8.5/10 I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the first season of this show and have been binge watching to catch up for the film which is currently in theaters at the time of posting this. Season 2 is even stronger than the first season and I have definitely become a fan of this show the more I watch. This season takes on WWI which automatically ups the stakes and adds a historical feel that puts things into perspective. I love how each character, minor or major, always has something to do in terms of the plot and the character development is spread around evenly. Even outside of the war time drama, the writers are constantly finding entertaining ways to put these characters through exciting, heartbreaking or fascinating story lines for our viewing pleasure. The production design and costume design continue to be top notch and the cast have really come into their roles and you feel like you really know them. The complaints this season are fairly minor and in no way greatly detract from the enjoyment you will have watching this show. My biggest complaint was that there are a couple plot lines that use the easy way out of having a character death as a way to wrap up storylines that may have been difficult to wrap up otherwise. It felt like the writers didn’t know how to end a specific plot line so they just kill off a character to tie up loose ends. The score also doesn’t stand out too much and the main theme is repeated a little too much for my tastes. The second half of the season doesn’t feel quite as epic as the first half once the WWI material concludes with the war’s end. Despite those minor complaints, I loved the progression of where the plot went, how characters developed, how beautifully shot this was, how episodes are always entertaining and fun to watch and a lot is packed into these nine episodes. I had a nitpick last season that they didn’t put the dates on the bottom of the screen so it was often difficult to tell how far ahead the show was jumping in time. Thankfully, they addressed that issue this season and put the date at the bottom of the screen so we know how far ahead time jumps occur, which was a smart decision to make. I hope that like “The Crown”, this show will continue to use real life events in Britain and the world as a backdrop for seasons to come. I loved that the season ends with a finality to many plot points but also some cliff hangers that make me want to jump into season 3 right away. Seeing as how I still have some catching up to do before I can see the movie, I plan on doing just that.
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