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Stranger Things 2 (2017) - Series Review


Stranger Things 2 is a follow-up to last year's excellent Netflix original series Stranger Things, and it takes place approximately 1 year after the events of the first season. A new threat is looming, and poor Will Byers is once again at the center of it. 

I absolutely adored the first season, it was one of my favorite new series to come out recently and I was super pumped up for the second season. And thankfully, it delivered once again. The Duffer Brothers managed to give us another season full of mystery and thrills, fun and feels.

Once again, the performances were great across the board, talking about them would take too long so I'll just mention my personal favorite this time. Mille Bobby Brown (Eleven) was the standout last time; this time, however, Noah Schnapp (Will) absolutely KILLED IT. He didn't have much to showcase his acting talent chops in season 1 since he was absent for most of it, but here he brought it all, and it was wonderful. Shawn Levy (producer+director of some episodes) said that this will be the year of the Schnapp, and he wasn't kidding. Give this kid some awards already.

This season, obviously, progressed the characters and I loved what The Duffer Brothers did with the new pairings. Some of it was what I wanted and some of it turned out to be what I always wanted but never knew about it. Steve became one of my favorite characters in the series after this season. His arc has been great. Three new characters were introduced as well i.e Bob, Max and Billy. Sean Astin as Bob was awesome, Max was good, Billy was eh. But I'm guessing Billy will get proper development in season 3. 

The cinematography was also once again excellent, and the shots containing the Mind Flayer were breathtaking, things like the huge storm of red lightning with the entity ever so ominously lingering in it...I could stare at those for hours. Of course, it wouldn't be stranger things without the amazing soundtrack, and the composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein produced yet another eargasmic synthwave-style soundtrack. Tons of new tracks that stuck with me long after the series was over, and I was glad that some old tracks were used as well.

Stranger Things 2 wasn't as good as the first season, though. It wasn't as tightly paced or consistent, and some things were contrived, but I would say it probably had the better high point in the series so far, the last two episodes were glorious. It also felt like some of the story beats were being repeated, but it's a small nitpick, to be honest, as I didn't really care about that, but thought I'd mention it nonetheless.

Now to address the elephant in the room i.e Episode 7, and maybe mention some of my favorite moments. If you haven't seen it yet, skip the following spoiler section:

SPOILERS WARNING:
Unlike many others, I wouldn't say Episode 7 was pointless/useless. It was a decent arc for Eleven, seeking out her sister and learning to channel her anger in a better way to have more power, although I lowkey did wish they didn't do this as Eleven being the only one made her more special IMO. Anyway, My problem with it was the placement. After an excellent Episode 6 which ended on a great cliffhanger, you are suddenly swept away to an Eleven focused episode and that absolutely broke the pacing for me. It would have been much better if this whole arc was broken into chunks and spread out over 2-3 episodes alongside the main plot.

Some of my favorite moments/scenes:
  • The Mind Flayer in the red storm. 
  • Return of Eleven. Finn Wolfhard man, such a great actor. His expression was priceless. 
  • Mike and Hopper after Eleven's return. 
  • Will getting a seizure at the end of episode 5. It was legit creepy, and Noah Schnapp killed it. 
  • Hopper and Eleven's conversation in the car in the finale. FEEEELS!
  • The first time you see the gate in its entirety. CHILLS! 
  • Eleven going full on Magneto mode and closing the gate. 
  • Steve and Dustin on the tracks. Sweet little scene showing the growing bromance. The steve+dustin brotherly relationship was one of my favorite thing about this season. Or I should say Steve+ Dustin and Steve+Kids as well. All of those scenes were gold. 

END OF SPOILERS


Overall, a great addition to the series that has lower lows, but also has higher highs. Any fan of the first season should like this one too. Now I can't wait for Stranger Things 3. The wait is gonna be annoying. 

9/10 

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