I absolutely adored the first season of this show and I was so excited for it to come back, I watched the entire season in a day…. maybe not the best choice because now I’m sad.
I’ll keep this mostly spoiler free, I’ll be mentioning light plot points, new characters and all that – but there will be giveaways here in small ways. If you want to be totally surprised, and you don’t want to know anything going into it this probably isn’t the review for you.
The acting from these kids is just stellar, it’s so hard to pull off what they’re doing with such a large cast of young actors, but they emote and deliver lines just like the pro’s do. I love it.
The humor was still pretty on point, I didn’t groan or roll my eyes at any dropped jokes, most of them landed. I’d say the first season was more light hearted than this season though, there’s just a touch less of humor this time around, which is fine.
I’d say the tone is a little darker, we know right away things aren’t right but it does take a few episodes for ‘action’ to happen.
Samwise Gamgee is in it! Sean Astin did a great job and his character arc had a few surprises. I was convinced it was going to go one way, and it went in the opposite direction – so well done Stranger Things, I like that. I’m being super vague here, sorry. Sean Astin is the new love interest for the mother, Joyce. He’s a super huge nerd called Bob the Brain and was the nerd in high school crushing on Joyce.
Another new character, Max, is a red haired new girl at school just transferred from California. I really like her character, for those looking for another girl in the mix outside of Eleven she was awesome. She creates tension in the group because Mike isn’t ready to let go of Eleven yet. He’s still calling for her over the radio every night, hoping she’ll comeback. She’s a skater, she likes video games, and is overall an endearing character.
Her brother sucks. If I have one gripe with the way the show went down this season it was his character, the things they did with him were just a bit cheesy. They had him with his shirt off a lot, almost every scene he was in was focused around showing off his abs, and meh, I could have done without it. He’s a jerk, and he’s bullying Steve during basketball being super macho. He’s also a fucking jerk to his step sister, Max, and it could be an abusive relationship. They didn’t show anything, but she mentions he takes out his anger on her since he’s pissed they moved.
There’s trouble in paradise for Steve and Nancy, and some other stuff going on with Nancy as well as she tries to come to terms with what happened to her friend, Barbara. She’s really struggling with it and gets drunk at a party and lashes out at Steve.
Dustin finds that thing Will throws up in the last season, he names it Dart and keeps it as a pet. That was a big mistake, regrets were had.
Mentioning anything about Eleven and whether she’s okay or not would probably be spoilery, but there is a LOT going around that plotline.
Chief Jim Hopper is dealing with all the crops in the town dying at once, and it could be related to the Upside Down. He goes to investigate and gets in trouble.
From there a lot of stuff goes down, and it’d be too spoilery to get into.
Overall it was a strong season, I really liked it. I guess if I had to say if it was “as good” as the first season I would say “so very nearly”. I had 0 complaints about the first season, so the fact I found that jerk cheesy was a downside to this season, but it’s really my only complaint. Very strong season, very strong show – I enjoyed it a lot.