Shove that feeling of dreadfeel aside and embrace your own joythoughts—these are the sorts of things they say on Moonhaven, is the joke we’re making here—because AMC+ has granted a second season to its sci-fi mystery show.
Created by Peter Ocko (previously of Lodge 49 and Black Sails), Moonhaven has a premise that’s both a) fascinating, and b) a bit of a mouthful, so strap in: In the semi-distant future, humanity is on its last legs when it decides to send a small colony of people to the moon to live for a century or so, thriving under the guidance of a benevolent artificial intelligence in the hopes of creating a technological utopia that can then be imported back to our dying world. The series picks up shortly before the first generation of these space hippies and their magical machines are set to return to Earth to spread the wealth/free water—plans that are disrupted when a woman is found murdered in the midst of paradise. An investigation between an empathetic moon cop (Dominic Monaghan) and a cynical survivor Earther (Emma McDonald) reveals the intricacies of Moonhaven’s society, and the rifts hiding beneath its verdant terraformed surface.
So, yeah: That’s kind of a lot. But really, Moonhaven is just well-made sci-fi of the old-school—a buddy cop mystery in the vein of the old Isaac Asimov Robot books, exploring a society by sending two detectives to poke into its darkest corners. It’s also apparently been a hit for the nascent streaming service, making a small move to transform it into something more than “that thing we pay for so we can stream Better Call Saul.” Per a press release, Moonhaven’s six episodes are the most watched exclusive show on the service, and the second-most watched new series, after Dark Winds.
To all of which, we say: Right on. Moonhaven isn’t perfect—you’re going to have to get through a lot of moon hippie slang, and Joe Manganiello is giving a performance we can only sum up as “silly”—but it’s a smart, mostly well-performed spin on some old sci-fi tropes. We’re happy to see it get another run.