Stranger Things 2, 2017 (2nd User Review)
Signed up the 29/03/2017
Stranger Things 2 was finally bestowed upon us by the Netflix gods, and boy was it a treat. I’m going to keep this review simple, I’ll just talk about things I loved and maybe things I didn’t enjoy but when all is said and done I freakin’ loved this season. Let me start with things I didn’t enjoy or I felt were unnecessary, there isn’t a lot.
I didn’t enjoy Mike much this season, sure he was going through a lot with missing Eleven and whatever but I somehow felt like the character was just thrown into the background with little to do while others sorta evolved and grew but don’t get me wrong Finn still came through the performance though. Nancy, Steve and Johnathan ugh this love triangle is a big no from me, even if Steve came through this season with his dude-broness, mans needs to move on in season 3, Nancy made her bed let her sleep in it bro.
I also felt like the mysteries of Max and Billy’s past were really unnecessary cause honestly if their past does not serve the main story in a way that it pushes it forward I don’t care much for it, because the characters were still essentially stuck were we found them when we started, apart for the tiny growth both experience in the last episode. Although I will say I loved how the writers used Max as tool to grow and develop Lucas and Dustin.
With that said let me get into what I loved about season 2, and that mainly being the characters. Let me start with Lucas, who I hated the past season but this season I found myself enjoying his scenes and the bonds he formed with Max and also the bond that grew with Dustin, from this we finally saw the dynamics of “the party”. The boys have each other but some bonds are stronger than others. With Lucas and Dustin’s characters I loved how this season showcased parts of who they really are, and I might have gotten glimpses of what they truly fear and Steve serving as sorta of like a Yoda like mentor to Dustin was a highlight in both character arcs (aye these writers ain’t slick, we see all these star wars references).
LET’S TALK ABOUT BOB (p.s typing this section with tears in my eyes), Sean Astin is not someone I’d even look at twice as an actor but he probably stole my soul this season with the normal guy performance. Bob comes in with his charm and brings normal to the “strange” lives of the Byers, providing a father “figure” to the boys and someone for Joyce to love. Bob like Barb is used as a tragic storytelling device to push the characters to act for their own good, and surprisingly his fatherly advice kinda helps the Up-side Down forces but I won’t spoil that huge moment for those yet to watch.
Will and Eleven, two characters who rarely had screen time together in the show but two characters similar to each other in many ways. I couldn’t help think of how these two were possibly parallels of Rey and Kylo Ren (yup star wars) but let me keep it un-nerdy. Let me start with the Queen herself Jane aka Eleven aka El, played by future Oscar winner Millie Bobby Brown (yup I’m calling it), this season Eleven is sent off on journey on her own this season as she explores her past and like most young “Jedi” she must choose between the dark and light side of the force and for a moment we think discount Jean Grey has chosen the dark side and trust me dark phoenix, I mean El is a pleasure, but she finally realizes who she is, a hero and decides to back to go home, where friends are. Home and friends where kinda of a big deal for El this season as she just wanted a home, and be with her friends but she couldn’t have none of those, and the lack of those things gave way to dark El.
The dark is not really a bad place to be as one sometimes find who they truly are in the dark and their strength just like El. Millie was extremely impressive this season with her performance and the little moments El shares with Mike breaks my heart but I found myself loving the hug El and Joyce shared.
Both EL AND WILL are suffering from post-traumatic stress, more so in Will. Unlike El who had little contact with everyone, Will was surrounded by all his friends and family but was still isolated, the events of season one had left a mark on young Will. The after effects were still felt though as he was plagued by dreams of the place that tormented him much of season one, a surprising turn the character takes yes, where as El voluntary joins the dark for a while, Will’s bravery only invites that dark in and an “Exorcist” like arc plays out, now one is left to wonder what will become of Will Byers next? The Up-side Down took his body in season one, took his mind in two, will his body life be next in three? Time will tell and can we talk about Noah Schnapp’s weave snatching performance this season? Amazing!
Season 2 for me was more visually pleasing and vibrant than season one, the camera, sound and editing are utilized in ways that they actually enhance the story without being show-offy. The use of red and its tones to place fear in the back of minds without it being too obvious was brilliant, the show used the colours to enhance the villain unseen beautifully. Fearing a shadow just by seeing a “vibrant” storm.
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