‘Stranger Things 2’ Lives Up to the Hype

In Featured, Media and Culture, Movie & TV Reviews by

– By Carly Twehous –

Spoilers below

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, I’d bet dollars to donuts you’ve pretty much been swarmed with all things, well… Stranger Things.

If you don’t have a Netflix account and have no ability to legally watch Stranger Things, then for the love of God, plop yourself down on your couch and fork over eight bucks to the company that put Blockbuster out of business. Then, make some Eggo’s and do yourself the courtesy of traveling back to the good ol’ days of big hair, denim-on-denim, and those weird phones that have cords and attach to walls.

(What do I know? I was born in ’95.)

For many people, the first season of Stranger Things was a sojourn into nearly unprecedented nostalgia. (And, no, Dad. I don’t believe you ever had hair as cool as Steven Harrington. I’ve seen the pictures at Grandma’s. But hey, at least you never had a mullet…right?)

For the rest of us, we make memes about this show and pretend we’re just a tad bit older than we are, when, in reality, Hawkins, IN may as well be the Upside Down. It’s dark and fuzzy and everyone’s screaming into the void instead of throwing passive aggressive emojis at it. The chemistry teacher may as well be named “Google, circa 1984”. The future valedictorian dates the basketball hot-shot with the sneakers and the big hair. Cigarettes are socially acceptable. It’s a brave new world.

This show isn’t the campy version of Stand by Me-meets-Alien; it very well could have been. The premiere of season one made four twelve-year-olds mega-stars literally over night. It made Winona Ryder relevant again and made everyone ask themselves, “Who the hell are the Duffer brothers and do they accept cupcakes in exchange for spoilers?” It’s been nearly a year and a half, and no one stopped talking about Stranger Things, not once, not ever. Someone was always offering more insights, more personal accounts of nostalgia, or simply daydreaming that they could be BFF’s with Millie Bobby Brown.

So. There’s the question: Does season two live up to the hype?

Yes. Hell, yes.

Jonathan and Nancy figured out what everyone else knew from the get-go. Hopper was back to being awesome, but more than that, we got to see him as an actual human being making horrible human decisions and trying to deal with his own tragic backstory. And I’m pretty sure in the unspoken rules of monster-hunting, Steve Harrington accidentally adopted those kids by playing the resident bad-ass babysitter.

And Eleven? We got to see her throw a temper-tantrum, run away (although, come on, most of that stuff with the other sister was completely redundant and only detracted from the main story), go through a punk rebel phase, and then realize she’s still Daddy’s little girl. She’s hands down the most amazing thing about this show.

In a sense, because of all the hype and the pomp and the circumstance, Stranger Things somehow captivated a wide and diverse audience and forced them to watch science fiction and become nerds by proxy. And guess what? No one cares because it’s just that good. This show has an astoundingly loyal fan base, who consistently force their friends to buy Netflix, because nerd or bully or demegorgon, everyone needs to watch this.

I’m going to start a wish list for season three and probably send the Duffer brothers that gift basket to ensure I get what I want. Here’s what I got so far:

Dear Misters Duffer,

Hi. Huge fan. Let’s talk season three.

  1. Just more of her.
  2. Jonathan and Will’s bro-mance. Also the Steve and Dustin bro-mance. Don’t ever let that die.
  3. Make that Billy fellow go away please.
  4. Winona Ryder. Yes. Good. But… She really should go on a date with Hopper.
  5. I really need to know more about the hair products that Steve Harrington uses. How does he get it that perfect?! This is very important to me.
  6. Give Nancy a gun in every fight scene.
  7. Idea: What if Barb… wasn’t dead?

Yes. I’ll be happy with anything. Enjoy the cupcakes. Give me more Stranger Things. Now please.

Signed,

Carly

P.S. You traumatized my kitten when D’Artagnan ate Dustin’s cat. Don’t do that again.

About the Author
Carly Twehous is a screenwriting alumna from JPCatholic (’17) who possesses a slightly inordinate love of both chocolate and comic books. In what little free time she has, she makes use of it by time traveling, ghost busting, and furiously scouring the globe for potential alien activity.