I loaded up my iPad with watchables before we took off, including the second season of Foundation on Apple TV. I had mixed feelings about that, because I had hella mixed feelings about the first season.
I wasn’t a huge Asimov fanboi, butthurt about a faithless adaptation. I just didn’t think it was very good. I sort of liked Harry, and Salvor was badass. But after that I just didn’t care much about any of them.
The show runners have fessed up that they carried the dual burden of expectations and exposition in the first season, with David S Goyer confessing to The Verge that they just gave up and surrendered to the infodump.
Adaptations of big, complex books tend to start slow — and that’s usually because there’s just so much to explain. It was true of Game of Thrones and The Rings of Power, and it was especially true of Foundation on Apple TV Plus, which took Isaac Asimov’s novels and turned them into prestige television. With unusual concepts like psychohistory (a kind of math that can predict the future) and a genetic dynasty (a never-ending line of clone emperors who rule the galaxy), the first few episodes of season 1 were bogged down by exposition.
According to David S. Goyer, showrunner on Foundation, there really wasn’t a way to avoid that. “I felt like the first three episodes of season 1 were so exposition heavy, but — trust me — we tormented ourselves trying to figure out a way around it,” he explains. “We just decided, screw it, we have to explain this stuff and hope the audience is still around.”
So it’s a pleasure to report they solved all of those problems in season two. I’m not going to bother with any plot details or spoilers, but I will say that I enjoyed it so much I had to pinch myself a couple of times and ask whether it was the same series. The character arcs were much better defined, and more interesting. The heroes were heroic. The villains were villainous. The sfx are fantastic - worth turning on the big TV.