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Review: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2

Alejandra Zimmermann ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Stranger Things returned to Netflix for the highly anticipated Season 2 premiere on Oct. 27 and the wait is worth it.

After months of wondering how the show will continue to explain the return of Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) from the Upside Down, the show delivers in all aspects. From the classic 80s music to the cinematography, this season proves to be the best over season 1; no question about it.

The first episode of the season, MADMAX, sets the tone for the killer cinematography of the rest of the season. The camera panning to show the number eight tattoo on Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) gives the audience a shock element a couple of seconds into the season.

Eleven’s long lost sister? Photo courtesy Netflix.

The show then immediately goes to the ‘present day’ at Hawkins, the funky 80s era that the show provides. The wide shot camera angle and bright, old, vintage set design enhance the scene and tone of the dark show. Before even seeing what the original characters are up to, the imagery reminds one of the current, on-going obsession Stranger Things has with taking it back to the classic rock era.

The acting in season 2 from the kids is incredible. Most notably, Noah Schnapp. His iconic character, Will Byers, didn’t get much of a chance to showcase who he really was last season, but this season, Schnapp shows his dark side. It is interesting to see how the writers label Will as the spy for the Upside Down. That characterization allows for the audience to understand why he sees and experiences the things he does and allows for Schnapp to surprise the audience with his impressive performance.

The return of Will Byers. Photo courtesy Netflix.

Of course, the re-introduction of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) was one of the most anticipated moment, although her current situation comes as a surprise. It is heartwarming to see that Jim Hopper (David Harbour) has been taking care of Eleven the whole time, hiding her from the world, only to protect her. It is an unexpected relationship that blossoms throughout the season.

Eleven is back for some ‘Stranger Things’ action. Photo courtesy Netflix

The return of the iconic Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers was another highly anticipated aspect of Season 2. Joyce’s determination to find her son, despite the absurdity of the situation, turned out to make her a well liked character Season 1. This time, the audience is rooting for her to continue searching for answers for her son, making her mother of the year in the show. Her intelligence this season allows her to find answers about Will’s experiences in his mind and leads her to puzzle together a giant jigsaw puzzle to eventually help save him. Her persistence this season allows for the storyline to also carry that same sense of urgency.

High school sweethearts join forces to seek answers for Will. Photo courtesy Netflix.

Of course, one can’t forget the boys. The gang, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin) and new member, Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), all grow up this season. From the dialogue to the love triangle between Max, Lucas, and Dustin, the kids continue to prove their loyalty to each other.

The gang. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Each episode has a killer soundtrack, from the score to the classic 80s hits: the music does not disappoint. Same with the graphics, coloring, and aesthetics of scenes. The bright, vibrant and highly saturated exterior shots allow for a clear contrast between the real world and the upside down. The final fight scene’s CGI of the gate and Eleven is captivating and gives the audience a bigger scope of the intensity of the scene.

Eleven’s final battle. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Overall, this season earns a solid A in every aspect, from acting to cinematography to music. The Duffer Brothers have a good season to piggyback on. Fingers-crossed for a successful Season 3 in 2018.

Overall Grade: A

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