If you felt that the first season felt like a long drawn-out version of the 1996 cult classic, then that won’t be such a problem here with this second season going outside of the original film’s narrative, expanding on the mythology and focusing on an original narrative. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all plain sailing from there; in fact, this series ends up being something of a muddled disappointment after the semi-promising first series. This new 10-episode run has so much going on with varying storylines and multitudes of characters, as well as trying its best to be fresh and original, it just ends up feeling lacking because of it.
This series is certainly much more interesting this time round now that it doesn’t feel like a rehash of the original film and it delivers some fascinating new storylines for our collection of antiheroes: Santanico Pandemonium is now free from the confines of the Titty Twister thanks to a newly converted Richie Gecko and is planning on using him as a means of exacting her big revenge scheme, Seth Gecko is trying to find a way back in the game, Kate Fuller trying to save her brother Scott after he was converted into a Culebra in the last series, and Eddie Gonzalez is summoned once again to deal with Culebra menace as he’s trying to lead a normal life. These storylines sound promising, but by the time they reach their end by the show’s climax, they sort of all fall flat.
Given the fact that Scott’s become sort of a bad guy, it’s hard to feel involved in his and Kate’s storyline, especially given at how repetitively Kate keeps being undecided as to whether or not she can save him. Eddie Gonzalez ultimately feels as though he’s just along for the ride, and Richie and Seth’s stories were solid, if uninspired, plus even after all this time, it’s still hard to be invested in them seeing as they are both ultimately immature jerks. Also, despite the last series having a clear main antagonist in Carlos Madrigal, this series can’t decide who its ultimate antagonist is, flopping back and forth between Carlos or new big bad Lord Amancio Malvado, so it all ends up being a wash in the end. Oh, and “Sex Machine” is completely wasted here this time round.
That being said, this series is ultimately held strong thanks to Eiza González's Santanico and her big revenge storyline. The fact that Santanico has been given a hero's pursuit this series feels like a real step forward with Santanico talking about shedding her former self (“shedding old skin”), which was telling as the series went on. Just like before, Eiza González is really becoming the true standout of the entire show, especially now that she’s going the full hero route. González’s sultry beauty and overall sheer magnetic presence is one of the show's real advantages and whenever she comes into play, she lights up the screen, despite the fact that she surely suffers whenever she’s paired up with Zane Holtz’s monotone Richie. Also, both Wilmer Valderrama and Esai Morales are superbly chilling and menacing as the two main villains, and Danny Trejo as “the Regulator” is still bad as ever, despite not being given much to do.
The idea of doing a From Dusk Till Dawn TV series was an interesting one at first, but now, it sort of feels like a zombie: it isn’t dead, but that doesn’t mean it’s alive. Eiza González’s performance and her character arc saves the overarching storyline, the villains are fun, and there are some pulpy thrills to be had along the way. However, some of the main protagonists feel more uninteresting this time round while some are wasted or just there, and the whole thing started to run of steam towards the end. But most of all, it just feels somewhat flat and joyless overall, still being unable to justify its existence.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: ROBERT RODRIGEZ / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: DJ COTRONA, ZANE HOLTZ, ELIZA GONZALEZ, JESSE GARCIA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW