"Stranger Things 2" review

Michael Blackwood, Managing Editor

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Last Halloween, Matt and Ross Duffer released their masterpiece, "Stranger Things." Immediately, "Stranger Things" seemed to be everywhere and everyone was talking about it. With such an overwhelming positive response to season one, the second season was highly anticipated. So how does season two compare to the first? Warning, there may be some slight spoilers ahead.

“Stranger Things 2” gets straight to the action, introducing a new character with new abilities similar to the powers Millie Bobby Brown’s character, Eleven, has. From the first scene, the show transfers back to Hawkins and the kids that everyone loves from season one and stays there until episode seven, a one-off episode that deals with Eleven’s past and through all of it, everything feels bigger and more dangerous than the first season.

Throughout the season, the audience is introduced to new characters, such as Bob, played by Sean Astin, a lovable RadioShack employee who is dating Winona Ryder’s character, Joyce. The Duffer brothers also introduce Max (Sadie Sink), her brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery), and the new head of Hawkins Lab, Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). Each character serves to further the story in their own way. Sink’s character, Max, joins the party with the guys from season one – Dustin, Mike, Lucas and Will. Her on-screen brother, Billy, takes Steve’s (Joe Keery) role as a human antagonist for the boys.

Along with new characters, the new season further explores the old characters and pairs some together in ways that bring out new sides of the characters. One such example is Steve and Dustin. They form a friendship and Steve becomes a mentor to Dustin. This pairing sets up some excellent comedic moments and shows Steve in a new light.

The production value of the show is incredible. The attention to detail is obvious as everything feels like it is straight from the 1980s. One example of this is the arcade that the characters visit throughout the season. The arcade is full of period-specific arcade games without a single game that does not fit.

Season two takes place on a much larger scale and the special effects have been ramped up to reflect that. The monsters are bigger and the landscapes are more epic. Overall, season 2 is much more cinematic feeling than season one.

The acting is just as incredible as the first season. One standout performance was Noah Schnapp as Will. Will was trapped in the Upside Down for much of season one. However, he plays a large part in season two and plays it very well.

Overall, there is very little wrong with “Stranger Things 2." The Duffer brothers managed to take everything that was great about season one and up the stakes without making it seemed forced.

The second season of "Stranger Things" is now streaming on Netflix