The first season of Holy Family did not offer anything great when it came to storytelling. It was a regular family drama thriller with many convoluted subplots that tried hard to create tension between the family and friends. The second season is an extension of the story from the first installment. Holy Family is a Spanish Netflix original that was released on November 17, 2023, and was created by Manolo Caro.
The second season started with the chaos that was unleashed by Natalia and Gloria in their quest to hold onto Nico. With Natalia and Nico back in her custody, Gloria is close to getting her plan back on track, as she was awaiting Mariana’s passport as well. Her goal to move to Canada was still on, but many obstacles could foil her immigration plans. Natalia and her father Fernando, Marcos’ brother Felipe, and Gloria’s only daughter Mariana were going through a roller coaster of emotions. All of them are trying to seek closure. Caterina is presumed dead, and German (Diego) is in a coma, adding to Eduardo’s trauma. He meets with German’s lover, Manu, and they embark on an emotional journey. Blanca asks for divorce from her husband, which leads to many uncomfortable conversations about their relationship. To everyone’s shock, Blanca’s son, Lorenzo, is found dead. The investigation into his untimely death is a parallel subplot. What would be Gloria’s plan B if her current goal is not achieved? Was Blanca ready to move on with life? All of these and plenty of subplots make up the crux of the show.
The story of this season began right where the last episode concluded. Chaos followed the entire Santos family right from the start, and the narrative failed to be engaging for the screenplay was written and executed haphazardly. There is no structure to the line of events that are taking place in the show. A disjointed narrative makes the audience lose patience very quickly. The investigation into Lorenzo’s death was sidetracked, as the makers did not pay much attention to it. The final reveal regarding the killer was bland, as the narrative leading up to the reveal did not create any tension. Holy Family is a familial drama thriller, but the story beats around the bush and there is no punch in the narrative, which is a basic requirement in this genre.
There are too many subplots set in motion from season two, and the erratic structure of the screenplay causes the ends not to get tied up in the right manner. The narrative moves so much around Natalia’s kidnapping and her father’s involvement that the constant back and forth in that subplot is exhausting. This is a common practice in commercial stories to infuse one too many subplots just to make the entire narrative seem engaging. In the case of Holy Family, these subplots lead nowhere, and the characters involved in them end up having inconclusive and confusing arcs. The writers did not have any idea what direction they wanted to take. Eduardo’s, aka Abel, for example, was written with plenty of contradictions and confusion. There is no explanation as to why he was pursuing German and his partner at the same time. The narrative involving Gloria and her family is the most bizarre because no one from her friends or neighborhood seems to ask what is happening inside the house.
Alicia’s character in the first season was crafted as a person who is not sure about her motherhood journey. The writer abandoned her character in this season as she walked in and out of a few scenes. There is constant irritation written in her character and a slight judgment regarding her not wanting to be a mother. The friendship Blanca, Alicia, and Gloria shared in the first season was completely abandoned in this one. There are no shared stories at a café over margaritas. The revenge- and crime-driven narrative in this season makes the show dull and laborious, even though the runtime of each episode is hardly above forty-five minutes. The troubling part of the show is that people in this season are dying like flies, and there is absolutely no reaction from the local police. The grief that follows death is not addressed. Glorifying people getting away with crimes is a troubling message given to the audience. Another bothersome narrative is not addressing the trauma bonding and mental health issues the leads of the show might suffer from. Gloria is spiraling in this show, yet there is no indication that she might be suffering from PTSD after the untimely death of her oldest son.
Gloria trying to find her deceased son in her grandchild Nico while Mariana finds comfort in Felipe’s company is a pattern that was seen in mother and daughter, which should have been addressed as problematic instead of glorifying their respective relationships. The mental health topic is only covered under Blanca’s arc, and it is convincingly done. There are plenty of plot holes in this season, and many of them have not been addressed and not given a decent conclusion.
A lot of intimate scenes have been added to titillate the audience. There are way too many characters in the films with aliases that convolute the storytelling further. Parenthood is on steroids this season, as many adults in this show get away with crimes in the name of protecting their children from harm. The justification is glorified to the extent that it becomes an important part of the entire show. The ending was predictable and suffocating, as the audience could not wait for the ordeal to come to a close.
The direction of the film suffers because of the confusing narrative, the unconvincing character development and arcs, and a screenplay that was not put together in the right way. The directors could not hold the show together, and everything fell apart like a house of cards. The editing of this season, just like the previous one, was all over the place. There is nothing that connects the dots between the flashback sequences and the current timeline. The show is set between the years of 1998 and 2000 but there is no exact explanation as to why was Holy Family set in that timeline. The performances of the actors are abysmal, and flat, and generate no emotions throughout the runtime of the entire show. Not one performance left a lasting impression. Overall, season two of Holy Family was a bland affair that was carried over to this installment from the first one.