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Stranger Things 2: Worth the Hype?

Drawing inspiration from iconic 1980s culture, “Stranger Things” transcends modern media, capturing the attention of journalists and Netflix viewers alike.

October 27 marks the release of the popular show’s second season. The release created a media current full of suspense and thrill.

Certain choices from the directors, the Duffer brothers, left the audience in a state of confusion, but the second season , and did not disappoint in progressing the sci-fi drama’s plot through character development.
The writers did an excellent job of introducing the heart and soul of the show through the characterization of the kids in the first season focused on introducing the personality of the show by way of the kids. The kids of “Stranger Things” have become phenomenons, and for good reason. Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Finn Wolfhard (Eleven, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and Mike) reprised their roles wonderfully.

Up until episode seven, Eleven is on a journey of self-discovery after leaving Hopper and their cabin, Will suffers episodes and flashbacks from the Upside Down, Max and the other boys attempt to make sense of these episodes, Nancy and Jonathan seek answers about Barb and the Upside Down, and Joyce (Winona Ryder) does what she does best, panic.

Eleven is the most obvious example of a character who grew massively in this season. She began the season isolated, and longing to see Mike. While she still missed Mike, she learned how to channel her abilities, and how to use them for good. Her ability to communicate emotions also changed greatly from season one, and pulled at the heartstrings of every viewer with a soul.

In episode seven, Eleven ventures on her own to Chicago to meet her “sister,” Kali, a human experiment from Hawkins Lab. There are no other main characters in this episode, and it is frustrating. Kali’s gang is full of cartoonish characters, with no clear purpose. Eleven does develop in this episode, but it is questionable whether this method was necessary to the story.

Eleven’s relationship with Hopper (David Harbour) did the same. Hopper had many emotional moments in this season, forcing his development as well. The pseudo-father daughter relationship between he and Eleven is so heartbreaking, it leaves the viewer longing for resolution. Luckily for Stranger Things fans, they are awarded that resolution in a touching exchange at the end of the season.

While all of the characters endure an incredible amount this season, and grow from that, Steve came into his own in a way that is unmatched by any of the older characters. He is thrown into the conflict, similar to the previous season, and steps up into a protective role. This is very surprising compared to the selfish and conceited Steve from the beginning of the series.

It is easy to interpret the character of Billy as Steve’s foil; however, such an explanation is far oversimplified. Although on the surface Billy seems to be an overdone, annoying, and pointless antagonist, the Duffer brothers do take the time to give he and his younger sister, Max, depth in character. The first time the audience sees their parents, it is hard to breathe. The suspense and the emotion shown in that scene is electric, prompting many questions as to the necessity of this intense scene.

With all of the good, there are still moments where this season fell short. Episode seven is the most glaring example of that. “Stranger Things” is superior to most other TV shows at the moment. It incorporates masterful storytelling, complex character arcs, and strategic humor to create a work of art. Because of this, fans hold the series to a higher standard than episode seven. Fans of this iconic series hope that the Duffer brothers will learn from their mistakes, and create and even better product for season three.

Stranger Things 2 – 4.25/5 Vikings

 

Image source: strangerthings.wikia.com