Holy Family Season 2 Review – A clear case of diminishing returns

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 17, 2023 (Last updated: November 21, 2023)
View all
Holy Family Season 2
Holy Family Season 2 | Image via Netflix


The first season was an enjoyably soapy binge, but Holy Family Season 2 is a clear case of diminishing returns, with a dreary tone and languid pace killing all the drama.

I was kinder to the first season of Holy Family than most other critics were. I figured it was so tailor-made for a weekend binge that it was a guaranteed success, and I was right. But now that Season 2 of the Spanish Netflix original series is here, it’s easy to wish it wasn’t. The latest batch of eight episodes is a step down, losing a lot of pace and intrigue since so many revelations came about in the first outing. It ends on a conclusive enough note to suggest there won’t be a follow-up, which is probably a reprieve.

Is it terrible? No, not at all. Netflix knows a sellable international thriller when it sees one, and Manolo Caro has a proven track record from House of Flowers. But the tedium started to set in pretty quickly this time around, almost as if the story would have been better left ambiguous following the first season conclusion.

Holy Family Season 2 review and plot summary

For those who have forgotten, the first season revolved around Gloria, a woman with a mysterious past who infiltrated Madrid’s high society by cozying up to its upper-crust housewives, without realizing that two of them, Catarina and German, were plants hired by the grandfather of her stolen child, Hugo, who she carried as a surrogate for her son and his wife Natalia.

Unable to part with the only remaining connection to her son, Santi, who died while trying to save her daughter Aitana from drowning, Gloria absconded with Hugo and faked her death. The first season ended with Natalia and her father Fernando arriving in Madrid, and Caterina and German being hospitalized in a car crash.

Season 2 of Holy Family picks up from there, with new obstacles being erected in front of Gloria, deals being made, and new threats lurking in the shadows. There are also continuing dramas among the real housewives of Madrid, splitting time between do-or-die thriller stuff, soapier melodrama, and a murder mystery for good measure.

RELATED: Will there be a Holy Family Season 3?

This isn’t half as interesting as it sounds. As in the first season, the cast does an admirable job of selling it, but there’s something off-putting about almost everyone on the script level. Rarely is a show so prone to having its characters make silly decisions.

It isn’t a cheap-looking show either. The production is of a high quality. But a corpse isn’t any less dead if it’s wearing a nice dress. Speaking of which, sometimes Holy Family seems to move with the speed of the undead, shambling through convoluted plot beats and aggravating character decisions as though it has all the time in the world. At eight episodes you can get the impression that it does, but they’re all a binge-ready shade under 40 minutes, meaning that, blessedly, it doesn’t take too much time to sit through.

A merciful end

If you choose to do so, you will admittedly find a decently handled murder-mystery subplot that speaks to the better season this one could have been. Alas, though, it builds to a mixed-bag ending that delivers some closure but doesn’t satisfyingly address the goings-on across the board. Not that you’ll be rooting for anyone in particular, but it’s polite for an ending to do its characters as much justice as possible.

One mustn’t be too negative, since there’s always a market for this kind of thing and the fact it was renewed for Season 2 in the first place proves that Holy Family has a fanbase ready to go. But, ultimately, there are far too many shows very much like this one, on Netflix and other streaming platforms, that are much more worthy of your attention.

What did you think of Holy Family Season 2? Comment below.

RELATED: Holy Family Season 2 Ending Explained

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
View all