Tv Shows

TV Review: The New Legends of Monkey Season 2 (2020)

Summary: We pick up where we left off in season 1. Our heroes have defeated Davari and are now on the hunt for the rest of the sacred scrolls.

So I have a bone to pick with Netflix! They did NOT tell me this show was coming back. Y’all better not cancel this show until they get all the sacred scrolls back and even then ya’ll better not cancel it. The fandom is here! Don’t kill it.

Pros:

Cast and Characters.

  • Chai Hansen as Monkey King. Monkey has returned, picking up right where we left off. He is still brash and narcissistic lol. He’s still always up for a fight and will honestly say whatever is on his mind. I still love his character. We do get a lot of good character moments from him. They are further into their quest and while he does tease Pigsy a lot, I never saw as him being mean. They’re friends and he doesn’t always seem to know how to express how he feels about people that doesn’t come out as teasing. We don’t know a ton of his backstory outside of what they showed us in S1 explaining why he ran off. I hope we get more of that. But he and Tripitaka (I’m going to call her Trip) have a lot to clearly work through, mainly about trusting each other and trusting in each other’s abilities. Chai Hansen is still great in this role, he’s funny, charismatic and he still reminds me of Inuyasha (which is probably why I love him so much lol). He has some really great emotional moments in the last two episodes, he does really well in those moments. I really hope for more into his backstory, especially with how it ended. Side note: his hair is longer and I love it.
  • Luciane Buchanan as Tripitaka. In this season poor Trip goes through a lot. Now that everyone knows she’s a girl, there isn’t any awkwardness about it, nor is there any awkwardness about her not being the Tripitaka chosen by the Scholar. They continue to trust and follow her. She’s clever and gets them out of a lot of trouble because she’s smart (she’s not perfect though, she makes some mistakes). She spends a lot of the season tense and I think still trying to wear this role she willingly took on. Luciane Buchanan (she’s so pretty jeez) is very expressive with her eyes and she’s so likable. I think she does particularly well in the last few episodes. I can’t wait to see more of her and watch Trip really grow into this role she has taken on but to also be tested.
  • Josh Tomason as Pigsy. So Pigsy, he’s still great and we get to see him do a little more this season. We see him question his part during the quest and part of the pack, which makes sense. There’s always one lol. He’s the cook (I would love to try his concoctions), he carries the bags and he is the big guy. He’s still very much the big brother type and still hilarious. It’s very natural. I think Josh Tomason is still very likable as Pigsy, his facial expressions for when he’s suspicious or whenever he’s giving Monkey a look, makes me giggle. He’s very expressive. Pigsy also pulls all the women! He had a kind of emotional arc this season, it wasn’t something that was huge, but I do hope we get a bit more of him. Perhaps we see more into his backstory? He’s a God, so they’re immortal (unless killed… I guess), I would like to see what it was like before he ended up with Princess Locke.
  • Emilie Cocquerel as Sandy. She’s still great, still a favorite character. She’s likable and charming while also being in her own world. Sandy doesn’t have a centric episode this season, not really but I would like to see her have one. We get more and more snippets of her life as a child and it’s kind of sad. I would be interested in learning more. She basically thought she was the only God for years since Monkey was imprisoned in stone, any other Gods were in hiding from Davari, or were captured by him, and Pigsy was working with Princess Locke. Imagine discovering these powers and no one understanding. Not to mention, her connection with water. I want to see more about that. I also found it sad that she had to question being “content/happy” as being suspicious because she hasn’t really had that. She’s such a great character. She may be a little dense but she’s not stupid, so let’s not make her (and by extension Pigsy and Monkey) stupider just to make Trip look smarter. They can all have their levels of intelligence. But Emilie is soo good and so likable as Sandy. She’s funny, charming and whenever she’s having an emotional moment, it seems so authentic.

Character Chemistry. One of the highlights of the show is the chemistry between the four main characters. I really like the friendship between Sandy and Trip, I wish we got to see more of it since they seemed to get close in the first season, especially after Sandy discovered she was a girl. Pigsy and Sandy have some nice moments as well. I would like more with Sandy and Monkey because they have maybe 1 or 2 separate moments. They both live in their own world; I would like to see more. Pigsy and Monkey have a lot of moments and though a lot of them deal with Monkey teasing Pigsy. I never took it as mean spirited. I would also like more moments between Pigsy and Trip. The chemistry between Monkey and Trip though… whew. Obviously, we had a Mulan situation here, where in the first season Monkey thought Trip was a boy and then discovers she’s a girl. I thought that Monkey was comfortable with Trip and then got a little more awkward no longer sure how to react/treat her now that he knew she was a girl. It’s like when boys have a friend who’s a girl but they discover she’s a girl when they start growing up. But in this second season, they’re still awkward since she just seems to always be mad at him, but they have a lot of chemistry soooo, I’m hoping here lol.

Really Fun Experience. This show is so much fun! It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It knows what tone it wants to have, and it maintains that even when it hits the heavier story beats of the season. It doesn’t try to be dark or super serious. I like that. It’s in the same vein as Xena: Warrior Princess or Hercules from back in the day, cheesy but charming. Everyone is likable. I like these characters a lot and I can’t wait to spend more time with them in future seasons. You HEAR ME NETFLIX!? FUTURE SEASONS.

Fight Choreography. So, I’m pretty sure Chai Hansen does most of his own stunts since it seems like he could, and I think I’ve seen him doing some cool physical stuff. I don’t know about the others, but regardless, I think the fighting was a lot better this season. In the first season, Trip barely could handle herself, but she clearly has learned a thing or two from her God companions. Sandy seemed to be a bit more adept with her weapon and fist fighting but I wonder who trained her. Do Gods just have inherent ability to fight? I like to think that Pigsy and Monkey train Sandy and Trip on fighting because they’ve both been part of wars and armies where they had to literally fight for their lives. Trip and Sandy, yes but not the same extent. I really want to see them continue to grow into their abilities as fighters. Monkey uses his staff to fight a lot, which is awesome, just as it should be used. Pigsy fights with a rake and it’s a little strange lol but it works for him lol. I hope the choreography continues to impress as well.

Story/Stakes. The story continues from the first season, where they are on a quest to find the rest of the sacred scrolls. The good thing is that Monkey just threw them in random directions so it’s not like we have a set direction of where they might be found. It lends itself to more adventures. Along the way, they run into other obstacles. I like that. I like that while we have a main story, it’s not tunnel vision on that main story. I think the stakes in this season were a bit higher this season as well. It was more like there felt like actual danger in the later episodes. I hope they’re even higher in season 3.

Musical Soundtrack. On my second watch, I really paid attention to the musical score in the show and I thought it was lovely, particularly in the last two episodes. There isn’t any music with words, which isn’t needed due to the nature of the show, but the instrumental choices are amazing. During emotional moments, the music really helps to uplift that.

Cons:

Stupid Character Decisions. Y’all, there are way too many times characters are super stupid in this show. First of all, our heroes meet another traveler and y’all decide that all y’all going to sleep without someone you trust to keep watch on this man just in case? Or why does no one put the straps holding the sacred scrolls over their chest when fighting? That way no one can take them right off your back?? Or if someone is acting weird, y’all have been around each other long enough to know to kind of know each other to question what’s going on! It’s like the quickness that everyone had in the first season kind of went away. Sandy was on it with that woman pretending to be Trip’s mother, but you couldn’t tell something might have been wrong? I mean come on!

What is Wrong with everyone? Everyone just seems so upset this season. There isn’t that much time between the first and second season for things to have extremely happened off screen to make everyone so tense. But outside of Sandy, Pigsy and Trip just seem so irritated with Monkey way more than usual. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a straight up trip but it still is charming, perhaps because I’m not there. In some instances, I totally get it, but it just felt like everyone was just mean to each other.

God Powers. Pigsy and Sandy particularly can affect certain elements, well Sandy for sure, with water. Pigsy has called upon lightning before with his rake and has split the ground as well. So, does have a connection with lightning and earth? I wish someone would confirm. Sandy clearly has a thing with water, though I’m not sure why in the last episode, she fought some villains with water right beside her and she never did anything with it. Maybe she’s still learning but I need to get it together, though I remember wanting to drain a lake in the first season… soooo what’s up with this then? As for Monkey, he does a lot of physical fighting, which is great, but he seems to have special God powers too, we’ve seen it a few times. I know being stuck for 500 years put a little damper on his powers, but I’d like to see him use them more. I understand the budget may not allow for a bunch of CGI but I would at least like to see it more.

The Villains. So, we meet this Demon Troupe, there are like 6 of them. One of them, Khan, is the daughter to the most fearsome demon that lived, Monkey King killed her 500 years ago. Mothrax, she can turn into a moth. There is another woman, don’t remember her name but we only see her in action once. Kimura One Eye, he barely does anything. Cranius, his episode was fun because he’s an intelligent demon and he participates in one of the most enjoyable episodes of the season. There is another demon, big guy who runs the Blue Hand army, forget his name. He’s loud and boastful. Then the main demon villain, Gorm has his moments. He has this creepy right-hand man named Hagfish. This pair was interesting. The big guy was an intimidating opponent and I would have liked to see him, and Monkey meet a few times. We get our secret villain reveal later in the season and while I knew this one would be the main villain, they don’t really get the chance to really be a villain because then we get another villain that gets created and this could have been a great villain but this season we went through villains. I hope in season three, we get one main villain who is intimidating and maybe lasts longer than one season. Besides, this entire group was sillier than anything. I was never really that worried about our heroes, not really. Yes, the show is light-hearted in overall tone, but the villains should be fearsome.

Overall, I still really like this show and I think season 2 was much better than the first. The characters have clearly grown even if the first season was literally yesterday lol. Still a lot of growing to do throughout the season and in future seasons (hear me Netflix?!). The main four characters are still great and fun to watch. I’m sure if you have nostalgia to any older version of “Journey to the West” then it might be hard for you to take the differences, but I have no such connection, so I love these characters. I think the actors are great, charming and likable in their roles. The story is simple and fun, and it doesn’t have a laser focus on finishing the story, which is nice in lighthearted shows like this. It’s nice to have “filler” episodes that assist with character development more so than plot development. You still get that but it’s not the focus. The fight choreography and use of God powers is cool. My biggest problem with this season is the group of villains. They could have been way more of a threat, more intimidating. I’m aware of the show’s tone and that I said I like it, but I still expect villains to be competent. I really hope season 3 works on this more. Yes, our heroes should hopefully win, but if you’re going to have a group of villains, then all of them should be fearsome, not just one or two. I also hope the use of God powers gets explored more because Sandy can affect water. She needs to do it more! Same with Pigsy and the lightning/earth he seems to affect! Not to mention whatever Monkey’s powers are. Give me more! Otherwise, I still love this show and don’t play with me Netflix. Don’t cancel my show!

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars.

Have you seen The New Legends of Monkey? If not, seriously go watch it and have fun. It’s 10 episodes per season! If so, let me know your thoughts down below! Who is your favorite character?

Thanks to everyone for the new follows, comments and likes! Please feel free to comment. I won’t bite! If you are new here, be sure to like, comment and follow for more TV show reviews!

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