‘Underground’ season 2 reviews: WGN America’s historical drama is ‘thrilling’ & ‘audacious’ according to critics

WGN America’s “Underground,” about the fight for freedom for American slaves along the Underground Railroad, returned for its second season on March 8. Critics have had their say, and they’ve enthusiastically gotten behind this historical drama. It has scored an impressive 79 on MetaCritic based on four reviews, which are uniformly admiring.

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Jurnee Smollett-Bell stars as Rosalee, a sheltered young woman who finds her inner grit when she escapes slavery for freedom in the North. This season the show also adds to the cast real-life Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman, played by Aisha Hinds. But the series is not just a history lesson. It’s “thrilling” historical fiction according to critics, “at turns poignant, heartbreaking, suspenseful and, dare I say, sexy.” It has the “electricity of a heist film” and “plot swerves right out ’24,'” while also having “intentional echoes in modern feminism and Black Lives Matter advocacy.”

What did you think of the return of “Underground”? Is it as thrilling as the critics say it is? Check out some of the reviews below and join the discussion with your fellow TV fans in our forums.

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Bethonie Butler (Washington Post): “‘Underground,’ WGN America’s thrilling slavery-era drama, begins its second season Wednesday with a heightened sense of urgency … It’s well-informed by historical research, but it’s also entertainment — at turns poignant, heartbreaking, suspenseful and, dare I say, sexy.”

Melanie McFarland (Salon): “‘Underground’ dares to infuse its slavery narrative with the electricity of a heist film set to a hip-hop soundtrack, courtesy of its executive producer John Legend and co-composers Raphael Saadiq and Laura Karpman … But if season one felt timely and relevant, the second season feels even more so.”

‘Underground’ season 2 preview at New York Comic Con: This is ‘the story of our Justice League’

Daniel Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter): “‘Underground’ remains most notable for its great versatility … It’s a series of fun and harrowing historical tidbits, from abolitionist-society passwords to distressing strategies to induce miscarriages. It’s a fiercely political show with intentional echoes in modern feminism and Black Lives Matter advocacy and an ensemble of multi-dimensional roles almost all for women and people of color.”

Mark Perigard (Boston Herald): “The second season of WGN’s slaves-on-the-run saga shows no signs of sophomore slump. It’s just as audacious as ever, combining American history (the Underground Railroad) with plot swerves right out ’24.'”

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