‘Stranger Things 2’ Review: Netflix Series Returns Bigger And Badder [Opinion]

Netflix seems to have hit gold once again with Stranger Things Season 2. The second installment of the series was positively received worldwide.

According to Variety, Stranger Things Season 2 broke the record on Twitter for the most tweeted streaming show. More than 3 million tweets were blasted about the show during its opening weekend alone.

Plot

Stranger Things 2 still has that nostalgic feel people loved about the first season and the pacing is still perfect. The town of Hawkins is relatively the same. At the beginning, everyone in town — except for the main characters, and to a certain extent, their families — seem unchanged.

However, even the setting changes by the end of the second season, with the townspeople not really feeling safe in Hawkins anymore due to the “gas leak” from the lab. The story takes familiar elements from the first season and takes them a bit further so everything still progresses.

For instance, take the conflict. The main problem is still the Upside Down and the Demogorgon. Stranger Things 2 takes it to a whole other level by making the gate and the Demogorgon bigger — not to mention the Demodogs, who act like henchmen for the big bad. The stakes were much higher this season, too, which felt like the right move to make going forward with the series. For example, you could argue that Will is in a worse position this season. Being possessed by a Demogorgon is probably a much crueler fate than being lost in the Upside Down. Plus, Will goes through this experience in his world, a place he is supposedly safe from the creatures of the Upside Down.

The plot and its progression gave audiences the same interesting and fun story to watch, however, the series as a whole felt like it lost some of its elements of surprise. It seems like the Duffer brothers really took in some of the questions, theories, and comments fans had about the show and placed them in the second season seamlessly. The Duffer brothers introduced another child like Eleven, gave Barbara’s character proper closure, and tied up other loose ends that fans wanted to be cleared up. Thus, the second season sort of feels like it was tailor-fit to give fans what they asked for and not really trying to do more than that.

Overall, the plot of Stranger Things Season 2 sort of seems like fan service, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. After all, it wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the fans.

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Character Development

The most prominent difference in the Netflix series is seen in the characters of the show and how their lives and personalities have changed. There are a lot of characters to go through, so we’ll just cover Eleven, Max, and Will because they seemed to have more of an impact for viewers.

Eleven’s character develops quickly and quite sporadically throughout the series. The most overt changes can be seen in Eleven.

While El knows a bit more about the world outside the lab, she still doesn’t know enough. We can see throughout the series how difficult it is for her to live a normal life. Her one chance at normalcy, Mike, is quickly brushed aside in Eleven’s storyline when Millie Bobby Brown’s character sees him with Max.

The telekinetic preteen’s background story is already pretty sad, and it doesn’t seem like it will be all candy and rainbows anytime soon. Eleven wants to know where she fits in society, and Season 2 looks like it is only the beginning of her journey.

Meanwhile, Max introduces a foil to Eleven’s character, similar to how Lucas is a foil to Mike. Max is everything Eleven was to the boys in Season 1, albeit less strange and a little less complicated.

Madmax is a different type of girl. She’s not like the other girls the boys have met, like Eleven. The girl from California and the boys have a lot of things in common, like playing arcade games. Max also seems to understand the nerd references the boys make during their conversations.

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The difference between the two girls is what makes their dynamic so interesting. Madmax is in the realm of normalcy. She can like everything the boys do and give them a normal life, while Eleven is the embodiment of the world the boys escape to in their games, like D&D.

Finally, there is Will. Slate magazine called Noah Schnapp, the actor who plays Will, the MVP of Stranger Things 2, and there is no other way to put it. Schnapp’s character showed a lot of different aspects to Will this season.

In the first season of Stranger Things, we never really saw the dynamic Will had with the other boys. But the second season shows how each boy contributes to the group or their party.

Will does seem to be the more thoughtful one in the group. With his added trauma, Will seems to be mature, but not necessarily mature enough to lead the group. Will is mature in a rational sense. He’s the mediator, the one who the boys turn to for advice when they are in a disagreement. This is seen in his relationship with Mike, who takes more of a leader-role in the group. Mike and Will’s relationship is similar to King Arthur’s relationship with Merlin.

Once again, the Duffer brothers were able to weave an intricate story for Stranger Things 2. Given the ending of the second season and its popularity, Netflix will likely produce a third season to conclude the series. In the meantime fans will just have to sift through fan theories and rewatch Seasons 1 and 2 of Stranger Things.

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]