Even with season two having a cohesive, single project feeling to it, there are several promising openings for plot development in upcoming seasons, which is a great place to land.