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“Stranger Things” season a must-watch for previous fans and newbies

Kellie Vedros, Reporter

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“Stranger Things” was a hit when it first aired on Netflix in 2016. A nod to  ’80s movies such as “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Ghostbusters,” “Stranger Things” took a cast of talented actors, including Winona Ryder, and created a series that felt very out-of-the-blue. Complete with mad scientists, monsters and magical powers, “Stranger Things” was the show that almost everyone was talking about.

 

It’s no surprise that the second season of “Stranger Things” was highly anticipated after the monster success of its first season. Season two arrived on Netflix on Oct. 27. Expectations were mounting, and season two did not disappoint.

 

Although it had a bit of a slow start, season two dynamically combines multiple storylines of the characters from the first season. Set in Iowa, this season takes place a year after the events of the first season. The original cast remains, and they seem to put even more effort into their roles than the first time around. Once again, the production team makes it obvious that this show takes place in the ’80s, but that it also stands alone against its predecessors actually filmed in the ’80s.

 

The storytelling is more extravagant than the previous season’s. Due to a higher budget after its original success, the “Stranger Things” team could go bigger this time. But instead of writing new conflicts into the plot, season two continues with the previous season’s issues.

 

The first episode wastes no time in establishing that season two is taking it up a notch. The episode opens with an action sequence that seems very out-of-place, but promises the audience that this time, “Stranger Things” means business. The season starts off slow in order to set up the story. After that, it rolls into action and viewers are kept glued to their seats in suspense. There are moments where the plot seems to stop and derail itself, but it always gets back on track eventually.

 

One major difference that occurs in season two: it takes on a more emotional tone with its characters. The kids are entering their preteen years and learning to cope with the stresses of that stage of life. Will (Noah Schnapp) has to deal with memories of his horrific past experiences in the Upside Down. Developing PTSD after his disappearance, Will gets a lot of plot attention and becomes the second most important character of the season. Schnapp brings Will’s character to life in an amazing performance throughout the season. The season also takes time to focus on the emotional relationship between Will and Joyce (Winona Ryder).

 

A real benefit for season two is that viewers are already invested in the lives of the characters. Of course people cheered when Jim Hopper (David Barbour) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) stepped back onto the scene. The introduction of new characters — Joyce’s new boyfriend Bob Newby (Sean Astin) and new girl on the block Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) — goes so smoothly that they fit right in with the old cast.

 

Stranger Things season two is bigger and better than before and viewers are in for a treat. It takes on a more melancholy tone to keep the story solid. Still paying homage to the ’80s, it continues its story by keeping its familiar material and adding a few sprinkles of something new. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’re new to the series and a must-watch if you’re a veteran of the series.

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“Stranger Things” season a must-watch for previous fans and newbies