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Season Two of “Stranger Things” Turns Netflix Upside Down

Fans binge nine-episode season debut after 470-day wait

Stranger+Things+intro+screencap
Stranger Things intro screencap

Stranger Things intro screencap

Photo by Netflix

Photo by Netflix

Stranger Things intro screencap

Maddie Mollner, Student Life Editor

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The time has finally come. The beloved Netflix series Stranger Things has returned to streaming, and the stakes are higher than ever for the iconic group of middle schoolers that dominate the series.

The second season of Stranger Things has definitely lived up to its 470-day-awaited expectations and created a new hunger for even more adventures featuring Netflix’s most-loved child stars.

At the end of season one, the Demogorgon from the Upside Down was seemingly defeated by Eleven, the daughter of MK Ultra test subject, Terry Ives, and everything is back to normal in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. But in season two, viewers will learn that Hawkins has much bigger problems than are visible at the surface—the surface of the local pumpkin patch, that is.

This season has presented a number of new elements that make it very different from its predecessor. A glimpse is given into the characters’ home lives, flashbacks and brand new characters, some of whom live halfway across the country. The suspenseful endings that plagued the end of every every episode of season one are still present throughout this season as well.

One very enjoyable aspect of this season is that the viewers come to know the characters more closely than ever before. New relationships are blossoming (those who ship Nancy and Jonathan, buckle up) and backstories are being unlocked with every character that makes an appearance.

Photo by Netflix
Stranger Things character Eleven, in a clearly computer-generated background

The visuals of last season were so impressive that they seemed almost unreal; the producers of Stranger Things seemed to have uncovered more advanced special effects than viewers have ever seen before.

However, this season’s visuals, special effects and backgrounds are very clearly edited and not as impressive. It’s a step down from a pedestal that they were placed on last year. Some settings seem very two-dimensional and bland, almost as if they were trying to meet a midnight deadline and slapped together sub-par green screen backgrounds.

Other settings, however, continue to blow minds with the sheer originality and historical accuracy. Yard signs line the town’s neighborhoods, reading “Reagan/Bush ‘84” and “Mondale/Ferraro.” The vivid hues of vintage sports jackets and high-waisted jeans grab the viewers’ eyes and don’t let go. The most timely piece of technology is the JVC video recorder, and a Chevy Camaro, the coolest car of the period, rolls into the high school parking lot, drawing eyes from all directions. The 80s nostalgia makes itself known after just the first episode.

Photo by Netflix
Four of Stranger Things’ main characters, in traditional 80s garb

As interesting as last season was, it simply cannot compare with the intensity of season two. Powerful scenes about the mistreatment of Eleven’s mother, Terry Ives, and the insane acting ability of Noah Schnapp (Will Beyers) as he is viciously trapped yet again in the clutches of the Upside Down evoke empathetic feelings of heartbreak. The hidden sides of characters are revealed like they have never been seen before.

As Halloween season comes to a close in 2017, the Halloween of 1984 is still encapsulating viewers and creating an obsession with sci-fi that they never knew they had. Stranger Things has changed the view of science fiction as the world knows it, and given friendship and sacrifice a whole new meaning. This season of Stranger Things blew past all expectations, and will hopefully continue to do so as the series progresses in the future.

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Maddie Mollner - Student Life Editor

Maddie became a member of The Flightline in January of 2017. She is a junior this year, involved in cheerleading. Outside of school she is a connoisseur of flamboyant socks. You can email her at [email protected]

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Season Two of “Stranger Things” Turns Netflix Upside Down