10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

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Sweet Home Season 2 has been a departure from the source material in many ways. But what are the main reasons the season hasn't surpassed the first?

Season 1 of Sweet Home took international audiences by storm with its unique mixture of creepy horror sequences and endearing characters. Based on the WEBTOON by Carnby Kim and Youngchan Hwang, Sweet Home's first season was mostly faithful to the source material, with the biggest deviations coming at the end of the story. As divisive as that decision was for some fans of the original story, it proved the right decision in setting up the franchise for a second season.

While the set-up was mostly there, Season 2 didn't quite stick the landing. There was a lot that season 2 did well, but they mostly didn't line up with what made the series so popular to begin with. From characters who were less interesting to less frightening monsters, there are several reasons why Season 2 of Sweet Home just didn't resonate in the same way as Season 1 did.

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10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

1. Cha Hyun-Su Had Less of a Role

"Only 30 million won. It's like you want me to die. How am I supposed to get by with this?"

- Cha Hyun-Su

Just finding the courage to step outside his room was a powerful moment for Hyun-Su in Season 1, and that made him a relatable character who could connect with the audience despite all his flaws. In contrast, much of Season 2 revolves around its secondary cast of characters, as well as many new characters only introduced in Season 2.

Hyun Su is a great character despite all his flaws, and at times because of them. He grew a lot by the season one finale, changing from a kid who wanted to die into someone who wanted to live to protect others. He still retains that growth, but the drawback is that he becomes more predictable in the process.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

2. The Novelty That Made Sweet Home Stand-Out Wasn't There

  • Sweet Home's unique monster types and body horror made it stand out from other modern survival horror series in Season 1.
  • An emphasis on military artillery and action made Season 2 less grounded and monsters less threatening.
  • Season 2 turned away from what made Sweet Home stand out, relegating it to becoming just another generic monster series.

Sweet Home's initial focus on campy-yet-creepy monsters was wholly unique in the post-Walking Dead era of survival horror television. Unfortunately, both in terms of its uniqueness from other zombie/monster shows and how fans have already seen a lot of this before in Season 1, Season 2 just felt more of the same -- albeit on a larger scale.

There were new revelations, such as Yi-Kyung's monster daughter and the drama of life in the arena, but neither of those things seemed to take the story into the ground that hadn't been trodden by many other series before. By the time the military presence took over, Sweet Home became nearly indistinguishable from the plethora of other zombie-themed horror series this side of The Walking Dead.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

3. It Lacked a Sense of Mystery

"Everyone is going to die! You are going to die!"

- The President of South Korea

A big aspect of Season 1's intrigue was the mystery of the monsters and how they came to be. Watching that narrative unravel slowly was a big strength of Season 1 that Season 2 just didn't have the luxury of. That's not to say that all the questions were answered by the time Season 2 started, but rather that the utter strangeness of the situation wore off.

Another important mystery in Season 1 was the uncertainty of what was going to happen to Hyun-Su once the monster took over. Of course, that was pretty much completely over by the start of Season 2, with the monster essentially becoming more of a superpower of Hyun-Su's than anything else. The tension was added in other ways at times, but it never quite reached the psychological terror of Hyun-Su fighting off his inner demon as in Season 1.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

4. Season 2 Replaced Its Horror With More Action

Season 2 had a clear movement away from the creepy, inexplicable body horror of Season 1. With the military taking a central role in Season 2 as well, it was only natural for the series to have a greater emphasis on action, as the increased firepower put the humans on a more equal footing with the monsters.

The initial horror of Season 1 came from the strangeness of the monsters, as well as the survivor's general inability to fight back against them. It also helped that the cast was trapped within the claustrophobic halls of the Green Home Apartments in Season 1. With Season 2 expanding the scope dramatically, that same level of tension was understandably harder to pull off.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

5. It Strayed From the Source Material

  • The Sweet Home WEBTOON ended with the group escaping from Green Home and joining a military camp: where Season 2 begins.

While Season 1 started fairly faithful to the source material, it strayed toward the end of the series with the ending being very different from the end of the WEBTOON. The WEBTOON ends at essentially where Season 1 ended, so it makes sense that the series would stray at the ending to give it more space to expand on new material.

Some of the changes made to the live-action adaptation were positive and fit the medium better, but there were drawbacks as well. As Season 2 draws out the narrative to fit the characters' arcs into a longer period, it takes away from the powerful impact the WEBTOON's beloved ending is known for.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

6. The Monsters Weren't as Creepy

Seeing the monsters in pure daylight just didn't have the same impact as seeing them in the dark halls of the Green Home apartment complex did. The monsters were also given a much greater connection with humanity by the end of Season 1, which carried on into Season 2, becoming the main plot thread.

Most of Season 2's narrative presents the idea that the monsters are more 'misunderstood' than they are inherently evil. Hyun-Su's struggle with monsterization throughout Season 1 is what made him unique, but by Season 2, the abundance of half-human half-monster characters made the monsters feel much more normalized. That's to say nothing of the monster designs themselves, which often paled in comparison to the monsters from Season 1.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

7. The Story Got Too Complicated

  • Season 1 thrived in its simplicity. Monsters were just enigmatic enough to be interesting while the "desire" concept made them unique.
  • As scientific studies into the monsters take place and more monsters are born by abnormal means (like Ah-Yi), things grow increasingly complicated.
  • Political infighting complicates the story, helping to move it further away from the pure survival horror of Season 1.
  • The character and story beats were much more grounded in Season 1. The interactions with the characters, their backstories, and their development were some of the main themes of the series, as the monsters fed on humanity's innate desires.

As the series moves into more complicated territory regarding survival in a world of monsters, it moves away from the core premise of what made Sweet Home unique from other survival horror series. Groups become trapped by human beings instead of monsters in Season 2, and the conflict moves more toward an internal power struggle than a fight for survival. Even most of the remaining cast from Season 1 didn't see as much development in Season 2, as the story moved more into political in-fighting between a larger group of survivors and military members and killed off some of the most popular characters.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

8.

You'll just end up causing trouble for everyone else who lives here. Jump off some other building.

- Lee Eun-yu

Yi-Kyung was a great live-action-only character who took on a central role in Season 2. However, even she became less likable in Season 2. Much of that had to do with the treatment of her daughter, the nameless monster she gave birth to early on in the season.

Yi-Kyung's daughter, Ah-Yi was by far the most interesting new character introduced into the series and is a main driving factor in the conflict throughout Season 2 and is sure to have a large role in Season 3. However, she doesn't quite make up for the military group, who are largely one-dimensional. As more and more of the fan-favorite main cast is killed off, the series is being filled out by newer characters that fans have less emotional investment in.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

9. Hyun-Su Became a Traditionally Heroic Character

Hyun-Su is a decidedly anti-heroic character, and that's what makes him so interesting to follow. While Season 2 had some endearing moments between him and Yi-Kyung's daughter that displayed his growth from Season 1, it didn't quite hit the same emotional beats.

What was so good about Hyun-Su originally was how conflicted he was, and how he overcame his troubled past to develop a newfound desire for life. Arguably, the entire point of the series is Hyun-Su's development, so after he reached that point, watching him anymore became less interesting. He began as such a deplorable person that seeing him slowly change made fans cheer him on. Now that he has already undergone that growth, not much separates Hyun-Su from any other generic hero with superpowers.

https://youtu.be/ZOkNcObEcvw

10. The Monsters Weren't as Much of a Threat

Monsters like the Muscle Monster and Blind Monster were terrifying threats in Season 1 due to their overwhelming powers and strength.
Season 2's introduction of the military and Hyun-Su's monster powers made other monsters seem less powerful.
The introduction of numerous new ways to fight against the monsters made the stakes feel decidedly lower in Season 2. Between Hyun-Su having monster powers himself and the inclusion of military firepower into the fray, monsters just didn't have the same overwhelming sense of authority that they had before.

It also didn't help that in Season 2, more generic kinds of monsters were introduced that seemed to do away with the "human desire" motif entirely. Each monster in Season 1 felt wholly unique and menacing, but Season 2 introduced monsters that were even intended to look cute and act benevolently toward humans.

10 Reasons Sweet Home Season 2 Didn't Hit as Hard as Season 1

Sweet Home
Hyun, a loner high school student who lost his entire family in a terrible accident, is forced to leave his home and has to face a new reality where monsters are trying to wipe out all of humanity. Now he must fight against all odds to try and race against the clock to save what is left of the human race before it's too late.

Release Date: November 18, 2022
Cast: Kim Young-kwang , Kang Hae-Lim , Su-yeon Kim , Yuuki Luna
Genres: K-Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Rating: TV-MA
Seasons: 3

Keywords: Sweet Home | Sweet Home Season 2 | Cinema | Kdramas | Korean dramas | Movie review

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