TV: The Rain (Season 2)

The Rain’s first season, once you overlook its unrealistic premise, is an attractive, engaging run of Nordic YA dystopia. It’s basically a slick Danish version of The 100 with a smidge of Lost’s structural flair. Alas, its second season is textbook sophomore slump, a wheel-spinning affair—indeed, more Lost than The 100—that fails to build on a reasonably compelling foundation.

In the first season, following a region-devastating “rain plague,” Simone (Alba August) and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen) emerged from a secret bunker after six years of hiding to become embroiled with a group of desperate young survivors. The children of a scientist for an evil corporation called Apollon, Simone and Rasmus leveraged their limited inside knowledge about the apocalyptic situation in Scandinavia to forge an alliance—and something of a found family—with their fellow survivors. Season two shifts focus away from reasonably intriguing world-building mystery toward…well, not much exactly. Oh, there’s a certain structural core to it, involving the group’s flight from Apollon into the arms of a hidden Apollon splinter faction that’s trying to cure the plague—something Rasmus may be a Last of Us key to solving. But the season has remarkably little meat on its bones, especially science fictionally, and it feels long despite a mere six episodes. It doesn’t know what to do with its existing characters or its new ones, beyond throwing them together into extremely conventional romantic relationships. There are commendable performances, at least; August delivers charisma in the lead role, and there’s fine support from Mikkel Følsgaard, Lukas Løkken, and Natalie Madueño, among others. But ultimately, The Rain comes off in its second year like a show that didn’t look far enough ahead, and isn’t entirely sure what to do with itself now that it’s arrived.


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