After over a year of waiting, the second season of “Stranger Things” came out in October. If you were like me and watched it there is probably a consensus: It’s awesome.
The first season was a surprise smash hit, making stars out of child actors Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp. It’s set in the 1980s, and movie and pop culture references abound in each episode.
I watched the first season after getting access to Netflix, and I fell in love. I like shows with a mystery element, and this one left many questions: “Where did Eleven go after the first season?”, “What did Will throw up?” and “Why did Nancy end up with Steve?” Thankfully, this season answers and resolves the big questions. (Mild spoilers ahead!)
First off is the amazing character development that Eleven and Hopper’s relationship showed. It highlighted Hopper’s vulnerability and established that even with supernatural powers, Eleven is a teenager with valid emotions. Hopper’s arc of being a father figure after the loss of his daughter, and Eleven discovering what home is, travelling from place to place, helped push the development needed for both of them.
We also have Nancy leaving with Jonathan on a trip to find justice for Barb and getting . This left Steve later paired up with Dustin, who was alone in his mission surrounding an interesting creature named Dart.
The connection between the two bring a great new perspective. Steve brings out his best against Billy, a villain who’s misogynism mimicked Steve’s which he overcame. This is best shown by how he treated his breakup with Nancy and respected her choices, and by how he took the kids under his wing. (Hand on hips, dishtowel over his shoulder? Iconic.)
The storytelling did not lag behind the character development. If last season’s star was Brown’s Eleven, this season’s was Schnapp’s Will Byers. Will goes through the season possessed by the shadow creature, and Schnapp’s performance displayed his talent at playing a compelling character. Winona Ryder continues playing Joyce Byers with a new partner: Bob Newby.
Bob Newby a sense of normality and stability to “Stranger Things.” He is a good example of a partner, one that doesn’t belittle Joyce or questions her reasonings but supports her family, sacrificing himself to save them.
His death reflects Barb’s, caught in a situation they became victims of, making their deaths more compelling and heartbreaking. They show the consequences of the show’s events, and the effects on people, from Barb’s parents to Joyce, grieving over their loss. Stranger Things shows that as a part of lives, something that may be skipped in other shows, where plot is placed over reality.
Overall, “Stranger Things” Season 2 meets the hype and demands of its fanbase, not solving every question, but acknowledging and allowing resolution in the future, like the mind flayer and its connection to the first season. Not only was I satisfied, it left me as excited for the next season as I felt after watching the first one. “Stranger Things” is a pinnacle of television that has, and will, continue to dominate its league in pop culture.
View Stranger Things on Netflix. Featured image courtesy of IMDb.