It’s been over two years, but Raising Dion season two is finally here. The urban superhero show that’s geared toward children and adults carved a unique place for itself when the first season was released on Netflix back in late 2019. Now, season two has finally arrived, taking the show to the next level in some areas, but the creative team behind the series seems to also be holding it back in many ways. Let’s take a deeper look at our full Raising Dion season two review.
Superhero movies and shows are all the rage these days. Even if you’re just looking at Netflix, all of the Marvel Netflix series can still be viewed on the platform, with Daredevil getting a huge boost after fans saw Spider-Man: No Way Home, plus The Umbrella Academy, the prematurely canceled Jupiter’s Legacy, and in some ways even Stranger Things.
Raising Dion was created by Dennis Liu as a comic and short film before it was adapted into a Netflix series. It offered a unique take on the superhero genre by looking at it from a mother’s perspective. Don’t worry, no one named Martha is featured in the show. In season one, Nicole Warren (Alisha Wainwright) was the widowed mother of eight-year-old Dion Warren (Ja’Siah Young), who just so happens to discover he has superpowers. How the over-protective Nicole deals with her child’s powers is a big part of the show.
Season two picks up two years later and continues to follow the trend of Nicole dealing with a superpowered child, and Dion growing up and trying to balance an overprotective mother, with his life as a kid, and a budding superhero. Think of it as a younger take on Spider-Man. It would seem as though season two received a bigger budget than the first season because the effects and action are significantly improved. The effects aren’t quite on par with blockbuster films (or even something like Jupiter’s Legacy), but they work well enough for the series.
The second season of Raising Dion continues to be as inclusive as the first season. Half the cast are people of color, with Dion’s best friend, Esperanza (Sammi Haney), suffering from Brittle Bone Disease. She is one of the very few stars with disabilities featured in superhero shows and films.
Newcomers in season two are Tevin Wakefield (Rome Flynn), Dion’s new mentor, Janelle Carr (Aubriana Davis), a new powered teen who befriends Dion and his mother, and David Marsh (Josh Ventura), a new executive at Biona. For the most part, these new characters add quite a bit to the second season. Marsh is a bit too stiff and predictable, but that seems to be more of a writing and directing issue, rather than problems with Ventura’s acting.
This brings up what held back season one of Raising Dion, and what continues to weigh down season two. The actors do well with what they’re given, but more often than not, the writing and direction are lackluster. The overall plot and themes of Raising Dion work very well and lay the groundwork for what could be an amazing series. However, generic writing and poor direction hold the series back from greatness.
If Raising Dion was primarily a children’s show, most of this wouldn’t be an issue. But the creative team has gone out of their way to provide Raising Dion with adult themes and situations that specifically cater to the adults watching the show. They want Raising Dion to appeal to both children and adults, similar to how Pixar movies can be entertaining at almost any age. Yet, almost any romantic interaction between two adults is painfully awkward, and borderline unrealistic, especially since most of these interactions don’t deal with the superhero world.
It can be difficult working with child actors, but the cast of Raising Dion seems to handle themselves quite well. So when a director tells one of the child actors to yell out a line that would have played better with a softer tone of voice, it’s not on the child actor to provide that insight, it’s on the director for making a bad call.
This has been a problem since season one, with similar directorial issues occurring almost every episode. It continues in Raising Dion season two, but there’s a clear bump in quality for the episodes directed by Darren Grant, a newcomer in season two. Give Grant more episodes to direct and Raising Dion could really turn into an amazing show. All of the groundwork for greatness is there if the creative team would stop tripping over their own feet.
If you were a fan of the first season of Raising Dion, while not perfect, season two is a step up in almost every way. If you didn’t like the first season, the general themes remain the same, so your opinion may not change with the second season. If you haven’t seen Raising Dion at all, and enjoy superhero shows, the series is definitely worth your time, even if it skews a bit younger on occasion.
Hopefully, Netflix blesses us with a third season of Raising Dion. It’s a rare superhero series that’s very inclusive and features compelling roles for minorities. The budget doesn’t seem terribly high, but it does well with what it’s working with, and could really turn into something great with slightly better writing and direction. There’s a post-credits scene at the end of the final episode of season two, so make sure you watch through the credits.
About Raising Dion Season Two
Synopsis: Raising Dion season two picks up two years after Dion and Nicole defeated the Crooked Man. Dion continues honing his powers with the support of his mom and newcomer Tevin, his Biona trainer who catches Nicole’s eye.
Created By: Carol Barbee, Dennis Liu
Stars: Alisha Wainwright, Ja’Siah Young, Ali Ahn, Gaving Munn, Sammi Haney, Jazmyn Simon, Jason Ritter, Griffin Robert Faulkner
Number of Episodes: 8
Average Runtime: 40 Minutes
Releases: February 1st, 2022 (Netflix)
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.