The first season of “Stranger Things” is the timeless, classic tale of a young boy taken into an alternate dimension by a creepy, flower-headed monster and the friends and family members who try to figure out what happened to him.
There are also evil scientists, an adorable bald girl with telekinetic powers, alcoholic sheriffs and a glorious dose of ’80s nostalgia. It hit Netflix in July of 2016 and blew everyone away.
“Stranger Things” could have been a show that clung to its nostalgia to keep people invested, but it didn’t. It took everything that everyone loved about ’80s movies and created a unique, fantastic story.
“Stranger Things 2” picks up one year after the events of season one. Will is back from The Upside Down, Eleven is still missing and everything has mostly gone back to normal.
The most notable difference is Will’s not being able to get The Upside Down out of his head. He keeps having visions of a giant monster in the sky and is going to see a scientist at the lab from the first season about his “episodes.”
Season one had the disappearance of Will and Barb to keep the show interesting and exciting. What keeps the show moving through a majority of season two is the great characters. There is still a lot of action and suspense, but the story does not really pick up until the second half of the season. The first half is dedicated much more to the relationships between the characters.
There are a great many things that I loved in Stranger Things 2, but there are a few notable gripes I have with this season that make it not quite live up to the first season.
I love the story of this show, but two parts anger me immensely. The first is episode seven, “The Lost Sister.”
This episode is supposed to be the one with a lot of character development for Eleven. It centers around El finding another girl that was experimented on and given similar powers to her. This “sister” takes El under her wing and has her join her group of killer outcasts then tries to get her to kill a man, but El realizes she must save her friends in Hawkins.
While that plot is cliché, it is not horrible. It just completely stops all the suspense that has been building for the last six episodes and is a full hour of just one subplot. There are no other main characters for much of episode seven.
That subplot should have run its course with other episodes so when that plot dulls (which it does), there can be somewhere else for the show to go.
The one thing that made me yell at my television was the scene when Eleven leaves her cabin to go find Mike, but finds him talking to another girl in the gym and decides to just go back to her cabin without anyone seeing her.
“Stranger Things” is not a stupid show, but that was a stupid scene. Eleven is a strong, powerful character that has more important things going on than her not-boyfriend talking to another girl. She has been stuck in a cabin for a year but seeing a girl that is not her is just too much? No, I refuse to accept that.
Other than those two times, “Stranger Things 2” lives up to what the first season created. It definitely has its flaws, but it is still exciting, creepy and funny.
Both seasons are available now on Netflix.