The wait for the much anticipated second season of the phenomenal Netflix original, Stranger Things, is no more. With the addition of new characters, more exposition, and even more mystery than before, season two is an absolute thrill to watch.
The biggest barrier season two had to face was reaching the standard of quality that season one had set. Season two’s challenge was delivering quality to the initial impression left by season one and going above and beyond it. In all honesty, I think season two ranks just below season one.
This season wastes no time introducing new characters. Although their introductions may come off as sudden, their chemistry with the other characters feels very authentic. The most stand-out character is Max. Sadie Sink, who plays Max, does an outstanding job with her performance and Max fits perfectly with the main cast. Bob, played by Sean Austin, also shares a believable chemistry with Joyce and drives the plot to a certain extent.
The weakest character though has to be Billy, played by Dacre Montgomery, who received the least screen time and had the least character development. Although he received some character development, he still rubs off a bit too much like a one-dimensional villain.
Its story this season follows a similar arc from the last but brings plenty of new surprises. It’s biggest change is the new dynamic with the villain. Rather than feature one eminent threat like in season one, this one features multiple threats—with the pack of demodogs and the mysterious monster. This season also raises the stakes and gives a little bit more information on the character’s back stories—especially Eleven. However, there wasn’t as much further explanation about the Upside Down as I had anticipated.
Even with all the praise, there are several criticisms that put season two below the first, the biggest being episode seven. It was the most experimental episode with lots of potential but sadly was by far the weakest episode in the entire series (including season one). It interrupted the story, shifted the tone, and didn’t add almost anything to the overall story. The episode felt like filler, which isn’t what you want when the previous one leaves you on a much more interesting cliffhanger. That said, certain parts of the episode are entertaining to watch and the dynamic Eleven and Kali (Eight) share is interesting, but the positives don’t redeem it.
The other criticism is with what the writers chose to do with Eleven. The best parts of season one was seeing her character interact with the others but this season took a different approach with her. They chose to have her spend the entire season either alone or with very few characters. In fact, she didn’t reunite with the other characters until the very last episode. It felt like main cast was missing something.
Overall, Stranger Things season two was able to bring an excellent follow-up story to an already great story. The positives very much outweighs the negatives and it makes it a pleasant watch that I would definitely recommend.
***QUOTES THAT GO WITH PICTURES I SENT YOU***
“I like how well the characters were written and especially how they incorporated the 80’s time period”
-Breanna Zambrano (10)
“Stranger Things is a mixture of all kinds of genres like science fiction, comedy, a little romance just to make it perfect, and it’s an overall great show”
Yvette Gonzalez (11)
“The characters bring so much mystery to the show it makes it stranger. It’s a great show”