When I watched Season 1 of Stranger Things last year, I had no clue that I would love it as much as I did. Episode one hooked me right away and I binged all 8 episodes within the blink of an eye. Waiting for Season 2 seemed like a lifetime, but it was completely worth the wait. Stranger Things 2 turned my world upside down and I can’t stop thinking about it!
The Duffer brothers, Matt and Ross, are the genius creators behind this amazing show. Returning to Stranger Things 2 is Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, and Joe Keery. Joining them are newcomers Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, and Sean Astin.
Season 2 starts off around a year from where Season 1 ended. Everyone is trying to cope in their own way after the madness that fell upon their little town changed everyone’s lives forever. As the anniversary of when everything went to hell creeps up on them, an even more devastating chaos is about to be unleashed. Can these small-town heroes band together once again to save Hawkins, Indiana from the upside down and everything that comes with it?
Many people have asked me if Stranger Things 2 is better than the first season. The answer is yes, it absolutely is. Don’t get me wrong. Season 1 is something I hold near and dear to my heart. It introduced me to wonderfully quirky characters, a fun and scary adventure, and pure ’80s nostalgia. The new season took things even further, developing these beloved characters even more, as well as introducing us to new ones and delivering an intense, heartfelt journey filled with so much love, courage, and mystery. Plus, we got another killer soundtrack.
We knew from the ending of Season 1 that the world of the upside down was just beginning and that the town of Hawkins was screwed. I love how the Duffer brothers didn’t rush the story in the newest season. Little by little, they let the layers unfold as they showed us the workings of this mystifiying, terrifying place, while at the same time, helped us to get to know the characters even more through backstories and new experiences. It’s all done so beautifully. Stories like this, characters like this, are what made people fall in love with cinema in the first place. A rare magic to behold.
Speaking of characters, they’re all truly outstanding. Just like in Season 1, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, and David Harbour all give superb performances. However, it was a real treat to see the amazing character developments for Lucas (McLaughlin), Steve (Keery), Will (Schnapp) and Dustin (Matarazzo). Seeing Lucas break the rules and fall for a girl was the complete opposite from his character in Season 1 and I loved it. As far as Steve goes, let’s be honest. He was a real douchebag in the first season and we only tolerated him because of Nancy. In the new season, his character grows immensely. When his heart becomes broken and he loses some of his popularity, it challenges him to become a better person. With Schnapp playing Will, we finally get to see his true acting chops and he didn’t disappoint. He stole my heart, warming it and breaking simultaneously with his killer performance.
“She will not be able to resist these pearls!”
Then there’s Dustin. Oh, how I adore Dustin. Even if Stranger Things was shit, you would still watch the show just because of him. He had a bigger role this time around. I really dug seeing his personality grow and seeing him deal with real-life adolescent problems while also being the badass that we all know he is.
I also have to mention some of the new characters in this season, including Billy (Montgomery), Mad Max (Sink), and Bob Newby (Astin). Billy is your typical bully and I despised his character. I love Max. She’s wicked cool and I think she’s a great addition to their pack of friends. Sean Astin’s character, Bob, was perfect for him. There was something truly magical and nostalgic about seeing him in a series like this when he once starred in Goonies, a movie with a very similar vibe.
Moving on from the characters, I’m so grateful they gave us a Halloween episode and that it came out just before the 2017 holiday. Having the guys go as Ghostbusters was brilliant and fit perfectly into the story. The first two episodes were flawless and I could watch them over and over again. The same can be said about the last episode of Season 2 as well, but you’ll have to watch to find out why. Just know it’s unexpected yet wonderful and may make you cry.
The soundtrack was just as amazing, if not better, than the first, and that’s saying a lot. With songs like “Love Is A Battlefield” by Pat Benatar, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” by The Clash, “Runaway” by Bon Jovi, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and so many more, you can’t go wrong on this nostalgic ride back to the ’80s that just keeps getting better.
Stranger Things 2 is something that you should binge right now. STOP whatever you’re doing, go to Netflix and press Play, because if you didn’t already love Stranger Things, you will now. Trust me, because after all, friends don’t lie.