If you plan to watch the show and haven’t gotten around to it yet – or have yet to finish season two – this article contains a lot of spoilers. As when traversing the Upside Down, proceed with caution.
Put simply, Stranger Things 2 lives up to the hype.
The plot is more wide-ranging than that of season one, yet remains easy to follow. The child acting is still ridiculously good. The score is still brilliant. You could pick out faults with ease, but this is not a program designed to be dissected by scholars. It’s a thrill ride, packed with action, intrigue, and a whole lot of ’80s and sci-fi references.
Season two is far from perfect. Eleven’s episode-long detour into the cartoonish world of her lab-sister’s posse threw off all momentum and was essentially pointless. Sure, she learned to channel her anger for extra power but I’m pretty sure she could have figured that out for herself. She literally got it first try.
But even with its faults, Stranger Things 2 remains charming.
Take Joyce’s new boyfriend Bob for instance. Bob is conveniently good at advancing the plot and resolving problems. He gives Will the terrible advice which causes him to become possessed. He inexplicably solves a house-wide crayon riddle in no time. When the monsters have everyone pinned in the lab, Bob gets them out, sacrificing his own life in the process.
Even though he was just there to propel the story forward, I liked Bob. I particularly enjoyed the tie in between Bob, a schoolyard nerd who finally hooked up with a former cool girl and became a hero, and Dustin, who heartbreakingly discovers girls and simultaneously that girls are not interested in him.
When you boil it down Stranger Things remains a simple show. Kids equal good. Monsters equal evil. Parents equal dumb. And it works. It resonates.
The good conquers the bad in Stranger Things 2 – both in the story and in the viewing experience.