Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Netflix releases second season of “Stranger Things”

Desi LaPoole
A&E Editor

Almost a year after its season one debut, Netflix released the second season of its hit show “Stranger Things” last week, Oct. 27. Before we talk about anything else regarding this new season, let’s answer the question that’s on every fan’s mind: “Is the second season any good?” Well, of course it is. The Duffer Brothers, writers and directors of “Stranger Things,” created a show that incorporates mystery, adventure and horror all while being saturated in 80’s nostalgia.

These themes are central to the show, and season two would not be complete without them. However, where season two deviates from the first season is in its structure. Season one excelled in slowly teasing out information, building suspense and raising a new question with every one it answered. With characters already fleshed out and the world of “Stranger Things” built, there’s a lot less for season two to tease the audience with.

As might be expected, a lot of the plot devices from the previous season are rehashed in this installment of the show. Without getting into too many details, there are times where it feels like scenes and dialogues are too familiar for comfort or are just simply there to fill up run time. There’s an entire episode that removes itself entirely from Hawkins and feels like it takes a hard left turn from the series as a whole (if you’ve already seen the season you probably know what I’m talking about).

This isn’t to say that the new season is any less interesting or captivating than the first. Season two builds upon the information we already know about the town of Hawkins, the characters and the Upside Down throughout its episodes. Specifically, this season takes the characters down new avenues of development and self discovery that we didn’t get in the chaos of the first season. Main characters are given less screen time, allowing supporting characters from the first season take a more prominent role in the show. For example, Dustin and Lucas have taken more of the limelight as their actions will have a more direct effect on the overarching storyline than they did in the first season, whereas Mike is seen mostly at Will’s side as more of a supporting character.

We also see the characters move around in new relationships and dynamics that are as refreshing as they are entertaining. Dustin forms a bond with Steve, Joyce Byers has a boyfriend and there’s a new member of the kids’ party. These relationships open the doorway to explore more of the characters’ emotional side as these new bonds open old wounds while healing them as well.

I’m new to the “Stranger Things” fandom — I binge watched the entire series this weekend — so I have not yet had the opportunity to mull over the ins and outs of the show. However, I now understand all the hype. “Stranger Things” is a show that has something for everyone, whether it be romance, teen angst or even a little comedy. It’s a show that can leave you wanting to return to the 80’s even if you were born almost a decade later. Netflix struck gold with this show, and with its second season it continues to be a must-watch series.

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