Stranger Things Review

Margo Silliman, Staff Writer

Stranger things is back, and with it, new mystery. The new season certainly opens with a bang, introducing characters that look like they could be in The Purge, and showing Eleven’s dangerous mind tricks.

We also meet a new mystery-girl, Max, whose rebellious from the start. She’s replaced Dustin in the top scores for all the arcade games, and claps back at him and his friends for “stalking” her. But her attitude changes starkly around her reckless older brother, clearly unhinged when he almost hits our band of outcasts with his car as they bike home.

Will brings back mystery too–are his episodes a flashback symptom of PTSD or is he actually stepping into a different world? Overall, the questions in your mind are stacked up by the end of the first episode and draw in the audience for the rest of the season.

One thing that has remained clear and constant: a dope soundtrack. The most exciting of which is inarguably the Ghostbusters theme. Who can’t help but love the only four kids in school that not only dressed up, but went as the characters from one of the best movies from the eighties? Name a more iconic squad.

The theme opens the second episode and gets the audience hyped for Halloween with the the kids’ costumes, and then ends with Dustin ready to go full-Ghostbusters on some unknown garbage creature–though how he was going to use his fake costume against it adds to the running list of mysteries.

Eleven poses new questions as well. The uncertainty about her family adds new drama to the series, something that hadn’t occurred before. Who would’ve thought she wasn’t just a test-tube baby? And her makeover to the rebel side mid-season gives her a much-needed signature look.

It is heartwarming to see her bring out Hopper’s paternal side as he gives her a home, helps develop her vocabulary, and invariably goes to many lengths to protect her, as opposed to his trashed, hopeless vibe from the beginning of the series.

Once again, he travels into The Upsidedown, the parallel world in which so many characters have gotten lost. However, last time, it seemed controlled and he acted as the hero. This time, he’s a victim.

Hopper’s not the only who’s gone through a change–Steve, Nancy’s boyfriend, is no longer the partying jerk he was once infamous for being; now, he’s attending dinners with the parents of Nancy’s missing best friend, starting an unlikely partnership with Dustin, and engaging in heroic fights.

But despite the fact that he’s growing on the audience and has finally revealed the secret of his perfect hair, the pull of Jancy (Nancy and Jonathan) is undeniable. Brought together by a sketchy new character living in a basement and attempting to expose the government-working scientists, the couple satisfies a whole season’s worth of tension.

There’s drama within the Ghostbusters–Lucas and Dustin both have feelings for the same girl, and then there’s Will’s possession. The Exorcist may be from the seventies, but it’s drawing parallels to this eighties series.

A new scientist is introduced, and this time he might actually be good–or, at least, better than his torturous predecessor, ending the season doing what he promises, even surprising himself by providing some much-awaited freedom for Eleven.

The new season of this renowned series may not reach the expectations of the first season (the mystery isn’t quite as compelling and the new characters are less favorable), however, it’s worth watching to follow through the old story and it does exceed what’s anticipated from a horror series along with interesting drama tied in.