Well, it didn’t really matter if critics were somewhat lukewarm about The Witcher in season 1, as it became the fastest-watched Netflix original all the same, and audiences loved it. But now in season 2? Critics appear to also be on board.
Early reviews are in for The Witcher season 2, and it’s getting much improved scores from season 1.
Season 1 had a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an unsurprisingly disparate 91% audience score, while season 2 now has a 95%, with no audience score to calculate before its release this Friday.
Granted, season 2 only has about a quarter of the total reviews in that season 1 has, but it’s off to a strong start, as that number represents only a single critic that gave it a Rotten score. Everyone else seems to like the new, more “family” dynamic now that Geralt has found Ciri and she has begun her training.
Fans too seem to be gearing up for The Witcher season 2 in a very specific way. The Witcher is currently #5 on Netflix’s overall charts, and the #2 TV show behind just The Queen of Flow. Either viewers are picking it up for the first time ahead of the release of season 2, or they are rewatching it in order to gear up for more episodes.
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The Witcher continues to represent an interesting dichotomy between Netflix and other streaming services. The show is probably the closest thing Netflix has to its own Game of Thrones, and it seems likely it will live long enough to get through all the main books (which unlike Game of Thrones, are completed). And yet the binge format of the show means that the eight episodes of a season will mostly be discussed within a single weekend or week, rather than a weekly conversation spanning two months.
Most viewers say they still love Netflix’s binge format, but Netflix is more or less the only service that is continuing to release all its shows this way. A recent experiment with not doing this, Arcane, which released batches of episodes over three weeks, was Netflix’s most fan-beloved show of this year, so I hardly think that hurt. And it got people talking about it longer.
Netflix is still so big they don’t really care about things like this, but if they have to compete with more and more weekly offerings across HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Paramount and Disney Plus, I do wonder if they will maintain this format for their biggest shows forever, or if they’ll bend and make something like The Witcher a weekly drop. For season 2, that’s not happening, however, so feel free to binge on day one this Friday if you like.