By Katlynn Rossignol
It’s been a few years since the Mysterious Benedict Society foiled Dr. Curtain’s evil plot known as “The Emergency.” Unfortunately, the group’s happy reunion is interrupted as news comes in that Mr. Benedict and Number Two have been kidnapped! It’s up to Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance to follow the clues and travel around the world to rescue them.
As a fan of the first season of “The Mysterious Benedict Society”, I found the first three episodes of this second season to build excitement and establish the stakes well. The first episode opens with a cheery montage showing where all of the characters have been since the conclusion of season one. Reynie Muldoon (Mystic Inscho), Sticky Washington (Seth Carr), Kate Wetherall (Emmy DeOliveira) and Constance Contrair (Marta Kessler) have all grown since they last met and this short montage is a great way to get the audience up to speed on how the characters have changed and what insecurities they will overcome. Once introductions are over, episode one jumps into the mystery solving, with the clues set for an international scavenger hunt.
While the preset clues of the scavenger hunt feel a bit too straightforward for the kids, the show balances it out with the unexpected challenges of the journey. With parental safeguards left behind, the kids have to come up with innovative ways of retrieving their clues. As the episodes progress, it becomes obvious that sinister foes are determined to stop them from completing their rescue mission, and the tension escalates appropriately.
Presentation and Style:
“The Mysterious Benedict Society” displays an incredibly unique stylization. The aesthetic is set between the 1950s and 1960s with vibrant architecture and costumes. The lighting is warmly saturated with color and sets the tone for every scene. The defining visual tactic used in “The Mysterious Benedict Society”, is the symmetry of its composition. The camera sits squarely with the characters in the center in most of the shots. This is paired flawlessly with catchy, quirky music to make an intriguing experience for the audience.
The best word to describe the tone of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” would be odd. Every other shot is meant to pique your curiosity and wonder what’s going to happen next. Each character has their own eccentric habits, which brings plenty of comedy to every interaction.
The second season of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” asks its audience what true happiness is. Dr. Curtain, the show’s villain and Mr. Benedict’s estranged twin brother (both played by Tony Hale), is portrayed as an ominously cheerful presence from the very first episode of this second season. Supposedly having moved on from his previous failure, he now offers happiness to the world through his eerie television show and cult-like residential community. Episode two establishes this theme as a major point of conflict, and episode three begins to shed light on the downsides of Dr. Curtain’s artificial happiness.
Season two of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” promises yet another mysterious adventure, this time around the globe, and has started strong. I’m excited to see how this season will go and how it will address its interesting and complex theme.
“The Mysterious Benedict Society” is now streaming on Disney+
Katlynn Rossignol is a Freshman Communications Major and A&E writer for Cedars. She loves 2D animation, superhero movies and the color pink.
Images courtesy of Disney+