Stranger Things Returns to Continue the Excitement with Season 2
by Alex Perman
Since its initial release, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has gathered an immense following. Whether it was the retro references paying homage to 1980s culture, or the lovable and geeky characters, the show had something for everyone. The pure dedication of the Duffer brothers, the show’s creators, resulted in the beginning of a successful franchise.
The first season left many lingering questions, leaving fans in great anticipation for the second season’s October 27 release date. The season’s release was purposely timed to coincide with Halloween, a great move on the creators’ part, allowing fans to incorporate the spookiness of “Stranger Things” with their Halloween festivities. As the time for its release drew near, the hype grew dramatically, as fans everywhere settled in to continue the adventure.
What is “Stranger Things” about? Simply put, it is a suspenseful tale about friendship, love, and the endless struggle between good and evil. In season two, the show added a layer of depth to the characters, and expanded the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, where the show takes place, into something much larger. Season two solves many of the mysteries from season one and opens the door for theories and speculation for how the show’s next chapter will play out.
Like the first season, the show follows Dustin (Gaten Marazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and their friend Will (Noah Schnapp), who was once trapped in the Upside Down. The last scene of season one shows viewers that Will has not been completely set free from the Upside Down. In season two, the group soon learns of the effects that the evil place has left on him.
Season two shifts the focus from one of the main protagonists of the first season, Mike, to a broader emphasis on the entire friend group. This change makes for a more enjoyable viewing experience, as it gives more information about each character’s personal backstory and ambitions. Particularly, the show shines more spotlight on a major character from the first season, Eleven, as she discovers secrets of her past and receives a well-earned, solid character arc. Will’s mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder), her son, Jonathan, Officer Hopper, Steve, Nancy, and the rest of the characters also play a major role in season two, as the show goes back and forth following each of their stories.
To add to the cast of characters that viewers have come to know and love, season two introduces a few new characters who make an excellent addition to the show. One of those new characters, a girl named Max, joins the boys in their quest to stop the show’s main villain, the “Shadow Monster.”
Season two does an outstanding job of taking everything great about the first season and building on it to create an enjoyable, overarching story that delves into each character’s own history. The cinematography and acting combine to make an extremely entertaining viewing experience. Each episode feels like its own story, as they all lead up to the finale, where everything comes together. Despite the season being only nine episodes long, the quality of each chapter is exceptional.
Of course, the show is not without its flaws. Without going into too much detail, one minor issue with the new season is that certain characters do not get as much attention, while some others are featured too frequently. Additionally, one of the characters felt unnecessary to the progression of the overall story and seemed like more of a dull subplot.
If you have already seen and enjoyed the first season of “Stranger Things,” then you will assuredly love the second season even more because of its new additions in the form of new characters, a more fascinating story, and the secrets within the small town of Hawkins.