The four days prior Halloween was one of my biggest challenges of patience and self-control to date. My all-time favorite series, “Stranger Things,” released its newest season on Netflix on Oct. 27. However, I knew my Halloween would drastically improve if I resisted temptation and saved my five bowls of popcorn-cotton candy mix for Oct. 31 — and man, was it worth the wait.
The series wouldn’t be so incredible if it weren’t for Matt and Ross Duffer, the writers and directors. Their taste in horror music is unparalleled, using a raspy whistling sound to cue a man-eating monster or a tall, dark shadow approaching. The costume choices are so spot on it makes me feel like I should be driving a 1980 Ford Pinto while I’m decked out head-to-toe in denim. The Duffer’s are cinematic and screenwriting geniuses, and it only shows more in “Stranger Things 2.”
If you haven’t watched the first season of “Stranger Things,” first of all, you’re a fool. Second of all, let me catch you up. The series is set in Hawkins, IN during the early 1980’s. Will Byers — one of the four main characters along with Dustin, Lucas and Mike — went missing in the first episode, and the plot for the rest of the season is centered around finding him. Spoiler alert: Will is rescued from the fourth dimension, or the Upside Down.
In the second season Will becomes the main character, unlike the first season where he may as well have been an imaginary friend to Dustin, Lucas and Mike. This season, the Duffer’s showcase more of Will’s character — the socially awkward, traumatized kid who only grew to creep me out with his flashbacks of the Upside Down. The entire season focuses on Will’s recovery and how the Upside Down continues to occupy his mind and body. As the season went on, I grew to love Will’s character because of how well Noah Schnapp — the actor who plays Will — executes the storytelling aspect of Will’s memories from the Upside Down.
The other character that gains attention throughout the second season is Eleven — a young girl with psychokinetic abilities who was raised in the Hawkins National Laboratory. Throughout the season, the Duffer brothers allow us to learn more about Eleven’s background, instead of just the crazy little girl who can telepathically smash a coke can.
Eleven’s history is primarily revealed through her mom, Terry. Terry thinks that Eleven is still alive, and Eleven’s character develops through Terry’s determination to find Eleven. I had complete admiration for the Duffer’s because of how they could show who Eleven is through another character.
Throughout the rest of the season, Eleven is individualized rather than apart of the Will, Dustin, Mike and Lucas clan. I thought this was a good way to capture her as a character and for the audience to learn more about Eleven as an individual. However, I liked the concept of her being more apart of the group of boys that presented itself in the first season.
What also emerges in the second season is Nancy’s — Will’s older sister — reciprocated love for Jonathan, a creepy classmate who has been infatuated with Nancy since the beginning of the series. Nancy dated Steve — a tall, dark-haired drink of water that I am in love with — in the first season and a little into the second season. However, in “Stranger Things 2,” Nancy moves in on Jonathan. Nancy and Steve’s relationship gave me hope that I could have a love as powerful as what they had. Now that it’s over, my love life doesn’t stand a chance.
Nancy, if you think Jonathan is a better catch than Steve, you’re delusional.
Aside from Nancy going completely AWOL and leaving Steve, “Stranger Things 2” exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think the monsters could be nearly as terrifying or the characters intriguing. I can’t imagine what new monsters and supernatural powers “Stranger Things 3” will bring. The Duffer brothers deserve a gold medal for their production of the best TV series to hit Netflix.