Doom Patrol is back for a second season and the eponymous team hasn’t lost any of its surreal, bats**t-insane edge, according to reviews. Refusing to adhere to the traditional comic book format, the series (showrun by Jeremy Carver) remains a dark horse in its sophomore outing, immediately jumping into the depths of absurdity.
Idiosyncrasies aside, the new season is still netting high praise like “one of the best superhero shows on television” and “a welcome change of pace.” Critics are enamored not only by Doom Patrol‘s crazy situations (of which there are many), but also for the way it continues to unflinchingly depict its main characters as genuinely flawed individuals, who must first overcome their own issues and dysfunctions before they can help others. That poignant sense of realism and empathy seems to make up for some of Season 2’s more noticeable narrative stumbles.
OK, so what about the narrative? After being betrayed by Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) at the end of Season 1, Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby), Robotman (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan), and Cyborg (Joivan Wade), find themselves shrunken down and trapped on Cliff’s toy racetrack; only Negative Man (Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk) remains regular size.
Still confronting past trauma, the group must also welcome a new member into their strange little family: Niles’ daughter, Dororthy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro). She’s got special powers, too, and what’s worse, they might just bring about the end of the world. Great!
Here’s what critics are saying…
“Doom Patrol’s second season may not be as on-point as its debut year was. But based on its first three episodes, it’s still a show that zigs where others zag, and it manages to find new spaces and new stories to explore in a genre that feels increasingly crowded. Even if it missed a step as it starts over, it’s still one of the best superhero shows on television, and well worth watching.” -Graeme McMillan, Polygon
“The series blends deep, introspective character drama with absurd superhero humor in a way that’s unlike anything else on TV. Season 2 continues that high standard, even without the benefit of Alan Tudyk’s Mr. Nobody. The addition of Abigail Shapiro’s Dorothy Spinner and delightful new villains like Doctor Tyme and Red Jack are more than enough to keep the fun going in 2020.” -Jesse Schedeen, IGN
“The second season of Doom Patrol continues its mission to be utterly bat-flap crazy, mixing emotional trauma and dysfunction with super-powered shenanigans in a heady mix of surreal madness and gleeful snark … The combination of sadness, hope, surreal comedy, gleeful farce, and superpowers makes this the most unique and funniest superhero show on the air right now. You either get into it or you don’t, but you can’t deny there’s no other show like it.” -Adi Tantimedh, Bleeding Cool
“Doom Patrol leans into the drama while still acknowledging that it exists in a quite bizarre and off-kilter comic book world. Because ultimately, Doom Patrol is all about repression and trauma as well as how to cope with that … Season two of Doom Patrol now focuses on all of that (especially the foul-mouthed robot man) through the lens of Chief’s great betrayal and the aftermath.” -LaToya Ferguson, Vulture
“The slightly worse news is that the second season launches a bit depressingly and less joy-ride-y. That’s actually to be expected, given where the first season finale placed the team … As always, there’s a lot going on with Doom Patrol, which has arguably established itself as the most complex and best superhero series on TV right now (other than Amazon’s The Boys, but that’s more about the dismantling of superhero stories).” -Kimberly Ricci, Uproxx
“There’s a lot left in the season, but with three episodes down already, Doom Patrol has already proved that the stellar season one wasn’t a fluke and that its deft combination of weirdness and human pathos continues to be one of the best things on TV.” -Jessica Mason, The Mary Sue
“The second season is every bit as bizarre, and arguably twice as dark, as the first … Between the visual gags (teeny-tiny pancakes prepared by the full-size Larry, toys race cars, and Cliff wearing the pelt of the rat he just killed) and the recriminations, there’s probably enough material in the season premiere, ‘Fun Size Patrol,’ to stretch out over multiple episodes.” -Kevin Melrose, CBR
“If Doom Patrol season 2 has a major flaw, it’s that there isn’t much of a main story to focus on (at least in the three episodes I’ve seen). The season is vaguely tied together by the drive to save Niles, plus an ominous, still-mysterious entity inside of Dorothy that’s definitely going to cause a ruckus down the line.” -Vinnie Mancuso, Collider
“Season 1 overcame a middling premiere to become a show where anything can happen, slowly building the team up before pulling the rug out from under them in a finale that drove a wedge between the crew. The second season keeps it coming with a premiere that picks up immediately after that, featuring the team in a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style adventure, trying to help a girl whose imaginary friends can come to frightening life.” -Joshua Rivera, The Verge
“The pace helps maintain the theme of unreality forcing itself into the recognizable world. In just three episodes, we’re treated to the aforementioned Dr. Tyme and Red Jack; a tiny Doom Patrol; a giant spider with a sense of humor; people sprouting butterfly wings; and, well, one could go on for several more lines. The quicker the show goes, the more it grounds the viewer in its truly askew context. Frequently funny despite being a show almost entirely about life-ruining traumas, Doom Patrol Season 2 is, all told, a weird wild delight. Even for someone who loves the more mainstream comic book action like the MCU, it offers a welcome change of pace.” -Tim Stevens, The Spool