Thoughts and Feels
4.81 out of 5 Stars
Wow. Just wow. I jumped on the Stranger Things bandwagon a little late in the game, but I am so glad that I did. I watched season one about half a year ago I believe, and I just got around to watching season two the other day. This is because while I like season 1, I didn't love it. However, I really loved season 2. I'm honestly going to rewatch the entire thing because I loved it that much and I can't imagine watching anything else at the moment.
Part of what I really love about the show is the "stranger" element of it and how while it is still odd and other, it also involves some legitimate basic-science-theory-stuff that is still unknown to this day. What I mean by that is this unknown aspect of our universe and if we are alone in it and/or if there are other universes out there, either parallel to ours (alternate endings sort of thing) or next to ours (more like Stranger Things and the Upside Down). I'm a huge nerd for physics, so anything even remotely related to it, I'm almost guaranteed to love. But what is also fantastic about the show is the originality of the exploration of this other realm. We really get to see a lot more of this in this season too, which was nothing but incredible.
I'll talk about the main kiddos next, but before that, I love how the characters of Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan have all evolved, both individually and in their relationships with each other. I do ship Jancy, although it almost breaks my heart to say that because Steve ended up being a good guy and you can tell that he does love Nancy. It hurts to see him put to the side, even as I'm rejoicing about Nancy and Jonathan finally having their shot. They all were given enough screen time, and importantly, enough quality screen time, to grow and get insights into who they are and who they are becoming as they finish up their later years of high school.
The other kiddos are all just so fantastic as well. Mike was slightly annoying at the beginning of the season, but I think it also fits his character for him to be that way given that Eleven was gone and he was no longer playing hero. What I really appreciated though was, again, more quality screen time with some of the other characters. We get to see their families for crying out loud! That was amazing! And of course, we get to see Will have actual lines and scenes in this season which was disorienting at first, but then it rounded out the foursome perfectly.
Looking at the show as a whole in terms of plot, clearly, the Mind Flayer is still an issue. Yes, all those other little creatures and minions are going to crop up too- and I hope there are new species that we see- but the Mind Flayer seems to be central to the Upside Down and in charge over there. From the bits and pieces of rumors floating around, I believe there are going to be four seasons in total? I think I read the Duffer brothers saying that somewhere? This means that season 3 may not be the best. Let me explain. Season 1 in the grand scheme of things is sort of like the prologue. What we saw in season 2 was really the beginning and discovery of the larger issue (the Mind Flayer). The fourth season will have to wrap everything up. What's left for season 3 then is pure development, of the characters too, but more importantly, the plot and motivation of the Mind Flayer. This doesn't mean it will be bad, but thinking of other series, either book, movie, or television, the middle ones tend not to reach the bar like the others do. However, a good middle step can establish a fantastic starting point for a phenomenal ending, so it all works out in the end.
This review would not be complete without bringing up the actors. My word, they are all great. From what I've heard on interviews and such, Millie Bobby Brown is some sort of natural with this stuff and you can tell when you watch the show. The role takes on a life of its own and it is a rare show that has the effect where you stop thinking about life in reality, oh-this-is-fake, how they made certain shots, or pretty much anything else that would ruin the suspension of disbelief. But it seems to me that all of the actors do this. There is not a single character on this show that seems to be acted out. Winona Ryder, Gaten Matarazzo, Natalia Dyer, Caleb McLoughlin, David Harbour... I could keep going. But the point is that they all do such a great job and they put together these scenes that have been brilliantly written by the Duffer brothers in a way that seals the deal on this being an incredible show and second season.
Last but not least, the music and scoring of this season creeped me out to no end. Not so much the eighties music, because those were just so perfectly timed with what was happening on screen, but the scoring and the title sequence. I'm not going to lie, I'm not a fan of this era of music, so I didn't really get thrilled by any of the normal songs, except for like "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go." I like those two- the others, eh. But going back to the sound effects and instrumental stuff, I think that was what really made the show that next level of superb creepiness and a thriller for me. There are a lot of moments that are not scary, which is great for me. But they drop that feeling which is needed in other points of the show. The music ties it all back together though and it hits you in the gut. I started to get creeped out enough by the title sequence where I wasn't watching it toward the end of the season. I would hit the "Skip Intro" that Netflix offers.
There are probably dozens of other points that I could talk about, but these are the ones that I felt most driven to bring up. I would love to talk about Stranger Things even more though and I am extremely looking forward to the next season. I don't believe there is a release date out for it yet, but there is a teaser "advertisement" for Hawkins that shows Steve working at the mall and, if I'm remembering correctly, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) is signed up for this next season as well. All of this is making completely psyched for the next season and I cannot wait for it to be here.
Thanks for reading!