BINGE-WORTHY SHOW “STRANGER THINGS” SEASON 2 DOES NOT DISAPPOINT…
By Angelique Arintok, Staff Writer
Just a few days before Halloween, Netflix graced its viewers with a new season of its original creation “Stranger Things.” Ever since the first season’s release in 2016, the show has been critically acclaimed for its clever rendition of science fiction merged with thriller, as it takes place in Indiana circa the late 1970’s to 1980’s.
With many people having binge-watched the show since its release, the Mason populous surely included, the question comes about: “Is this season worth watching?” The short and long answer is YES. This season’s storyline was fresh and something never-before-seen, even when placed alongside the first season.
The main characters, such as Eleven, Will, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are still pertinent to the overall arc of the storyline. However, Eleven’s distance from the boys, as demonstrated in the previous season, plays a key role within the children’s dynamics this time around. It seems that the bonds have shifted, but the group still remains strong as a whole.
Each of the main characters has his or her own problem to tackle this season. Seeing the ways in which each child tries to independently and interdependently solve these issues result in some fairly chaotic and struggling scenes. Nevertheless, the genuine friendship shared among the main characters amplifies their strength against the tamest of bullies to the most perilous of creatures.
This edition of “Stranger Things” introduces some fresh faces. Newer characters such as Maxine, better referred to as Max, and her brother Billy add both conflict and spice to the existing relationships within the show. Max and Billy, new kids in town from California, are almost immediately introduced with no backstory. Max’s character, however, becomes more important later in the season. The lack of these characters’ backstories may confuse you at first, but it should not be something that distracts from the show’s main premise and storyline.
The introduction of a another new female character is also important to note. She is especially critical to Eleven’s the growth and development. Previously supporting characters took the stage in more active and integral roles in season two.
Officer Hopper, Joyce, Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, and a newer supporting character, Bob, all weave into the storyline as they each find ways to maneuver around the new challenges imposed by the “upside-down,” Will’s uneasiness and Eleven’s internal and external battle regarding her powers. Putting the so-called “smaller” characters into the limelight magnifies the intensity of certain situations. The strength Officer Hopper instills, the intellect Bob provides, and Joyce’s determination showcase the layered complexity of this season’s storyline.
With respect to those who have not seen season 2 yet, we have maintained a degree of ambiguity so far. However, the details are just too intriguing not to discuss. So, please be warned that SPOILER ALERTS are to follow.
All the episodes are action packed. Even though Max had a rocky start with the boys, her growing affection towards Lucas embodies a coming-of-age story. Similarly, Eleven and Mike’s reunion brings about harbored feelings, and even results in a kiss that will leave you with a smile.
The introduction of Eleven’s sister, Eight also known as Kali, falls a little flat. Although Kali helps Eleven channel a stronger sense of her powers, her introduction into the story was abrupt and noncohesive. Kali and her gang may have been a setup for season three, but their inclusion in season two missed the mark.
What did not miss the mark, however, was Steve’s involvement with the kids this season. As he steps away from his dynamic with Nancy, his role as “babysitter” reveals him to be a kinder and more sympathetic character this time around. Steve and Dustin’s relationship, especially as they initially ward off the demo-dog, added humor and force to the storyline.
Finally, Will’s battle with the power of the “upside-down” was painful to witness. Although ultimately and thankfully defeated, Will’s battle led to the loss of a newer, yet beloved character Bob. The trending topic #JusticeforBob follows the same direction as when Barb exited the scene last season. The Duffer brothers, directors and creators of the series, have a way of pulling and tugging at their viewers’ heartstrings.
With all the hype about season two, season three is much awaited. But it is a long ways ahead. Perhaps it is better the Duffer brothers take their time, as the long wait did result in a strong and solid season two for the Netflix hit, “Stranger Things.”