(WARNING! This article contains spoilers for Season 1 of Jurassic World: Camp Cretacous in order to review Season 2.)
Good morning, campers! How will you survive the island today? When we last saw the brave kids of Jurassic World: Camp Cretacous, they had literally missed the boat and were stuck on Isla Nublar. In Season 2, their mission is one of survival, hope of rescue and just trying to stay together. Even though the second season dropped this past Friday (1/22), I want to keep my review spoiler free from anyone who might have missed it.
Since there was a lot of character building early on last season, and finding out which character dynamics worked, Season 2 dives right in head first on it's story. It's obvious very early in the season that the bond between this group will be tested. That will either bring them closer together or tear them apart. Remember, they lost Ben in Season 1 as well, so they are still dealing with the immediate aftermath of that (especially Darius.) So it's far from just running away from dinos on an abandoned island, they also need to find the basic necessities to survive.
I have to say, I really like how they build things up in the early episode. Without spoiling anything, the first several episodes focus simply on Darius, Brooklyn, Yaz, Kenji and Sammy. We get to see them struggle, we get to see them triumph and we even get to see them have a bit of fun. Even though this group has been together a while now, we do get to see some bonds be strengthened and even some new ones created. Everyone grows in their own way individually as well, but they are still kids and they still make some mistakes. Overall, what they are able to accomplish is pretty incredible.
The real challenges begin about halfway through the season when they find out that they are (MINOR SPOILER) not alone on the island after all. I won't talk about specifics, but this does cause a bit of a rift within the group. This certainly affects Darius and Brooklyn the most, and the angle that the writers take here really was a clever one. There is definitely some misdirection with at least one of these newcomers too, which added another dimension to the story. It would have been hard to focus this entire season solely on the survival and rescue aspect. This added more depth to the series, and really adds potential for future seasons.
If you had any questions at the end of Season 1, I can tell you that Season 2 will at least address them. You might not get all of the answers that you want, but you will definitely get one big one about midway through second season. This season also doesn't really focus on the same dinos as Season 1 did. Sure you'll see some familiar faces, and some very cool moments, but there are also some different dinos and new challenges that they present. So if you're expecting the same old encounters as the previous season, you'll be happy to know that they don't really crutch off of that, but they don't abandon it either.
Season 2 of Jurassic World: Camp Cretacous improves over it's debut season by taking the big risk of allowing us to focus more on the core characters. Sure you want to see the dinosaurs and how the campers survive that. It just isn't the sole basis for this season's story. Jurassic Park worked so well because of how invested we were in characters like Malcolm, Grant, Ellie and the kids. The dinosaur visuals were groundbreaking, and why you bought the ticket, but it could only take the story so far without interesting characters to back it up. You're also not likely to show me, or anyone else watching this show, something new enough to be eye popping and memorable on the dinosaur front, so why try to force it? This series figures that out in this second season by trimming down the number of human characters on the show and focusing on the core group. It also created a human conflict on top of the fact that they have to survive an attack from dinosaurs at any possible moment. Balance that out with some genuinely fun moments, and this season of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous makes you more invested and even more impacted by it's latest finale. I was skeptical heading into the season, considering I didn't give the most glowing review of Season 1. While this season wasn't perfect, I have a much more positive feeling heading into a potential third season. This season was fun, focused and felt much more fresh this time around. I hope we see more of that in the future.
Photo Credit: Netflix