When it comes to books and movies, very rarely is a sequel able to top an original. Typically, the same is true of TV shows. “Stranger Things” is an exception to this rule.
One wouldn’t think to draw a connection between Dungeons and Dragons, a mysterious other world and a runaway experiment. The first season of “Stranger Things,” however, flawlessly linked these concepts, and the second season builds upon the foundation set by the first.
Fittingly, the season begins around the time of Halloween, with mystery and horror looming in the air. At a glance, the characters’ lives seem to have returned to normal, but we soon find out it’s anything but true.
Will, who was lost in the Upside Down for the majority of Season One, appears to be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder following his reintroduction to the real world. His mother, Joyce, is filled to the brim with worry as she watches her son battle episodes of slipping back into the Upside Down. As usual, she enacts her uncanny detective skills and motherly instincts to get to the bottom of what is going on with her youngest son.
Mike holds steadfast onto his love for Eleven, who mysteriously disintegrated after her battle with the monstrous Demogorgon in the first season’s finale. Hiding out in the tent he built for his lost love at the beginning of the previous season and relentlessly trying to contact her via walkie-talkie, it seems that Mike has lost everything but hope.
Dustin and Lucas seem to be less affected by the aftermath of the Upside Down. Rather than spending their time dwelling on the events of the previous year, both find romantic interest in the new girl at their school, the fiery redhead Max, whose step-brother leaves the audience with an unsettling feeling each time he appears on screen.
Adding to the abundance of young love plotlines in Season Two, Nancy vacillates between her feelings for Steve and Jonathan as she takes matters into her own hands and attempts to incriminate the scientists who are responsible for the death of her best friend, Barb.
The highly intellectual and intricate plotline of the second season of “Stranger Things” is incredibly captivating, continually tripping up viewers with plot twists they would have never seen coming. Despite that, the storyline, like any other, does get a little predictable here and there, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. But unlike other TV shows, the predictable nature of these subplots is a welcome change, one which allows the audience to breathe amid the fast-paced action of the larger plot.
Riddled with even more drama, mystery, and anticipation than the first season, the mind-twisting second season of “Stranger Things” leaves the audience with more questions than answers along with a burning desire to watch the third season as soon as possible. Netflix’s critically-acclaimed original series leaves viewers wanting more, wishing they hadn’t just watched all nine episodes in one sitting.
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