Growing bigger and better: Stranger Things 2

Jarrod Flaherty
Staff Writer

 After a year of anticipation, Stranger Things 2 is now available for viewing on Netflix. COURTESY OF NETFLIX

After a year of anticipation, Stranger Things 2 is now available for viewing on Netflix.

It’s bigger. It’s scarier. It’s more ambitious. “Stranger Things 2” exceeds expectations and is even better than its predecessor.

Arriving to Netflix in July 2016, Stranger Things was immediately a surprise hit. The show dropped an ‘80s nostalgia bomb on its viewers with its unique style, great score and some of the most likeable characters on television and streaming services.

When the show was picked up for a second season, fans went absolutely insane and everyone was on the hype train.

Season two picks up about a year after the events of the first season and viewers quickly find the main characters, yet again, in serious peril.

Without spoiling the plot, rest assured that season two is so much better than the first.
The likeability of the lead characters definitely contributed to season one’s popularity and this season is no different. The lead cast continues to shine, with a particularly standout performance from Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers.

The returning cast is joined by some new characters who, for the most part, are just as good. Sean Astin plays Bob, Joyce Byers’ love interest. Astin is very fun and gives the show a much-needed, light-hearted boost.

Sadie Sink plays Max, the new girl in town who is trying to fit in with the boys. Max’s brother Billy, played by Dacre Montgomery, feels like the weakest new character in season two. Montgomery’s character is really just there to help move the plot along.

Without giving too much away, the story is bigger and bolder than season one. The script allows for more character development, making the audience care even more about the show’s young heroes.

Some viewers may feel that this is a slow-burn story that does not adhere to the formula of some of Netflix’s more fast-paced shows. However, I find it very effective and intriguing because it builds up and allows for more meaningful moments.

The show also has a much more effective emotional core and some might even get choked up at the season’s conclusion.

In terms of flaws, some of the show’s new characters don’t always work well and the story can sometimes be too big for its own good.

Some could see it as too bloated and, admittedly, it does sometimes jumble a few storylines and characters with little follow-through. However, these are comparatively small flaws in an otherwise very strong season.

Packed with charming characters and emotional appeal, season two is an exceptional follow-up. The show has an unmatchable energy and atmosphere. It’s safe to say there isn’t anything else like this on television right now.

If you are a fan of the first season and somehow have not yet binge-watched the second, I recommend taking this weekend off to watch Netflix’s crown jewel.

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