edoardo Pesce as Christian

*Spoilers for season 1 follow*

Christian Season 2, an Italian series on the Topic channel, picks up a day after the end of season 1 (our review here). Lino (Giordano De Plano), the boss of the enormous Cittá Palazzo housing project in Rome, is dead, and the Nigerians are on the warpath, hoping to take over Lino’s drug business. Anna (Milena Mancini), Lino’s wife, anoints Christian (Edoardo Pesce) as the new leader. With the help of Rachele (Silvia D’Amico), Christian uses his powers to make Cittá a peaceful, drug-free utopia. But trouble is brewing in the form of battling entities whose identities are unclear. There is the Blonde Man (Giulio Beranek) who was considered an angel in season 1, but may in fact be the devil, and there is the Dark Woman (Laura Morante), the self-described “good guy,” who enlists Matteo (Claudio Santamaria), the postulator (or Saint-finder), to work against Christian and the Blonde Man. It gets complicated, unnecessarily so, but Christian and his friends are so engaging that I’m fully invested in the season.

 Click here for other recommendations of Italian Crime Drama

The Characters

Christian is kind hearted, and has a different vision for Cittá. He has accepted his powers, and uses them for good-healing people, ending a drug war, etc. Rachele, his would-be girlfriend whom he saved from overdosing in season 1 is his right-hand man, bringing customers to be healed, but she is disturbed by her unnatural attachment to Christian.  Rachele, Christian and their gang are savvy, but kind of dumb, which is a source of a lot of humor. What’s great about the show, though, is that the humor is never humiliating or exploitative. Matteo, who was determined to prove that Christian was a fake in season 1, has accepted Christian as a saint-in-the-making, and even moves from his high-class Vatican villa into Cittá, which leads to some hilarious moments where he tries to explain theology to the residents.

 Wondering what else is on Topic? Click here to find out.

The Plot

There are a few too many complications in Christian season 2. It’s enough that Christian has to run his messy kingdom, learning that there is no such thing as utopia. But with Lino gone, there needs to be a “big bad”, and that’s where things go awry. Matteo had Christian restore his son’s sight at the end of season 1, but when his son starts acting strangely, the Dark Woman conveniently shows up to tell Matteo that the Blonde Man is not actually an angel, but is evil, and is using Christian for his own powers. Therefore, Matteo must take Christian down, and the best way is from the inside, hence Matteo moving into Cittá. OK, fine. But THEN, she suggests that he plant seeds in Christian’s followers’ minds based on the seven sins such as greed, gluttony, envy, etc to make them behave in a way that will jeopardize Christian’s power. Yikes. Too much. Meanwhile, Matteo is hurting his new compatriots, which leads to his own crisis.

Our Take on Christian Season 2

Christian Season 2 has a bit of sophomore syndrome. The creators achieved a perfect arc in season 1, and now have had to scramble to write a second season. They could have used some more time to edit the plot down. I know that Christian is supposed to be a Biblical rather than Shakespearean story, but in my opinion, they could have skipped the entities altogether and just let the Julius Caeser story play out. Nonetheless, I do enjoy this series. The pacing is such that we really learn about the characters, and we love them despite their flaws. The performances are amazing, and the world of the Cittá feels authentic. Also, it’s very funny. If you liked season 1 of Christian, I think you will enjoy season 2 if you are willing to grit your teeth through some overly complex plot lines.

Looking for more of the best in foreign TV?  Don’t miss our other great reviews HERE!