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Stranger Than Before

Courtesy of Netflix

Courtesy of Netflix

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Demo-dogs, the Upside Down, and good old Eleven. These are just a few words that immediately stand out to anyone who is an avid watcher of “Stranger Things.” Season 2 of the immensely popular show debuted Oct. 27, and fans went crazy as they awaited the countdown.

The Duffer Brothers, who created, wrote, and directed the show, took the world by storm when the first season of “Stranger Things” appeared on Netflix in mid-July 2016. The show completely swept the awards at the Emmys that year and it was the conversation topic no one could avoid.

Season 2 picks up roughly a year after we last saw the small town of Hawkins, Ind. Last season dealt with the disappearance of Will Byers, and this season followed the repercussions of saving Will from the Upside Down. People also finally realize that Barb’s disappearance is a big deal, and we get a look into the backstory of Eleven.

Bob Newby, played by Sean Astin, is a new character added to the plot this year. He is known as Winona Ryder’s character Joyce Byers’s boyfriend and also the manager at the local RadioShack in town. (Remember, this is the 80s so RadioShack still existed.) He also tries to take on the role of the father figure for Will and Jonathan to help bond them closer as a family and ultimately comes as the wild card for the whole show.

Bob is not the only new character though; there is also Max Mayfield, a girl who recently moved to Hawkins and causes tension in the original group due to Dustin’s and Lucas’s crushes on her and her own independent nature. Max finds herself getting into the middle of a nightmare she never expected by making friends with Lucas, Daniel, Will, and Mike.

Max’s older step-brother, Billy Hargrove, is less thrilled about it than anyone though. Billy starts to add new tension to the show by challenging Steve Harrington for not only his popularity in school but also for harassing Max and her friends.

Steve is also promoted from a minor character to a leading character in season 2, showing his more vulnerable side and care for  Nancy and her brother, Mike, and his friends. Mike, for most of the show, tends to be a moody pre-teen, moping about the loss of Eleven, but he finds himself being the one doing the most out of his friends to help save Will once again.

Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve still have a weird love triangle occurring throughout the second season that is a little bit too much to go along with the basics of the story. Plus, the moment you feel bad for Jonathan you immediately feel bad for Steve, and vice-versa.

Jim Hopper also returns to Season 2 with much more pressing issues—really turning into a part of the “Stranger Things” family, literally. And lastly, the parents—all except for Joyce— really do not seem to care or know where their kids are ever.

This season is filled with the same energy and excitement that Season 1 had. With more character development and the Upside Down meshing into the real world, old faces and new come together once again save Will Byers.

The filming of the show is done wonderfully, keeping the audience on edge and captivated by what will occur next. The visual effects used to create the Upside Down and Demodogs is of an outstanding quality that is far too good for just a television series. And to add to the overall effects, the soundtrack for the show was perfect, tying in retro 80s hits with great suspenseful music that was made specifically for the show.  

Overall, the show lived up to the hype that came with it, which is usually hard to do with a sequel or second season. “Stranger Things” was really able to deliver a full package to fulfill the craving needs fans had for the unique town of Hawkins. Even though the last clip in season two set the show up for a third season, it may worry fans how much they will try to stretch the show out and lose the overall quality that comes with it.

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