Lost in Space returns to Netflix just in time for the holiday season on December 24, and that's no coincidence.
The second season of the Robinson family's adventure in outer space is even more focused on togetherness and the meaning of family than ever before.
Each daring escapade that comes their way reinforces that they're stronger together than they would ever be apart.
It's no wonder that so many people they meet along the way want to stand with them. The Robinsons are an inspiration to others to be better.
Nothing about Lost In Space is divisive, and no venture is too frightening that the entire family cannot enjoy.
The Robinsons represent the best in all of us, even when we're not at our best.
Because yes, the family faces challenges within their relationship as often as they do from outside, even alien forces.
What makes the show work and such a pleasure to watch is that no matter what danger they face or how they might get it wrong before getting it right, they always prevail.
While a lot of shows of this nature leave you hanging on the edge of your seat in fear that something might happen to the characters you love, Lost In Space offers a perilous journey that seems to be safe from inconsolable and unexpected loss.
It's not whether they will make it through but how they will come together to do it and what ingenious ideas will flow once they get into survival mode.
Picking up seven months after the first season, we find the group stuck on a rather unwelcome planet but living somewhat normally until something unexpected causes an urgent need to get on their way again.
The new season dives into what the Robinsons do best very early and viewers get treated to emotionally charged, awe-inspiring scenes that set the tone for what's to come.
It's no secret that The Robot is missing and Will Robinson longs for them to be reunited with his friend, and the extended journey to that reunion is well worth the time, especially since the Robinsons are not alone in their travels with Dr. Smith and Don West on board.
Even if they wanted to, it would be hard for the Robinsons to think of nobody but themselves, so their decisions with regard to the others and The Robot says a lot about the nature of the family as a whole.
And their initiative has not wavered -- they want to find the Resolute and join forces as they all set off for their new lives on Alpha Centauri. And Will's insistence on finding The Robot after the big reveal at the end of Lost In Space Season 1 is a great cause for concern.
But while the show is somewhat black and white in who is evil and good, it's The Robot, Dr. Smith, and West that offer varying shades of gray with surprising arcs and growth.
Several of the characters get more fully fleshed out during the season.
Penny suffers growing pains in her teenage years that a space adventure only makes more difficult. She's uncertain of her place within the family (as any middle child is), and yearns to contribute in a meaningful way.
We get to know more of Judy's backstory with references to her birth father and why she's so driven to succeed and grow up probably well before she should have to.
Will is not only physically growing, but gaining confidence as he matures thanks in part to his connection to The Robot.
There is even an episode offering more insight into Dr. Smith, a character difficult to understand on the surface but bubbling with enigmatic qualities that keep the Robinsons and viewers on their toes.
The cast remains intact with Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Mina Sundwall, Ignacio Serricchio, and Parker Posey all suited up and ready for action.
The cast grows once again when the Robinsons inevitably find their fellow survivors again. While a lot of the show feels familiar and not far from the action and emotional arcs of the previous season, there is something to say for that level of comfort.
It's a family show, after all, and it never feels the need to push boundaries past what younger viewers can safely watch. But it still provides stimulation with the inventive nature of the survivors and the larger discussions that almost reach political levels.
It's when others assume that the Robinsons won't triumph that Lost In Space can drag a little bit, but it doesn't last for long.
There is enough excitement paced well within the season that it's never a chore getting from one episode to the next, it's just a pleasure.
Fun bits include how the castaways celebrate Christmas and an episode that lightly pays homage to Doctor Who's Weeping Angels.
Netflix's Lost In Space might not follow the same formula as the original from the 1960s, but the spirit remains. And with only two seasons, the hope would be that Netflix assesses the market and the increasing competition to give this series some serious breathing room.
Each season so far has felt like a chapter in a larger story, and the second season does its best to shake the narrative before the curtain falls.
One thing is certain at that point -- there is no going back for the Robinsons, and we're eager to take the thrilling ride through space with them to the end.
Lost In Space drops on Netlfix December 24, 2019.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.