The Neighbor season 2 doubles down on the show’s likable characters and their rivalries to help offset some of this Spanish superhero comedy’s more familiar ideas.
This review of The Neighbor Season 2 is spoiler-free.
We didn’t review the first season of The Neighbor on Netflix, a Spanish superhero comedy based on a comic book of the same name by Santiago Garcia and Pepo Perez. I’m not sure why, but I nonetheless flew through it recently in preparation for this follow-up. And it’s good! Decent, anyway. It was based on a well-worn genre template — a man develops powers and has to navigate his life from there — and had some pacing issues, especially in the early going, but it had a good sense of character and cozy intimacy that helped to offset its more familiar ideas. The Neighbor season 2, all eight episodes of which are out today, continues in a similar manner, but has the advantage of hitting the ground running rather than having to establish the setup.
That setup, for anyone unfamiliar, concerns screwup layabout Javier (Quim Gutiérrez) discovering his responsibility as the Earth’s guardian and protector, a role bequeathed to him by a crash-landed alien in true Green Lantern style. Javi has a relationship with José Ramón (Adrián Pino) and with his love interest Lola (Clara Lago), who begins the first episode of The Neighbor season 2 floating above the ground, getting in tune with her own new powers. Thus begins the theme of this sophomore outing, which is largely Javi and Lola arguing and competing over who is really earth’s true guardian.
For the most part, the quality between seasons is largely identical. The laidback vibe, not too far removed from stoner comedy, persists, and anyone who finds it difficult to empathize with fractious dopes will likely continue to have a hard time here. The humor, too, is hit and miss, though I probably smirked more than not. Lola’s eroding reasonableness is a nice hook to hang this season on, though, and the close-knit, lived-in dynamic remains the selling point even beyond all the superhero business. The market is hardly crying out for more caped crusaders, but The Neighbor smartly recognizes that in a lot of ways — this is a comedy and a character drama much more than it is a story about superpowers and unlikely heroes, even if it can’t quite resist the pull of overly familiar ideas and plot beats. It won’t change your life, but it might fill a few hours of your weekend.