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Even Stranger Things?

Stranger Things 2 Review Warning: Spoilers!

Grace West, Staff Writer

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I think I speak for everyone when I say we all wanted season 2 of Stranger Things as soon as we finished the first season.

 

The beginning of the second season blew everyone away, especially since we had confirmation that there was at least another kid to survive in the hands of Dr. Brenner, leading us to believe that there are more Hawkins Lab rats still out there. It slowly turned into yet another award-winning Stranger Things season, but with some slight controversies in the mix as well.

 

One of the most controversial things about season two is the infamous episode 7. No one knew whether to hate the sudden change in tone or to love it. In my opinion, it just seemed like a strange thing to do (no pun intended). Here you have the end of episode 6 where Hopper is looking down at the gate behind the glass waiting for the Demodogs to come out and kill everyone in the entire facility, then the next episode hits us with this super calm tone when we’re left on a cliffhanger!

 

But most of the fans aren’t even mad about the timing of the episode, most of the negativity is being thrown at the episode itself. Not only did it seem like an entirely different show, it was the most boring, overused trope ever! “A group of people who are rejected by society and are now getting revenge on the people who are even worse than them.” Sound familiar? Now if you made them ALL have powers, it would be an X-Men show. They even tried to hint at Dr. Brenner being alive, but it couldn’t make an impact on the audience because everyone was trying to figure out what was going on.

Another thing that bothered the audience was on how nothing felt resolved in this season. Yes, Eleven did close the gate, but that was about it. In the last shot of the last episode, we see the Mind Flayer hovering over the school, which screams “season 3 is coming” so much, that it only seems to make season 2 like a bridge from the first to the third season. On that note, everyone is complaining about the fact that this season doesn’t seem that important to the overall story. It really has a middle child tone to it that makes it seem only a pre-show compared to what the Duffer Brothers has up their sleeves for us in season three. If the Duffer brothers continue this pattern of holding back the good storylines for future seasons, we may see Netflix hesitate on giving the show next season confirmation so early.

 

Along with the returning characters we all know and love, there was also the addition of two new characters–Max and her brother, Billy.

 

“The dynamic between Max and her brother makes a new and interesting plot point to follow”, says junior Sydney Looper. “While Steve was a redeemable character, Billy is a bona fide thug, and gives the audience someone human to hate. It’s [also] really satisfying when he finally gets what’s comin’ to him.”

Another character that was thrown into the show this year was Bob, a person that Joyce went to Highschool with, and more importantly, her new love interest for the season. It was a little hard to adjust to him at first, but the Duffer Brothers made him a very loveable character with good intentions. But one of the of the most aggravating things about Bob was how he set himself up for death in episode 8. First, he forgot his gun when exiting the breaker room. Then, he knocked over the broom in the closet. And finally, he STOPPED whenever he was in the lobby of the building to stare at Joyce. It was one of the very few moments in the history of the show when you knew exactly what was going to happen.

And on that note, there were very many moments in the show that the audience knew what was going to happen before they even dropped a hint. Moments like Dustin’s cat getting eaten, Dart becoming a Demogorgon, and yes, even Bob’s death.

 

But there are many more good things to say about this season than there are bad.

 

Everything from the baby Demogorgon, to the new human antagonist Billy, and even the Father/Daughter relationship Hopper had with Eleven.

One of the main reasons for the success of the show is that it exerts both original and nostalgic material at the same time, and one doesn’t overpower the other. A way that Stranger Things accomplishes this is through the soundtrack and score. All of the music from both seasons are composed and performed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein (members of the: SURVIVE), who specialize in Electronic or “Synthwave” music, which is what gives the series that scary, nostalgic score.

 

We got involved really early before they had even cast anyone,” said Dixon. “And they used the demo that we’d sent to play [at] the auditions, which kind of helped them decide, you know, whether or not they wanted to use us and I think it may have also dictated who they cast for some of the characters. So, that was cool.”

 

And speaking of the cast, everyone who we saw in the first season came back for another, and are all confirmed for at least two more. Some of the favorites include Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Eleven, Joyce, and even Will.

 

Since Noah Schnapp (Will Beyers) didn’t get much screentime in the first season, he had the opportunity to truly show off his acting skills in this season. Anytime he was onscreen, it was so captivating on how real Schnapps’ acting was, especially for his age of 13 when the season was being filmed. The young actor said that he watched videos and read old myths and stories about people who have been possessed so that he could apply those gestures and movements to his character. And it sure paid off!

As well as the fantastic acting from all of the cast members, there were many dynamic duos that made up what is the second season of Stranger Things. Duos like Hopper and El, Jonathan and Nancy, and even Lucas and Max made the cut and were scripted from the beginning of filming. But there was one team of characters that formed during the filming process…

The unlikely pairing of Dustin and Steve in the season came as a surprise to almost everyone, even the writers and directors! The cast has confirmed this in ‘Beyond Stranger Things’ (now streaming on Netflix) about how Dustin and Steve’s friendship wasn’t originally scripted.

“It wasn’t planned — it was something we discovered,” said Matt Duffer.” And yet it turned out to be the starting point for one of the best pairings on the two existing seasons of Stranger Things.”

 

But fans of the show have somewhat of a wait for season 3, considering that the writers for the show have only been in the writing room for two days according to the Duffer Brothers on the October premiere. Even they don’t know what is going to happen yet!

 

But even with the release date so far away, there are a few things we do know about season 3 from interviews with the cast and the Directors:

 

  • There will be another time jump since the kids are getting older.
  • Dr. Brenner will eventually return.
  • There will be more kids like Eleven.

 

Things keep only getting “stranger” in Hawkins, Indiana, but only time will tell if the show will remain topical and fresh even with no new seasons for quite some time.

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