Stranger Things 2: Frighteningly Good sequel?

Alexis Bjurling, Staff Writer

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Stranger Things season one was a unique show set in the 80’s that dealt with a group of kids on the hunt to find their friend Will who disappeared in the woods. They meet a mysterious super-powered girl named Eleven who shows them that this isn’t your average missing kid case.   

When season one ended, people were clamoring to find out if, when, and how such a fresh and inventive show could possibly top their first season?   

Warning: spoilers ahead! 

Stranger Things season two started off with a bang, as our beloved little group of misfits was back together again and all set to reopen the wounds from the first season.   

Eleven comes back from the Upside Down with new hair and a new attitude. There are bigger and even more terrifying monsters from the Upside Down, justice for Barb, and a new girl appears to be a rival against Eleven for Will’s affections.  There is also a shift to focusing on the adult-side of the problem with Officer Hopper and Joyce Byers. 

Yeah, this is a lot to pack into ten episodes but the creators seem to have handled it well, according to the majority of Season Two’s reviews. 

Many praised the show for continuing its nostalgic tone, keeping the characters’ personalities in context with season one, and adding in new characters to get some fresh perspectives on the situation.  Overall, people seem to think that season two went off without a hitch, aside from the “wasn’t as good as the first” comments that come with any follow up to something unique.  I agree with these notes, and while season two may not capture the magic of the first season for some, that doesn’t make it automatically bad.  However, I did notice a few reviews that had some realistic and fair complaints. 

One student who would like to remain nameless said that he felt that it was weird “how in Season Two Joyce just seemed to know everything,” referencing how in the first season Officer Hopper was told by the government to tell nobody about their involvement with the things that took place.  Another line of thought that came up frequently was regarding the Justice for Barb crusade that happened after the first season and made its way into the second.   

June Keating, a former Towson student who now attends Carver, said that she was “happy that Barb got some justice after dying unceremoniously, but it kind of felt too polished.”   

This and other issues where people felt like the show was “pandering” to its audience and drawing away from the main plot came up quite a bit throughout my interviews.  Along with the common problems with not liking new characters or concern over the larger budget getting to the best of the creators, complaints about season two were few and far between. 

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Stranger Things 2: Frighteningly Good sequel?