The Cuphead Show Season 2 REVIEW — Half-Filled Cup
The first season of the Cuphead Show received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Many praised the show’s visual appeal but criticized its lacklustre substance. Many cartoons, such as The Simpsons or Bob’s Burgers, failed to land the landing in their first season. However, they won both critics and audiences. The Cuphead Show could do the same.
While the second season is better than the original, it is not enough to make it a must-watch. The second season of The Cuphead Show has significant improvements over the previous.
It is refreshingly less annoying. While some wacky sounds and facial expressions can still be heard in the episodes, the focus is now on funny and fast-paced jokes that adapt to the environment and situation. The best episodes feel like a Madcap Hilda meets Looney Tunes episode. They combine cartoony humour with whimsical fantasy settings and characters.
Cuphead and Mugman feel more distinct here than they did in the original season. Mugman is given a stronger personality with the season focusing on his goody-two-shoes and well-behaved freak tendencies. His actions and dialogue feel more personal than before when most of his actions and dialogue felt like they could have easily been taken from Cuphead.
Also, the new characters are far more popular than the older ones. Nearly every episode has a new character to join in the zany antics of Cuphead or Mugman. This season’s characters are more entertaining and interesting than the previous seasons, making them more memorable and funnier.
Beautiful animation! Season 1 had this animation as its strongest point. Season 2 has even better animation. Some frames feel like they should be printed and hung on a wall. Because of their detail and animation, many scenes in this season are breathtaking.
I loved that the characters’ eyes were blackened like in old newspaper comics when there was a long shot. This technique was used in Hilda, and animation fans might remember it. It’s just as charming here as it is there.
These factors make The Cuphead Show more enjoyable, but the bad still outweighs what is good. Season 2 may have more good episodes than Season 1, but it doesn’t have enough. Although none of the episodes is terrible, more than half are just filler.
There is no overarching plot as in the original show. The episodic format suits it well, but the mediocre episodes aren’t worth the effort. They feel so weak that they are only there to make the episode count. It’s also a shame because the good episodes are good.
Although none of the episodes is extraordinary, they are funny, inventive, and short enough that you can enjoy them. A High Seas Adventure! is the third episode. Cuphead and Mugman are roped in to help a pirate find his sweetheart. The jokes are funny, the characters are likeable, and the references to video games never feel forced. It does its job, is charming and never overstays its welcome.
These episodes feature characters and settings you may never see again, so it can be difficult to get too invested. Inkwell Isles is not as solid as other animated towns such as Springfield or Bikini Bottom. Cuphead and Mugman are the only familiar characters, and their home is the only place they feel at ease. You don’t need to care about characters such as Captain Brineybeard or Baroness Von Bon Bon when they are unlikely to be seen again.
This is a bigger problem because the central couple isn’t entertaining enough to make a show revolve around them. Cuphead and Mugman cannot carry the show alone and shouldn’t. SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick did not agree. SpongeBob SquarePants featured many likeable characters such as Sandy, Squidward and Larry the Lobster. The Cuphead Show is a show that tries to include as many characters as possible from the video game. This leads to the loss of familiarity and clearly defined side characters.
Season 2 may be less offensive than Season 1, but it is still annoying, especially in the filler episodes. These episodes seem to believe that the more bizarre the sound effects and the more strange facial expressions are, the better they get. This is especially annoying when there’s a weak plot, such as “Cuphead chases a rat around their home” or “Mugman and Mugman chase a rabbit around their house”. These occurrences not only irritate you but also remind you that the episode you are watching doesn’t have a creative enough setup for jokes to occur naturally.
Although the second season of The Cuphead Show shows some improvements over its first, they are not enough to call it a great season. It might be easier to recommend it if there were fewer episodes. This is especially true for animation, which can sometimes be quite amazing.
This season’s quality is too inconsistent, standing out among all the other animated shows. The Cuphead Show is a great animated show that offers more than visual appeal. But you can also do better.