Monday, October 30, 2017

What I’m Watching: Stranger Things (Season Premiere)

Stranger Things: Season 2, Episode 1 “Chapter Nine: Madmax” (B+)

After waiting a full year to watch this show because I thought it was horror, I’m happy to report that, less than two months after wrapping season one, I’m completely on board for season two. I’m pleased to see that the horror elements are getting less and less prominent, and instead we have some more science fiction-style developments, namely with the introduction of another member of the experiment who was able to make a cop think that he saw a tunnel collapse only to reveal that nothing had happened save for his own cessation of the chase. It’s weird to see Will around and hanging out with his friends again, though he is in a different frame of mind considering his frequent trips to the freaky upside-down that happen in the middle of trips to the arcade and other social activities. I enjoyed Nancy’s attempt to give Steve some edits on his paper, and it seems that the moderately good guy is still around and still just as idiotic. There are a few new faces on the show, including Sean Astin as Joyce’s new boyfriend who is the definition of uncool per her sons, Paul Reiser as the doctor who checks in on him and is definitely involved in some sinister things, and Brett Gelman as the man touting Russian conspiracy theories about Eleven. Of course this show would introduce a new mystery girl at school who becomes the subject of the boys’ fascination primarily because they think that she beat the high score on their favorite videogame. The best surprise of the episode was saved for last, as Hopper returned home to his cabin in the woods to greet his live-in companion: none other than Eleven, who apparently isn’t trapped in the upside-down but is very much alive with a full head of hair! I’m excited to see what’s to come this season.

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