By: Lucas Shim
The Mirror Staff
The Mirror Staff
“I thought season two was just as good, if not better than season one. It was able to extend on what season one provided, which was giving a great deal of emotions, good storytelling, and amazing character interactions.” – Gerardo Sifuentes
Trick-or-Treating in The Upside Down
NETFLIX: The second season of “Stranger Things” saves Halloween.
Trick-or-treating just got stranger in Hawkins.
As people were preparing for the big night filled with costumes and candy, others profoundly awaited to binge-watch the sequel of the popular Netflix Original series, “Stranger Things.”
Netflix recently released the second season of “Stranger Things” and audiences were, once again, impressed with a darker, yet comical, sequel.
The supernatural series was created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, known for their works on “Hidden” and “Wayward Pines.”
Set in 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana, the first season of “Stranger Things” focuses on the mysterious vanishing of William Byers, played by Noah Schnapp.
Desperately searching for her missing son, Joyce Byers, played by Winona Ryder, receives help from the town’s police chief Jim Hopper, played by David Harbour.
In their own efforts to find their friend, Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, and Lucas Sinclair, portrayed by Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin, encounter a young laboratory escapee with psychokinetic abilities named Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown.
The adults and kids band together to face secret government experiments and supernatural forces to uncover the truth.
Earning a fresh critic rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of “Stranger Things” received multiple Emmy nominations: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Drama Series
However, things only get stranger in the second season.
The second season explores the aftermath of events resulting from Will’s disappearance and focuses on the visions he continues to see of the Upside Down, the terrifying and life-threatening parallel universe that he was trapped in.
“Stranger Things 2” introduces an array of new characters: Sean Astin as Bob Newby, Sadie Sink as Max, Dacre Montgomery as Billy, Paul Reiser as Dr. Owens, Brett Gelman as Murray Bauman, and Linnea Berthelsen as Kali.
Unlike the previous season, which put heavy emphasis on Eleven and her mysterious origin, the second season focuses more on the Byers family. Joyce is depicted as a more cautious and overprotective mother over Will, who not only suffers from his horrifying visions but is also bullied at school.
Similarly to the first season, this season offers a variety of themes.
Supernatural forces, the horror elements of the show, terrorize the protagonists.
The setting of the Upside Down, a parallel universe seen throughout the series, gives an eerie vibe, distinguishing itself from the real world with its dark and foggy environment, overgrown tendrils and the absence of humans.
The show’s ominous ambience overall is also conveyed with the constant thriller scenes and heart racing sequences that kept viewers at the edge of their seats.
The serious tone of the show is balanced with comic aspects—humorous catchphrases and the occasional one-liner. This comedic vibe mainly revolves around the relationships between Mike, Dustin, Will, Lucas, and the new member of the party, Maxine, as they venture into the mysteries of Hawkins.
The complicated love triangle between Nancy Wheeler, Steve Harrington, and Jonathan Byers, played by Natalie Dyer, Joe Keery, and Charlie Heaton, still offers a refreshing spin on the show, aside from the mysterious plot.
Astounding acting from the whole cast made the the scenes truly heart wrenching and impactful, specifically coming from actor Noah Schnapp and actress Winona Ryder.
Both characters develop an emotional mother-son relationship throughout the season, emphasizing their chemistry as one of the major aspects of the season.
Each episode consistently ends with mind-boggling cliffhangers, giving audiences no choice but to play the next episode and continue the captivating adventure.
The second season also takes CGI skills to the next level. Viewers will notice a heavy use of special effects, involving colossal creatures, more telekinetic abilities and—of course—The Upside Down.
However, the aspect that makes the storylines of “Stranger Things” so charismatic is its time period—the 1980’s.
In each episode, the background music was a playlist of nostalgic songs, including “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, and “Runaway” by Bon Jovi.
As characters drive vintage cars and dress up in retro 80s getups, the show pays homage to older Hollywood movies, including “The Goonies,” “Stand By Me” and “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.”
The second season of “Stranger Things” manages to top its previous season by including fascinating storylines, exceptional acting performances, intense horror elements, outstanding character interactions, vigorous CGI effects and nostalgic 80’s content.
Although there has been no announcement regarding a possible third season of the show, fans hope that something still lurks in the mysterious town of Hawkins.
The hit-television series currently has a fresh rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.9/10 on IMDB.