Whether you saw the twitter hashtags, read an article, or heard Becky in 3rd period raving, it’s been hard not to hear about the release of the popular show Stranger Things’s second season. For those who have never seen the show, the hype surrounding its release likely seems nothing short of manic, but after personally tuning into the season, I can say that the praise is well deserved. For those who haven’t seen the first season, a recap: in the mid-80’s, childhood friends Mike, Will, Lucas, and Dustin (played by Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo, respectively) get swept up in a sci-fi/horror mystery after Will goes missing. There’s mystery, monsters, and psychic abilities, and it’s definitely worth a watch before beginning season two. Stranger Things season two delivers all the mystery, character, and nostalgia of the first one at twice the volume.
One of the biggest compliments I have for the show is the engaging sense of mystery it brings. Each episode answers questions raised in the last, but for every question answered, three or four more arise. The constant feeding of information is addicting, and creates a constant sense of being on the cusp of mystery. This immerses the audience by putting them in the protagonists’ shoes, and creates a greater sense of connection with the show and characters. Just like the first season, the 80’s setting is very apparent. References to the period lay hidden in nearly every scene, and it’s clear that the creators of the show took great pleasure in putting together the show’s roaring rock and synthesizer soundtrack. When it comes to convincing, realistic character, this show has no shortage. Fan favorites like Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) return, while new faces like Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser) enhance the cast. The characters feel realistic and deep, and the actors’ performances only add to the immersion. Some standout performances for Will and Hopper really steal the show at times, which really helps the show feel like a real and established universe.
Without revealing too much, my verdict is simple. If you liked season one of Stranger Things, watch this season. If you were unsure about the first season, or are looking to get into the show, watch this season. Put simply, Stranger Things season two delivers more of everything enjoyable about the first season, and then some. This is something that fans new and old do not want to miss out on.