REVIEW: ‘Crossing Swords’ Season 2 Fails to Capture the Uniqueness of Season 1

While the first season of Hulu’s Crossing Swords was unique, the second season fails to commit to being something special.

The first season of Crossing Swords introduced audiences to an interesting new take on the raunchy adult animated series. Inspired by Robot Chicken, John Harvatine IV, and Tom Root took what they’d learned on the adult-oriented cartoon and applied it to this series, with an original project set in Medieval Times. The second season sees the return of Patrick the squire, still on his own personal quest to become a knight, and it’s when the show focuses on this plotline that it shines. Unfortunately, though, this season often feels astray and distracted when it decides to follow a linear path whenever it feels.

The show’s most defining feature is probably its cast, which features the likes of Nicholas HoultLuke EvansSeth Green, Alanna UbachTara StrongTony HaleTara Strong and Maya Erskine. The cast is truly at their best this season. In fact, some of them are unrecognizable and seem to have become lost in their roles. This is particularly true of Hoult, Evans and Erskine, who are the standouts once again. It wasn’t until the episodes concluded that I was able to comprehend the actors behind the voices.

I just wish the series used these characters to their full potential, with Patrick being the only character to get proper development in the series. This is where things begin to feel disjointed. Crossing Swords feels like it’s trying too hard to separate itself from another adult animated series by randomly deciding it wants to tell a linear story. The show quickly tries to wrap up the said story up and throw viewers right back onto an aimless path. The one-off episodes begin to lead up to a little story-arc, and this is where the show starts to get really interesting and felt like it wasn’t dragging for once, but it quickly wraps up the short burst of story development and throws you back into the outlandish nonsense that the series survives on.

The series will have its moments and, if there’s a line they won’t cross, they have yet to stumble across it. Some jokes hit as they’re supposed to, and the humor is there, unfortunately, though, it’s missing the heart that many other animated series like this have. Crossing Swords feels as if the gas tank was low, so you decided to fill up, but then realized there was a hole in your tank and you’ve lost all momentum. The series ultimately feels as if it’s coasting by on its vulgar humor, but the act gets old fast. 

Crossing Swords often feels like a modge-podge between Robot Chicken and something Like Rick and Morty, and could truly be something special and unique, but it doesn’t feel committed enough. The cast and distinctive animation style are some of its saving graces, but without a solid story, it can feel about as alive as its old king.

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