If you’re as big of a Stranger Things fan as me, you’ve probably already seen the second season of this hitseries. I bingewatched it the first weekend after it came out. Mostly because I desperately wanted to see it, also because I didn’t want to see any spoilers. And since half of the world now has seen Stranger Things 2, there are reviews aplenty. So, this time around, I won’t write a review like with season one. Short summary: season 2 was awesome! No, instead we’ll focus on eleven (because duh) great aspects about this season. Obvious spoilers are obvious.
1. Mike and Eleven reunited
Originally, the Duffer brothers intented to have the reunion in the final episode, during the Snow Ball. Luckily for us, they changed their minds. With the gang being in trouble and almost getting attacked by a Demidog, Eleven saves the day. And she does it as kick-ass as ever, including her new tough look (thanks to that weird episode 7, which, surprise, did not make this list). And the reunion is all we hoped for. It had been a year coming and Mike never once gave up on his friend, not for one day. It was so emotional and will melt even the most stone cold hearts. This is friendship at it’s core. Never give up and always be there for each other, no matter what. Even if the other might be in another dimension. I was so happy for Mike and Eleven.
2. Billy Hargrove and his mullet
Oh man, Billy. If the eighties had a lovechild, it would look like Billy. He rocks the mullet, the creepy not-quite mustache and the denim. It’s great that Stranger Things 2 has a 100% human bad guy, next to the demodogs and the Mindflayer. And although his backstory could’ve been explored more, it’s good that Billy has one. This way, we learn why he is such an asshole. Good job on the parenting, dad. Fun fact: the Duffer brothers originally wanted Steve as the bad guy, but since Joe Keery did such an amazing job with Steve, they went in a different direction with him. And speaking of amazing jobs: Dacre Montgomery is sooooooo good. Who knew a Power Ranger could have such great acting skills? If you have the time, go and see his audition tape. I’m so happy Billy has been confirmed to come back for season 3.
3. Steve Harrington the Good Guy
Who knew? Who knew Steve would be the friggin good guy in season 2? Because let’s face it, he was a big time douchebag in season 1. This is some major character development here. As said above, this is thanks to Joe Keery being an awesome dude. And it even makes sense, his complete transformation. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I am totally #teamsteve now. I love how he is like a big brother to the kids, and mostly Dustin. Dustin lacks a father figure and Steve’s there to be a kind of big brother to him, including love and hair advice. Because no matter your opinions on Steve, this guy still has the best damn hair. It’s a shame his relationship with Nancy is over, but I am sure there’s someone special in the future for Steve. He certainly deserves it. Go Steve!
Poor Barbara. Nancy’s moral compass died a horrible death in the first season. And what makes it even worse is that her parents don’t even know that; they still think she has run off somewhere. It’s all very sad. On social media, people took an instant liking to Barb and invented the hashtag #justiceforbarb. So in Stranger Things 2, the Duffer brothers did just that: they brought justice for Barb. The whole storyline with Nancy and Jonathan working together with the (not so crazy after all) conspiracy theorist is a bit over the top, but it’s well acted and fun to watch. So thanks to this trio, there’s finally some justice for Barbara, and her parents can start to grief. And look, good guy Steve even came to the funeral.
5. Chief Hopper <3
I could write an entire piece on the awesomeness of Chief Jim Hopper. I already really liked him in the first season but Stranger Things 2 makes him even more loveable. It’s also very believable, as he still has his flaws and he’s nowhere near perfect. But he does the best that he can and that’s so much. He’s a loving dad to Eleven, a good friend to Joyce and Will, a decent enough sheriff and a decent human being. I wish there were more people like Jim Hopper in the world. Though I cringed when he was stupid enough to go into those tunnels alone and he almost died. That was a stupid move Jim. Please take somebody with you next time. But I could here all hearts everywhere explode with love when Hopper adopted Eleven at the end.
6. Sean Astin’s Bob Newby
Every geek that grew up in the eighties did a little dance when Sean Astin was cast in Stranger Things 2. This is Mikey from The Goonies, one of the greates movies to come out of the eighties. And duh, ofcourse he also was Sam in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s Sean friggin’ Astin! And what makes it even better, is that Astin himself really wanted a part on this show. He did such a great job that the Duffer brothers actually made him stay on longer than intended, as Bob Newby was supposed to die earlier on. Which maybe makes his death even more sad as we had all gotten to love this sweet man. And to die in front of Joyce made it even more sad. Let’s all raise our glass to celebrate Bob Newby, the most likeable man in Hawkins.
7. Noah Schnapp and his Mindflaying
I don’t think Noah Schnapp gets enough praise for his role as Will Byers. He was the odd one out in season one, as he got the least amount of screentime of all the young actors, with him missing most of the season and all. So it came as a bit of a surprise that wow, Schnapp can act. I mean, all of the young actors on this show are totally amazeballs but I just wanted to praise Schnapp a bit more as he deserves it. His trauma from a year before is done very well but his acting skills come quite clear when Will is taken over by the Mindflayer. Woah. That scene in the hospital is soooo good. And the scene in the gardenshed, also great. That said, I really hope Will get’s an easier time on Stranger Things 3, as he deserves his peace of mind.
8. Girl Power
Even more than the first season, Stranger Things 2 has some serious girl power. Obviously there’s Eleven, with Millie Bobby Brown back being a total badass. I love her character’s arc and the flashbacks with Chief Hopper. And Nancy’s the smart one again. I especially loved Natalia Dyer’s acting in the drunk scene, she was so great in that. Winona Ryder’s Joyce is the only parent in this entire series that actually notices everything, isn’t fooled and believes her son. And Stranger Things 2 introduces more girl power with Mad Max, Billy’s sister. It’s so cool that she is better at video games than all the boys, by far. The whole love triangle with Lucas and Dustin could have been left out for me, but I like Max and it’s good to have her aboard this show.
9. The Eighties
This one is obvious, but it still deserves a mention. For those like me who grew up in the eighties, there is so much nostalgia. There are very cool references, from the obvious Ghostbusters to the more subtle St. Elmo’s Fire. There’s some ET, Indiana Jones, Terminator, Jaws and John Hughes in the mix as well. And what to think of Steve and Nancy dressing up as characters from Risky Business for the Halloween party? Dustin’s ‘Dart’ is obviously a tribute to Gremlins. And not even all the popculture references make it cool, but also the hair, the clothing, the cars and the technology. I never knew you could get nostalgic about the eighties, but Stranger Things 2 does it.
10. The Snow Ball
Everybody: aaaaaaaaaw! This was just too cute. All of it. Mike and Eleven. Lucas and Max. The sweet tween kisses. But what was best of it for me, was Dustin. It starts with Steve bringing his new best bud to the dance, which is just too sweet for words. And Dustin looks like a mini-Steve. It broke my heart that not one girl wanted to dance with Dustin, and that he even had to cry about it. And then there’s lifesaver Nancy who dances with Dustin and makes all the girls jealous. You go Nancy! And cute as the Snow Ball is, it even sets up the next chapter, as the school is shown in the Upside Down and it’s clear that not all is well in Hawkins. Uh-oh.
11. All the funny bits
I’ll let you make up your own mind as to what’s funny and not but if you don’t like Erica, you haven’t seen Stranger Things 2. This girl is the best comic relief of the entire season. We need more of her in Stranger Things Season 3. Speaking of which, please let the Duffer brothers announce a date for that because I cannot wait to see more of this amazing Netflix show. Bring it on!