[Review] New to Netflix – ‘Stranger Things’ – Season 2

Once a week, I will turn on Netflix and select the first show listed under New Releases. To chose my releases, I am using a blank Netflix profile with no likes or ratings configured.

I really lucked out this week with Stranger Things, conveniently I just finished watching the series last night under the family profile, so this review will be a breeze.

Stranger Things is a very popular sci-fi show set in the 80’s and season one was a spectacular hit. The new release is season two.

Let’s give you a quick non-spoiler catch up on season one:

The series is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy named Will mysteriously vanishes. As the search for him continues, friends, family and local police are drawn into a mystery involving top-secret government experiments, supernatural forces and a world unlike any other. The only hope may be in one very strange little girl.

Now on to my season two review…

The Basics

It has been almost a year since Will returned from the Upside Down and, for most, life has continued/ Everyone still has issues they are dealing with, but for the most part they are good. Like any drama, you know that means their lives are about to be turned Upside Down.

The Non-Spoiler version

Season two of Stranger Things is a lot more of everything you loved in season one, but without repeating itself. It is a smooth transition and carryover from the original season.  We have two new characters, Max and Billy, who enhance the ‘80s nostalgia while advancing the plotline.  It’s a solid show well-worth viewing with your family.

The special effects, the filming, and the acting are all spectacular.

Stranger Things

Slight Spoiler Version of What’s Wrong

Now for a more intense, slight spoiler review of everything wrong:

The first season was full of subtle 80’s references that invoked a sense of nostalgia. This season stands in front of you and flashes it’s the 80’s. The references are no longer subtle and nostalgic, they are in-your-face. In fact, there is almost too many of the ‘80’s references. Why do we need to see TV commercials?

We are introduced to two new characters, Max (Sadie Sink) and her step-brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery). I think the character Billy was simply introduced as an 80’s overkill; he screams everything about the 80’s – big hair, smoking, alpha male, Trans-Am, tight jeans, dangling earring, loud music. He is a stereotype, in fact he looks like he stepped out of the movie The Lost Boys. I see no reason to have introduced the character as he really didn’t move the plot at all.

Dacre Montgomery as Billy

Another pointless side-plot was involving Barb. Yes, the fans wanted to know what happened to Barb, who seemed to have been forgotten in season one, but we all know she died. It’s over and done with, why drag it out? The whole dinner scene with Barb’s parents was nothing more than a filler, set to waste time.

Things are rolling along nicely in the series when Eleven has a temper tantrum and takes off on a journey of self-discovery. While out there, she finds her mom, she then heads over to Chicago where she finds a ‘sister.’ This is a pointless episode that does nothing to evolve the current plot, all it does is remove Eleven from the picture long enough for everyone to get into trouble and give us a setup for Season 3 or a spin-off.

Despite the things that annoyed me, it was still a good ‘wholesome’ family-friendly series that did not have the cheesy 80’s sitcom feel. It was enjoyable to watch and it is definitely something I would put on again during a lazy Sunday afternoon.