Stranger Things Season 2 Returns Stronger Than Ever

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The official Stranger Things Season 2 poster.

    Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things’ creators, made a name for themselves after releasing the first season in July of 2016. With a developed cult following and Netflix financially supporting their endeavors, expectations for season two were through the roof.

      With exceptional production value, the brothers spared no expense of the $8 million budget per episode. The nostalgia of the 80s soundtrack, clothing, and hair provided the perfect set design for the season.

Each character has gone through noticeable changes. The young actors return stronger and more mature with noticeable screen chemistry. Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) is finally reunited with his friends and life seems to be somewhat normal once again. His best friends Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb Mclaughlin), and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) are more profane than in the previous season, making them more enjoyable to watch.

           Set in October 1984, roughly a year after the first season, we return to the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Will Byers begins to experience episodes where he imagines returning to “The Upside Down”. Watching Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) struggle with her son like she did the first season is very emotional and upsetting after what she has already endured. Her new boyfriend Bob Newby (Sean Astin) helps her through the tough times and offers support.  

Brand new characters Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery), and Bob Newby introduce a new dynamic to the show by offering more obstacles and friendships for the characters. Max joins the boys in their mission to help Will, but Mike is not on board, believing that nobody can replace Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), who is presumed to have been dead since the last season. Mike’s negative behavior towards Max and sometimes his best friends made him out to be an even more dislikable character than he already was.

Another upsetting thing was the unwanted relationship between Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), Mike’s older sister, and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), Will’s older brother. The relationship seemed a bit forced with Jonathan and it made for an uncomfortable love scene. Steve proved that he was responsible and caring, but not in time for Nancy to realize before she ended their relationship.

         Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) delivered a phenomenal performance alongside his co-stars. Harbour made use of his screen time and had amazing chemistry with Eleven as he took on the role as her new guardian. As flashbacks show Hopper raising Eleven over the past year, viewers can imagine him as the dad he would’ve been to his deceased daughter.

       Season two of Stranger Things was well worth the wait, even though it went by too quickly. The Duffer brothers exceeded expectations, but there is a fine line that separates original content and cliché science fiction. Hopefully they don’t cross that line and keep it as fresh as the first two seasons.