After over a year of waiting, fans of the anticipated Netflix original series, “Stranger Things,” were finally able to feast their eyes on the second season.
“Stranger Things” is a science-fiction series created, written and produced by the Duffer Brothers that takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind. during the 1980s.
The first season is set in November of 1983, when top secret researchers at the Hawkin’s National Laboratory open a portal to an alternate dimension called the “Upside Down” and let loose a monster, later nicknamed the “demogorgon.” The monster soon starts to cause havoc on the town of Hawkins, including abducting the young Will Byers.
This provokes the main characters to search for Will and try to see what’s stirring up trouble in their small town. His mother, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) teams up with the town’s police chief, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), to search for her son. At the same time, Will’s best friends, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas, set out on their own search for Will with the help of a psychokinetic girl called Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), who is on the run after escaping the Hawkins Laboratory. Meanwhile, Mike’s older sister, Nancy (Natalia Dyer), enlists the help of Will’s elder brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), in search of Barb (Shannon Purser), her best friend who was also taken by the monster.
Taking place a year later, the second season starts off in October of 1984 as the main characters struggle with returning to normalcy, dealing with the aftermath of the previous, traumatizing events. As much as they all try to feel a sense of order, there are still many unanswered questions about the monster, the lab and even Eleven, who disappeared at the end of the previous season.
The main focal part is around Will, who, after being rescued from the “Upside Down” is starting to experience traumatic “episodes” or, basically, violent visions which take him back to the world he desperately tried to escape from. Besides trying to figure out what Will is going through, Mike is also seen taking Eleven’s disappearance hard while Nancy is trying to understand what happened to Barb and desperately wants to give her the justice she deserves.
However, as they try to cope with these past events, the main characters only seem to find themselves rooting to a deeper and bigger problem. With new characters, such as “cool girl” Max (Sadie Sink), and the new “shadow monster” stirring up trouble — Hawkins seems to be in more danger than before and it’s up to the main characters to understand what’s happening while also battling their own demons.
In a review by the Atlantic, this season has taken a much more darker approach than the last. The show’s first season paid homage to many 80s movies, mostly those by Stephen Spielberg, with a main focus on a group of kids going on a supernatural-paranormal adventure in search of their missing friend. Although it did have it’s dark moments, season one was lighter and more adventurous. However, this new season has taken a different 80s approach. Inspired by Stephen King, “Stranger Things” has upped it’s horror with things like the new chilling incidents within Hawkins and the disturbing episodes Will’s been experiencing.
Expanding further on this point, it was the right move to make that this show took a more serious tone. After all the traumatic events the main characters went through it’s only natural for them to go down much more of a dark route. What’s important about any sort of plot or story line is to make your characters as human as possible, so when someone goes through something like the death of a friend, a writer needs to demonstrate the emotions and experiences a person might go through in trying to live through something like that.
This sort of realism also adds to the character’s development, which I believe attracts the viewers more. Through something like this, especially in season two, the viewers get to know the characters much better and grow to love them even more. For example, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), the boyfriend of Nancy, has been getting a lot of positive feedback on social media as he went from a trouble-making antagonist to one of the shows most well-liked characters. I believe that the Duffer Brothers did a good job in portraying this as they stay true to their characters and the plot.
Just in time for Halloween, this thrilling second season of “Stranger Things” will not disappoint as viewers watch their favorite group of kids try to save their world, yet again, in an exciting new adventure.