By Emily Heiss
News & Features Editor
It is finally here. After a year and a half of waiting, Netflix has finally released the anticipated sequel to their award winning original series, Stranger Things.
After the thrilling adventure that was entailed in season 1, Stranger Things 2 had a lot to follow up, including a cliffhanger about the whereabouts of Eleven.
However, I can say with confidence that the sequel was as good, if not better than the first season. The second installment of the 80’s centered sci-fi not only expanded on the existing plots and development of characters, but it came with an addition of new characters and plot lines.
This season differs greatly from the last, in that Mike is not spotlighted as a main character as much as he was in the last season. Season 2 provides the audience with more insight into the characters Dustin, Luke, Eleven, and Will. This new approach makes for parallel storylines that can guarantee to keep you on edge throughout each episode.
In a later episode of the season, viewers are given a better look into the backstory of Eleven which entails more information on Eleven’s mother and a new path in life that will certainly not fail to surprise viewers.
The new season also brings us new adventures in the form of new characters. We are introduced to what seems like a replacement for Eleven, named Max. Her and her step-brother, Billy, are the new family in Hawkins traveling all the way from California.
Max provides a way to get more insight on characters Dustin and Lucas, who are arguably the most underdeveloped characters from season 1. Think of Lucas and Max as this season’s Mike and Eleven. We get to see a softer side of Lucas that was not shown in the last season when he was constantly bickering with Eleven.
There is a particular scene in which Lucas shares deeper feelings with the audience that help to round out his character.
Dustin may have stood out last season for his wit and plain adorableness, but this season he has a major role in the plot and his journey will really help him go in a new direction that will please fans. In fact, not only will he surprise and amuse fans with his opposition to the gang, but he teams up with an unexpected character to help spice up their character as well as his own.
Max’s step-brother, Billy is a Rob Lowe meets George Michael esque character in appearance, but his actions set him up to be more like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. He also serves as a way of building another past character into a brand new character altogether. His shift will provide many Jonathan and Nancy “shippers” with an interesting dilemma.
Barb was a fan favorite last season, but the final new major character is Bob. Bob fills the role of Joyce Beyer’s new boyfriend. Bob is played by Sean Astin, AKA Mikey from The Goonies. The nostalgic 80’s feel of the show is even more prevalent through him. He may seem like a normal boyfriend in the abnormal life of Joyce, but provides an exciting twist to the life of the Beyers, and many others, including Hopper.
There is a slight change in the ‘big bad’ in season 2, but it is an easy adjust, and personally, I felt it to be even more interesting than the conflicts from season 1. You may be surprised that you will have a new opinion on last season’s antagonists and protagonists after this season.
I can say with confidence, it is worth watching all episodes at once so you can pull a “Will Beyers” and disappear for a while and mysteriously return pale and tired, looking like death.
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