I was thrilled last year when Amazon brought my favorite podcast "Lore" to television. The first season of Lore was fantastic! I loved it! My only gripe with Season1 was it wasn't long enough (I wanted more episodes). What made Season 1 of Lore so great was the haunting narration of Lore's creator Aaron Mahnke, the beautifully disturbing animation, and the spot on re-enactments. Season 1 captured the true essence of Lore's magic, great storytelling. Season 2 of Lore is such a disappointment. Amazon missed the bullseye by eliminating Mr. Mahnke's spooky voiceover and the mesmerizing visual arts. Season 2 of Lore failed to transported me to a believable time and place in history. I was instead given vignettes of Masterpiece Theater type stories with splashes of gore. The theatrical stories did not make me want to peruse Kindle for books on history and folklore, but instead, made me want to switch to a different streaming channel. I also felt too much creative license was used to make the historical tales more entertaining...rock music in a story about 1867 Irish Grave Robbers in Scotland...Really! I know Mr. Mahnke's Twitter feed said he worked with the writers in creating Season 2 and Amazon wanted to take Lore in a more theatrical direction which is very unfortunate. Amazon if you're reading or listening "Let me be clear there is no LORE without Mr. Mahnke's memorable storytelling"! Please, please right this wrong in Season 3 and go back to basics with Mr. Mahnke, animation and acting...PLEASE!
I've only watched the first episode so I'll update this review if things get better (and I watch more episodes) but so far I'm very disappointed with the shift in tone from season 1. Instead of the fact based and docu-drama style of the first season it's now a straight re-enactment, with some quick text here and there to give the background instead of the narrator explaining things. I'm not sure why they decided on such a large shift from the first season but so far I don't like it
The first season seemed like a very weak documentary, and what made it worse was the beginning intro not really combining well with the main story. Examples like the first episode. They are talking about the fear of people being buried alive. For a whole 2 minutes and 30 seconds its talking about the folk lore of the fear of waking up in a coffin and no way of calling for help which led to bells tied to strings lead down into the coffins so if such an incident happened, no one would be buried alive. Then it leads into a story that leaned more towards Vampires....
Episode two starts out talking about a cereal killer that escaped from an insane asylum and how people were killed at a bridge. The come to find out no person by the name ever existed at said institution and the institution didnt even exist during murders. So you'd think they are going to talk about an insane person. It goes into a story of a doctor who practiced lobotomy's. Not so super exciting as it started out as.
The narrator makes it all so boring.
The 2nd season they decided to take a different try at the series. Which in all honesty I feel plays out far better than season 1. I really wish they had more episodes on season 2 and if they make more I hope they keep the way they made the episodes and never go back to the documentary style of 1. The seconds season feels like short stories played out on regular shows, no narrator. Just several characters showing their story, not telling it.
I would prefer to give 2 and a half stars if it were an option, since 2nd season made up for the terrible half the 1st one gave us.
When I watched season one of this show, I was captured halfway through the first episode, the animations bridging the gaps between the live action stories being told, the contextually relevant rambling sidetracks, it all added to the inspired and chaotic feeling i loved about the show, a mishmash of media all coming together seamlessly to represent the same vision. i was literally counting the days until season two arrived, I dont think ive ever done that with any other show. Halfway through the first episode, i had the opposite experience with the second season than i did with its predecessor, all of the creative and fresh components of season one had been discarded, no doubt to make way for some rubber-stamped TV formula. Season two is just another hackneyed history-thriller, we all know most of the stories told in it, which would be fine if they were presented in some sort of interesting way, but instead we are informed of people like Burke and Hare, or Countess Bathory through a format of feeding us the details we already knew using actors and sets in the exact way we already imagined these events occuring, theres just nothing new here. it's a well-polished history book.
quoting Rob, as his review is near perfect reflection of our thoughts...
"Season 2 is lacking in narration from Aaron Mahnke. In Season 1, the narration would not only provide an introduction, but also reveal deeper history or cultural tie-ins to provide greater context. Season 2 seems far more focused on telling each episode as a self-contained story with the history and research taking a distant backseat.
From the reviews, Season 2 breaks down like this:
If you've never heard of the Lore podcast, didn't watch Season 1, or you're wholly unfamiliar with these stories, you will love Season 2 of Lore. Even lacking the narration and history, these stories are still fascinating and retelling them for modern audiences has definite value.
But if you're a fan of Aaron Mahnke's narration and research from Season 1 or you're just a fan of the Lore podcast format, Season 2 will be incredibly lacking. Its not to say its bad show, but a poor reformatting of something that stood out as truly unique in the "history of the weird" genre.
Hopefully Season 3 will strike a balance with fans of both Seasons 1 & 2."
As a fan of the original podcast, I'm disappointed that Aaron Mahnke's narration was done away with. I know there were complaints about it in the first season, but I love his style of story telling. However, this second season clearly had an increased budget. There are more sets, better costumes, and the reenactments are, overall, better quality. That's good, since they're the entire show now. The biggest weakness is that the writing is very uneven. I thought that some episodes were very well done, like the ones about Burke and Hare, and Hinterkaifeck. Some were less so, and it was hard to get through them.
It's unfortunate that there is less emphasis on exploring folklore and more concentration on trying to be a scary anthology, since this show isn't very frightening most of the time. I hope Lore will get a third season and finds a good combination of the good, while discarding the bad.
As a TV showbseperatevfrom Lore the Podcast it is good. The story, the writing, and the feel is beautiful. Honestly feels more like an anthology series. If you can take away the aspects of wanting it to be a video version of the podcast, it is really enjoyable.
That said, as Lore podcast fan and a fan of the first season, "Why would you change such a beautiful creation?" Aaron Menkhe has a way of writing and telling a story. It missed the documentary feel. The folklore feel. The atmosphere of what the fans wanted, of what shoukd have been.
With that said, as a lore fan, I would only give 2 stars. Taking a look frok an outside perspective, it would be 4. Thus I compromised with 3 stars for season 2.
I L O V E L O R E- and yet sadly, I have to agree with the over-produced version of all things Aaron Mahnke.
The creator of these great podcasts seems to have his vision brought to life in season #1 of Lore, but something was a bit amiss in season #2, and I can’t help believe that it was the author’s touch.
Let’s face it: Amazon has been producing AWESOME original content. However, sometimes where content is converted from its original greatness, might it be wise to stick to the original intentions of the author in order to bring it to life?
Either way: if you dislike the series on the Zon- check out the podcast. It doesn’t disappoint... ever.
I really liked Season 1, but they changed things around in Season 2. They completely got rid of the narration which I was okay with and instead of stories mixed with collages of footage and images, they went with more of just a straightforward story.
(Which for Season 2 Ep. 1 totally worked - probably the best and most unique writing of the entire series - it was refreshingly humorous).
The idea was to make it different for the fans of the podcast who had already heard the story but I think what worked best was how they did it in Season 1. The obscure photos and footage were really intriguing and bookending the shows with short anecdotes of other similar stories was fun too.
In Season 2 they once again had some great stories to work with but it ended up flat, just like a majority of the last couple of years of episodes from the podcast it's based on. It seems like now they are more concerned with quantity over quality.
I would say, besides Ep. 1, to skip the rest of Season 2, and instead listen to the first 30 episodes of the Lore Podcast, or the Cabinet of Curioisities Podcast - all by the same guy. I give Lore Season 2 5.4 stars out of 10.