The first season took the world by the Demogorgon’s jaws, but how does the second hold up?
I’m a big fan of the first season and am happy I got the Saturday after off to binge. No spoilers.
It’s been almost a year since the events of the first season took place. For the most part everyone seems to be back to normal. Well, as normal as they’re allowed to be. Not surprisingly they can’t tell anyone what happened which means not even Barb can rest peacefully. Yet.
Will can’t catch a break. I wondered if anyone would mention the fact that he “died.” There are fake stories out there to tell the crowds but that doesn’t mean Will will be treated normal. Mike is still grieving Eleven’s “death” and calls her every night on the radio hoping she’ll respond. Nancy is fed up that they have to keep it all a secret so Barb’s parents can still keep hope their daughter is alive.
That’s not to say the other characters aren’t dealing with their own issues, but based on what they’re legally allowed to say (which is nothing) they have to move on.
Into the Frying Pan
The first season ended with a cliff-hanger of Will’s connection to the Upside Down still being there and it’s not leaving any time soon. As Hopper investigates crops dying Will feels as if something is coming. He goes back to the lab whenever those “feelings” occur but the scientists aren’t worried. They have it all under control. Like last season.
Meanwhile Eleven is in hiding just in case other scientists want to get ahold of her. She’s still trying to understand who she is and where she came from leading her on her own adventure while Hawkins is under attack.
New and the Old Characters
With more characters coming into the picture that means more storylines happening during each episode. Max is the new girl in school and Dustin and Lucas have a thing for her skater attitude. Max also has an older brother Billy who…well the bully from last season isn’t here anymore. There’s also Bob (AKA Samwise Gamgee), Joyce’s new boyfriend, who is named Bob and has a positive outlook on life.
If you have an idea on why Bob is even in the show, you’re probably right.
Everyone gets their screen time but I feel like, specifically Nancy and Jonathan, got less. I liked Nancy’s development last season but this one focuses more on her relationship issues and less on becoming a better person. Of course we see Joyce, Hopper, Eleven, and Mike for example, with their usual amount of time but with new characters coming in, that means less time for others.
However, Steve’s character development keeps growing and I admire getting more into who he is rather than chasing Nancy around.
I did like Mike and Will’s friendship getting more screen time. Last season we knew Mike worried the most but now we get to see them interact and learn how close they actually are. I like watching the friendship amongst the characters and not so much the romantic aspect. Even though I root hard for Mike and Eleven.
Like last season all of them have their own storylines that eventually get woven together during the last few episodes in order for the big fight to happen. Different characters interact and it’s a bit weird at first like, “How did these two end up doing this together?” But I like it.
On a side note my favorite new character is Erica, Lucas’s little sister, who brings a dose of sass to the show.
As much as I like this show I can’t say it’s perfect. Not getting into big spoilers, but one part did bother me when Nancy and Jonathan go off to do their thing and are gone for at least a day. Nancy has an excuse for her parents. Jonathan doesn’t. And no one seems to bat an eye for Jonathan’s whereabouts. Speaking of Nancy and Jonathan and their relationship I never got onboard with…I wish there was less of that and more of them becoming stronger people, which did happen last season.
I never liked Nancy and Jonathan together. Or her and Steve. But that’s just my opinion.
Another peeve would be, going back to what I said earlier, Eleven goes on her own adventures to understand herself better. Which is great, seriously, but that also means she’s not around to help everyone out. It’s almost like you’re just waiting for her to show up and save the day, but that also means the “powerless” characters learn to fight on their own. You miss the group being together.
A nice continuation from last season as the character’s deal with the trauma of fighting a monster that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Each of them have their own problems but as they come together once again you feel that camaraderie and an even closer bond from the first season.
I’ll admit this is a show I like to just enjoy and not allow the criticism to come through. Nothing’s perfect and I understand this isn’t a show for everyone, but I really enjoyed this season. It’s a bit darker, we care about the characters even more, and the battle against the Upside Down keeps you on edge.
If you enjoyed the first season you’ll get right back into the story and wondering what the hell is going on. There will be comparisons. Some like this better than the first but it’s all about following the characters as they go on this never-ending dangerous journey.
Of course I binged it in a day so that means waiting a year for the next.