“Stranger Things” is created by Matt and Ross Duffer and stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobbie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp. This is the second installment of the highly budgeted and acclaimed series. When it was released on October 27th, 2017, 15.2 million people watched it on that day alone. It is truly the most popular show Netflix has to offer right now, and maybe the most popular show currently in all of television.
Season two had a different feel to it, which is not by any means a bad thing. I liked season one, don’t get me wrong, but right off the bat I could tell this season was going to be a change of pace. The first season was all about the disappearance of Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), and this season starts with Will facing visions of the “upside down,” as well as visions that show impending doom on Hawkins.
The cast of “Stranger Things” is so well put together. The gang of Mike (Wolfhard), Dustin (Matarazzo), Lucas (McLaughlin), and Will (Schnapp) is an extremely fun group to follow. The personalities are great, especially from Matarazzo. They are the four members of the Hawkins Middle School A.V. club, and they are some of my favorite nerds of any TV show ever. Mike and Lucas are typically more serious characters, while Dustin brings that much needed comic relief every now and again.
Winona Ryder plays Joyce Byers, and she is excellent in this role. She is a mom who has been driven insane with the disappearance of her son, and she is just as insane in season two. I cannot blame her, as her son was taken from her and she has to deal with the effects of that for the rest of her life.
David Harbour was as good as usual, playing the role of Jim Hopper, the police chief, in the show. I felt like for Harbour, this was a breakout performance for him. I thought he was good last season, but he is tremendous in season two. We are able to dive deeper into his character and see who Hopper really is, and David Harbour absolutely nails it.
Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, and Joe Keery – who play Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve, respectively – all give great performances this season, and are all in bigger roles compared to the last. Without giving too much away, Nancy and Jonathan are on a mission that revolves around the disappearance of Barb, which we saw last season. Their investigation ends up coming full circle in the end. Steve also consumes a bigger role this year, and makes an unlikely friend with one of the boys from the Hawkins A.V. Club.
“Chapter One: MADMAX” takes us into a high-paced action scene right off the bat for this season. The surprising part is that it takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania instead of Hawkins, Indiana. It also does not involve any of the characters we have come to know and love. As it turns out, this scene will be important later in the show. Back in Hawkins, the boys get prepared to go trick-or-treating. I liked how they started the season off around Halloween time, just as it was released in real-life.
“Chapter Five: Dig Dug” is an extremely interesting episode. I love the multiple story lines that all work together in this season of “Stranger Things”. This time we see Nancy and Jonathan exploring the death of Barb with a man that has tons of conspiracy theories about the Hawkins Lab.
“Chapter Six: The Spy” was probably my favorite episode to this point in the show. Dustin and Steve form a bond that kind of came out of nowhere, and we get to see some relationship-driven drama. There was an ideal amount of action in this episode with a great cliffhanger to end it.
“Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer” is an absolutely brilliant episode. In my opinion, the best episode of the season and potentially the entire series. This was an emotional episode that was fast-paced the entire time. It truly had me on the edge of my seat for the entire episode.
Another thing I loved about season two of “Stranger Things” is how visually appealing it is. There were many times throughout the season where I wanted to take a screen grab of the shot on screen. It was absolutely gorgeous and the director of cinematography, Tim Ives, should be applauded.
There wasn’t much to say bad about this season. The only complaint I have is that sometimes it felt like it was a little slow moving. I think this is because of how much more emotionally we see these characters develop. Even though I have this as a complaint, I did enjoy the emotional bonds formed with the characters this season, so it’s not much of a downside.
Season two of “Stranger Things” is phenomenal. The writing, directing, editing, and cinematography are all absolutely stunning. It was a big step up from the first season, and I cannot wait for more. I believe that this series is nowhere near being over. This is maybe the most popular show on TV right now, and rightfully so. If you haven’t started season two yet, I highly recommend that you do.
What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Comment below with your thoughts.