If you liked the first season of Bloodline on Netflix, you are certainly happy with Bloodline season 2. In fact, you have probably watched the second season by now and are reading only out of curiosity about what reviewers have to say. If you watched season 1 with mixed feelings and are waiting for recommendations before starting a second season, overall, we think Bloodline season 2 is worth your time.
The netTVwatch team was disappointed when Bloodline season 1 debuted last year. The TV series grew on us, but we felt the slow pace, entire episodes where the plot didn’t seem to advance, and the lack of likable characters weighed the show down. Some of those problems are still there, but the Bloodline creators have made significant improvements, most notably picking up the pace and trimming down the season from 13 episodes to 10.
Season 2 starts right where season 1 left off. We thought Danny was gone for good, but he is back, reappearing in flashbacks and as an angel – or demon – on John’s shoulder, whispering in his ear when there are difficult decisions to make. As annoying as Danny could and can be, he now has close competition from Ozzy, a former cohort from Miami, who manages to show up wherever and whenever he is least wanted. Likewise, Danny’s son, Nolan, may be the most sullen teenager in America.
As for the rest of the Rayburn family, we still find the lack of likability a problem. It’s hard to root for any of these folks. Though the writing and plot are strong enough to overcome this, there are a few unconvincing things that happen and are hard to overlook. (Minor spoilers ahead.)
Would Meg, a practicing attorney, really not have enough sense to call her boss back when she had to stay in the Keys longer than expected? Sure, she might still get fired, but she would at least call.
Likewise, would she not find out a little more about the man, Gilbert (played by Beau Bridges in a welcome addition to the cast), who is making illegal campaign contributions to John before hooking him up with Kevin, potentially to buy his marina?
The final episode also feels forced. While the overall arc of the story works and serves as a bridge to take us to Bloodline season 3, Meg and Kevin change loyalties without batting an eye. It’s a little unconvincing, right along with how easily Ms. Ortiz can be bribed to recant her story.
Some of this is nitpicking. Almost every series has plot holes than need to be overlooked, but we usually do that because we are pulling for the hero to win. Since the netTVteam doesn’t really care what happens to any of the Rayburns, the writing needs to be seamless. We feel a pang of sympathy now and then and wish the family could do better, but they are all victims of their own misguided, selfish actions.
At the same time, we admit these characters are realistic enough that they feel like versions of people we know. Wondering how, and if, they will get themselves out of the deep shit they have gotten into is what keeps us intrigued! Kyle Chandler takes John Rayburn into deeper, darker territory than in the first season. It feels like he may not emerge. Kevin has sobered up – a welcome change – but his hot head and impulsive behavior take control in the end.
Despite major improvements, Bloodline feels like a network TV drama where the writers are obligated to provide a season’s worth of episodes, even if the story doesn’t warrant it. Contrast this with a series like Peaky Blinders, which stuffs its six episodes each year so full you almost wish it would expand to 10. Still, next year, out of curiosity, we hope to be tuning into Netflix for Bloodline season 3.
As of this writing in June, 2016, the series has not yet been renewed. It is worth noting that the Florida (where Bloodline is filmed) legislature recently eliminated tax incentives for the film industry in the state. This makes it much more financially challenging for studios to mount large scale productions like Bloodline. Florida may find, as North Carolina has, that their loss is Georgia’s gain. Despite a conservative legislature, tax incentives remain in Georgia, and their film industry continues to grow, with hundreds of millions spent in the state each year.