The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 review: Bigger and bolder

The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 review: Bigger and bolder

The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 review: Bigger and bolder

Vox Machina is together in front of an arch in The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2.

The Legend of Vox Machina: Season 2

“In its second season, The Legend of Vox Machina greatly expands its scope and delivers an adventure that feels more richly drawn, deeply felt, and emotionally rewarding than the first.”

pros

  • Grog and Scanlan’s End of Season Arcs

  • Witty and charismatic performances

  • Several new colorful and visually stunning locations

cons

  • A slow and ineffective mid-season diversion

  • Certain characters still seem too dull

The Legend of Vox Machina The second season is a bigger, darker, more ambitious season of television than the first. In its second year, the adult animated series remains one of the most interesting shows currently airing. That’s not because its high fantasy story or eccentric group of misfits is unique.

Unlike virtually every other fantasy TV show – live action or otherwise – that is currently being produced, The Legend of Vox Machina it is not based on a pre-existing book or video game. The series is instead based on the first Dungeons and Dragons campaign that was streamed as part of the online tabletop roleplaying web series critical role from 2015 to 2017. The events of the show are, in other words, based on the story that the core critical role cast created together over several years.

That was why The Legend of Vox Machina the first season used to be at its best whenever it was really able to replicate the sense of camaraderie and theatrical drama that had so many viewers tuning in. critical role in the first place. Fortunately, these moments are much more common in The Legend of Vox Machina second season, which greatly expands the series’ fantasy scope, but never loses sight of the friendships and emotions that make it so fun and enjoyable to watch.

Umbrasyl roars over a burning city in season two of The Legend of Vox Machina.
Courtesy of Prime Video

As critical role the fans already know, The Legend of Vox Machina second season wisely picks up right where it left off. The new season premiere follows all seven members of Vox Machina after they and the citizens of the royal city of Emon are suddenly ambushed by the four giant, villainous dragons that make up the powerful collective known as the Chroma Conclave. Many are killed and the city of Emon is utterly destroyed during the attack, which forces Vox Machina to flee to Whitestone, the same city that Percy (Taliesin Jaffe) and his friends spent most of Season 1. The Legend of Vox Machina trying to save.

Visually and emotionally, the animated series doesn’t shy away from the death and devastation caused by the Chroma Conclave attack. However, as happened in critical rolefirst campaign, the destruction of Emon serves as an efficient catalyst for the rest of The Legend of Vox Machina sseason 2. By eliminating its first major location, the series is forced to send Vox Machina to new cities and regions that had not previously been explored, which gives The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 an expansive scope and a visually rich variety of locations.

The arrival of the Chroma Conclave also sets up the dramatic engine of The Legend of Vox Machina season two, which follows its central heroes as they are forced to search for a handful of powerful weapons known as “Traces of Divergence”. As was the case in critical role campaign that inspired him, his quest for the Vestiges forces the members of Vox Machina to confront personal issues new and old. That’s especially the case for Scanlan (Sam Riegel), Grog (Travis Willingham), Vax (Liam O’Brien) and Vex (Laura Bailey), all of whom have to go through considerable emotional turmoil to earn their Traces.

Pike sits on Grog's shoulders in The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2.
Courtesy of Prime Video

not all The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2’s emotional detours work as well as others. Bailey’s Vex, for example, remains the source of many of the show’s scariest lines. While The Legend of Vox Machina season two tries to add depth to his self-esteem issues and greedy tendencies, the character’s portrayal is too tight for any of his biggest moments to feel as impactful as they should. This, in turn, makes the season’s Vex and Vax-centric detour into an alternate plane known as “The Feywild” feel less engaging than many of its other subplots.

Fortunately, the rest The Legend of Vox MachinaThe last 12 episodes of Don’t struggle with these same issues. The first half of the season crackles with an alluring adventurous spirit as Vox Machina sets out to dozens of new locations and teams up with a handful of new characters. The season’s first six episodes also set up several compelling introspective arcs for Vax, Grog (Travis Willingham) and Scanlan, all of which pay off to great effect in The Legend of Vox Machina final half of the second season. Grog’s Journey, in particular, blends the epic and the personal in a way that shouldn’t just please critical role fans, but also casual viewers who were first drawn The Legend of Vox Machinaeclectic brand of fantasy storytelling.

Vox Machina together at sunset in The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2.
Courtesy of Prime Video

After spending most of its first season focused on Jaffe’s Percy, The Legend of Vox Machina shifts his focus to some of the other members of his eponymous team. This change in direction allows already high-profile cast members like Willingham and Riegel to just flex their muscles further and deliver the kind of charismatic, multi-dimensional vocal performances that help Vox MachinaThe series’ characters seem more fleshed out than their recognizable archetypes would suggest. The season’s increased focus on Grog also results in more time being spent on his sweet friendship with Pike Trickfoot (Ashley Johnson), Vox Machina’s resident healer.

While she’s also not the focal point of any of the season’s central arcs, Johnson continues to bring a fun, comedic spirit to Pike that only further highlights the character’s heart and overwhelming sense of compassion. She and Willingham have an infectiously bubbly chemistry as Pike and Grog, and the former even gets the chance to duet with Riegel’s Scanlan on a country song that is, in and of itself, the kind of deep reference that owes pleasure. critical role fans everywhere.

Among the season’s guest stars, Henry Winkler and Ralph Ineson prove to be perfectly cast as Wilhand Trickfoot, Pike’s great-great-grandfather, and Kevdak, Grog’s villainous uncle, respectively. the nightingale Star Aisling Franciosi also steals a handful of scenes in the second half of the season as a confident gnome who quickly turns Scanlan’s world upside down.

Although critical role fans might be surprised at some of the new ways The Legend of Vox Machina diverges from its source material, the adjustments the show’s creative team makes result in the series’ second season story feeling more tightly structured and streamlined. Coming off its occasionally spotty first season, The Legend of Vox Machina returned with a sophomore season that gradually builds its scope and emotional weight before climaxing with a series of confrontations and redemptive moments that feel simultaneously seismic and conquered.

As for the second seasons, The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 not only outperforms its predecessor, but also cements the show’s place as a new, unmissable staple of fantasy television.

New episodes of The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 premieres Fridays on Prime Video. Digital Trends got early access to all 12 episodes of the season.

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