The 80’s Stephen King-esque nostalgia laden show returns after becoming a cult sensation on Netflix in its first season. The small town of Hawkins is again under threat by the mysterious world of the upside down.
After the demogorgon had run havoc on the town of Hawkins, the town returned back to normal or so it seemed. Will Byers, who went missing in the first season still had contact to the upside down. He started to receive warnings of a much greater threat that could lead to the destruction of everyone. This season follows the usual beloved characters take on this threat in the distinct 80’s style that the show is known for.
The whole Stranger Things style of the show is something that I absolute adore. The tone is full of 80’s reference and it becomes a amazing John Hughes/Stephen King lovechild. The setting, the adverts, the cars, the hair! The visual style of Stranger Things does not mistake itself into thinking that this is anything but the 1980’s. The visuals is beautifully accompanied by the stunning synth soundtrack by Kyle Dixon. The soundtrack intensifies each scene from fast paced action to gentle emotion. The soundtrack becomes another character in itself and it will become, just like the first season, one of my most listened to albums.
A show like this relies on its cast, Stranger Things is all about the ensemble. The four boys, Will, Dustin, Lucas and Mike are some of the most talented child actors I have seen. There were some scenes which required intense emotion that would be unimaginable for a child to replicate but the whole young cast does this with ease. Noah Schapp who plays Will is fantastic, he was mostly absent in the first season but he was more prominent and the show was improved by his increased inclusion. Dustin was forever the comic relief in the group and he stole every scene that he was in. Nancy, Johnathan, Steve all are just as good as last season. Steve is starting to become one of my favourite characters. His progression and bromance with Dustin was a joy to watch. Hopper becomes a paternal figure for Eleven in season 2 and to see the interaction and growth between the two is heartwarming and hilarious. That Hopper dance though!. Hopper is the stand out character and this is mostly because of David Harbour’s portrayal. Habour portrays Hopper with a concrete outside but seem to have some demons inside. Hopper is such an enigma and a very interesting character to watch.
The new characters were hit and miss. One of my favourite characters this season was Bob, played by Sean Astin. The innocent Radio Shack worker who falls into the mad world of Stranger Things by going out with Will’s Mum, Joyce, played by Winona Ryder. He is just such a nice guy and full of comic relief. The newest inclusion into the gang, Max is a bit 50/50, there were moments when she kicked ass but then there were some moments that she just felt like an extra. Her step brother Billy, even though his hair was great, he was a bit one dimensional and not really necessary. The second season needed new characters and mostly it was very welcome but it is hard to change such a successful formula.
This season triumphed the first season. It was bigger, the stakes were increased, everyone had matured. Season two was a natural progression that kept me on the edge of my seat. We got a look into the mystery behind Eleven’s powers, knowledge about the upside down and a further look into each character. This did everything a second season should and so much more. Every character is so fleshed out that if you asked any fan who is your favourite character, they would probably give you a different answer every time you asked.
Stranger Things is one of the greatest shows on TV. I do not hesitate when I say this. It is such a marvelous visual and aural feat that this is one show that is just exciting. The whole cast outperforms any show and the consistency of the performances is something that should be desired. The child cast is so talented and this is held up by the older actors too. There is no show on at the moment that meets Stranger Things consistency, quality and visual and aural style. I am almost scared of season three because of the high quality that the show creates. I was so invested into this season and this is another thing that Netflix has got right. This will attract old fans but it should definitely attract new ones too. Well done Strange Things, you did it again!