For What It's Worth

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stranger things season 2

Other bloggers do a much better job summarizing television than I – but I have thinky thoughts after watching season 2 of Stranger Things and it’s my blog so your stuck with them! lol

While I’m not going to get too specific but it's still pretty spoilery so highlight if you want to know more.


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Overall thoughts:

Most stories that have kids saving the world stretch credibility. I was telling my husband that I never once doubt that this group of pre-teens are the best possible people to solve this whole thing. They think things through (mostly), get help when necessary, and have each others back no matter how implausible it gets. Add in a few older siblings, bat waving boyfriends with great hair and adults that actually believe the kids and I TOTALLY buy into it.

I love the innocence of this series. Almost all television right now is defined by darkness – the worst of humanity (rape, torture, murder etc) unreliable narrators and twists that pull out the rug from viewers. While that’s fine, and does make for some great television, it’s nice to be able to take a story at face value and have it still be riveting. Have good people who strive to do the right thing - even if they flounder a bit. It makes the characters easy to invest in and care about the outcome. Something I don’t even bother with anymore with most of what I watch. I suspect everyone to be a secret asshole or to be dead by the end of the season.

This season in particular, has you biting your nails as far as who to trust, and then does the unexpected with those characters. It’s not that there aren’t twists or deaths on ST – it’s just that they come by it more honestly. It’s very straight forward storytelling in a way and I love how I can just relax and enjoy it for what it is.

Spoiler thoughts: ->Bob I doubted you until the bitter end. Can a guy be that nice?? Yes, yes he can. And there’s no way Paul Reiser isn’t a double crossing slime ball. I’m not falling for that again after Aliens! But again…great twist on that.  End Spoiler

The relationship between the boys is just as good, if not better, this season. They screw up – I’m looking at you Dustin – but they are loyal and sweet when it matters most. This is as much a coming of age story as a sci-fi and that aspect is done very well.

Joyce gets the mother of the century award for being FIERCE. She always believes Will and does whatever it takes to save him. Whatever. It. Takes.

One caveat to that – Jonathan. That poor boy can disappear for weeks on end without his mom noticing lol Just because he’s older doesn’t mean he can’t (and often does) get into any trouble.

Now my more wishy washy thoughts that aren’t so cut and dry:

Eleven. I LOVE her. LOVE. And I hate how she is mostly just a vessel to save everyone else. I do think it’s somewhat addressed and countered with characters like Mike and Hopper – who do like her for her – but it hurts me to watch sometimes. I just want to take her out of the show and wrap her in a big hug and not let anyone touch her ever again. But then everyone would die so…good thing I’m not in charge lol

Episode 7 – The controversial ep that you either love or hate Spoiler thoughts: -> I thought it was necessary for Eleven’s character to get away to see for herself what options are open to her. As much as I want her to be a cute 12 year old girl learning about feelings and Eggo's – she’s not. She’s innocent in the ways of humanity but her powers and her past haunt her and everyone is always trying to manage her in some way, even if it’s in her best interest. She needed to choose who her family is and learn exactly how far her powers reach, what way she intends to use them and who to trust – on her own.

Having said that – the episode, as whole, felt cartoonish thanks to the over the top, straight from an 80’s music video, costumes and a *bad ass* NOT group who will kill in retribution in front of child one minute and then steal gum for fun in the next. They're silly and stupid. Kali (Eleven’s “sister”) power is to make people see what she wants them to see and she’s wasting it on hanging with these losers? Can’t she just pretend to be a doctor or whatever and go kill everyone? I liked the contrast between Kali and Eleven. They’ve been through the same things, have the same goals but look at how to achieve those goals in different ways. Kali had lots of potential - I wish they had done it a different way that wasn’t so cheesy. End spoiler

Hopper and Eleven – Another thing that really hurt to watch but I loved it. Spoiler thoughts: ->Hopper is so afraid to lose Eleven (after losing his daughter) that he wraps her too tightly in isolation and rules to protect her. But then he’s also so afraid to open his heart again and have it crushed if he does lose her that he leaves Eleven lost and alone often screaming at her over and over. The fights are raw and brutal and frustrating. I wish they showed a bit more from Hopper’s past so he didn’t come off as such an ass but I got it and loved how it was resolved. End spoiler

Steve/Nancy/Jonathan – ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz Steve is being redeemed nicely but I couldn’t care less about their love triangle and Nancy/Jonathan’s awkward will they won’t they. They seriously stopped the whole plot momentum to watch these two get awkwardly drunk. I do like how they’re all pretty mature about the changing dynamics though because ya know….BIGGER THINGS ARE HAPPENING AND THEY MIGHT ALL DIE!

Max and Billy – I like Max. She’s spunky and no nonsense but felt more like a placeholder for Eleven. Billy. Uh…Billy. They better have some mad writing skills on that show because it will take a lot to redeem him beyond the Spoiler thoughts: ->he was abused and might be in the closet. They were written into the show very haphazardly and it often took away from the main story. I assume they have a bigger place in S3 that explains it all but it was a big dud here. End spoiler

There are so many things I could get into – like more of Luca’s little sister Erica please! – but then this will be tooooo long of a post. Feel free to jump in and talk about something I may not have mentioned or if you agree/disagree with my thoughts.

Where do you thing S3 will go?

A few possible theories….Spoiler thoughts: -> I’m not convinced that Eleven is on solid ground yet. She has some major jealousy issues. She’s great when she’s fighting for those she loves but still has impulse issues when angry and no one to really reign that in. Especially when it comes to Mike (and Max). Is there still a chance that she becomes a villain? Will Kali return – or other siblings from the lab?

Max and Billy still give me weird vibes. Is it really as straight forward as abusive parents and moving to a new town? I kept thinking there’s more to Max and a possible Upside Down connection. And I get a major vibe that Billy is gay and likes Steve. Is that somewhere they will go? They will have to redeem Billy more and maybe Steve is a good person to help with that since he acted very similar in S1 – maybe as a friend – maybe more. Or is Billy a government/lab operative posing as a teen? That would be very 80’s cliche! Too far fetched?

Are we headed to the Upside Down again? I mean that ending certainly shows it’s a possibility. Dr Brenner is apparently still alive so we could be revisiting that whole thing. But how many times can you keep revisiting the same threats? Hopefully if they do it will be with a new twist. Poor Will needs a nap and to get the hell out of town IMO. I don’t think I would EVER feel safe again after what he’s been through! Will Joyce and Hopper get lung cancer from chain smoking?? End Spoiler

There are going to be at least 4 seasons – possibly 5 and I heard that Erica will indeed have a bigger role! so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

You can also check out my friend Jen’s review and take her Stranger Things quiz here!

29 comments:

  1. I just finished up the season today. Overall I liked it. I liked Max. Billy was interesting and I wasn't sure what to make of him. Agree about Steve/Nancy/Jonathon although I liked Steve a lot this season. Ugh to season 7. I get somewhat why it was necessary but I wan't a fan. I hope next season feels fresh.

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    1. I liked Billy and Max (well, not *liked* Billy but the character potential) but they had very little to do with the season. Hopefully they will be more relevant in S3.

      I wondering where they can go for 4-5 seasons that keeps it exciting.

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  2. I saw one ep when I was pregnant and then...nothing

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    1. I wonder if you would like it. It takes a few episodes to get rolling.

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  3. I'm not going to lie, I didn't read this post, lol. I haven't watched Stranger Things (either season), but husband and I plan to when we finish Zoo. However, The Punisher was added to Netflix today, so there's that... We will watch this! Swear!

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    1. I would avoid it all until you watch. And you need to watch! lol

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  4. I will need to get started with this series! Thanks for sharing.

    Joy to the World

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  5. I agree with you about the innocence of the story, even though it's a little dark and creepy at times the characters are wholesome, for lack of a better term, but with few exceptions they're not horrible. Which is very nice. And I agree about Bob! All along I suspected he was a mole meant to keep an eye on Joyce or something, but nope. Just a nice guy. Same with Paul Reiser's character. How refreshing to have a "bad guy" who wasn't really bad, he actually cared what happened and sided with the good guys. Loved that!

    Joyce I really liked this time around, and while Dustin is fun he makes some BAD decisions lol. I mean, dart??? And I liked the Kali/ Eleven episode a little more, at first I was rolling my eyes but I thought it got better. As for Hopper, I was mad at him a lot for how he treated Eleven, but I get what you're saying, there were character reasons for it. Max was awesome and a great addition, I hated how Eleven treated her, and Billy... yeah the big dud of the show. That didn't work at ALL.

    As for theories- I absolutely hope Max takes a bigger role. Of course that means more Billy, which ugh, but whatever. And I do think Kali will be back. And you know Billy as a lab operative- I'll be honest, for the first few episodes I was totally expecting him to be at the school to keep an eye on the kids, but that didn't turn out. I kept thinking, what is his role??? And the only disappointment I really have is this sorta ended just like S1- yay they're victorious but wait, there's the shadow monster, it all could happen again. I agree they need to not go to the same well again in S3.

    LOL about lung cancer. Chain smokers for real, yeesh. Great review and fun theories too. :)



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    1. I was sooooooo mad at Hopper when he was yelling at her! But by the end I came around to understanding where it came from more and liked how they worked it out.

      I liked the Kali/Eleven dynamic and how it shaped Eleven's actions but the episode itself (with Kali's crew - more than Kali) felt like a bad 80's music video. I wouldn't be opposed to her or the other subjects coming back.

      I REALLY hope they do something more with Max and Billy otherwise it's just a waste of time and spreading out the cast too thin IMO.

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  6. I haven't paid attention to what this one was really about. I like the sound of it. Loved reading your review thoughts on it.

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    1. It's so good and a really fun series to binge watch!

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    1. I'm surprised I have. I'm always way behind lol

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  8. This isn't one I've tried yet but maybe one day :)

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    1. This isn't a thing I usually enjoy )sci-fi) but the characters are so good that I love it.

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  9. So many thoughts. And I agree with all your spoilers.
    I was worried about this season but I loved it. I love a show that can surprise me. I was shipping Hopper and Joyce so was prepared to dislike Bob but I liked him SO much. Joyce probably does need a regular sweet guy. I'd also been shipping Jonathan and Nancy because I thought Steve was a tool, but wow was I wrong. Jonathan is kind of dullsville and Steve has hidden depths. Maybe Nancy is too boring for him! Interesting theory on Billy - you could definitely be right. Glad we agree on Ep 7. And I do agree with your predictions spoiler -- I think Carrie may be more of a reference in season 3. I definitely felt Exorcist vibes toward the end of season 2.
    I'm sure I have more to say... but I loved this post!

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    1. I didn't think it had anywhere to go but I ended up enjoying it too.

      Oh Bob. I wish I liked him more at the time because...reasons. But I didn't know if I could lol

      I liked Jonathon and Nancy in S1 because I always like the thoughtful guy more but those two bore me to death. And Steve is learning - not quite there yet but totally willing to change and pitch in.

      I'm really thinking Eleven is going to go down a dark path.

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  10. Max made me super uncomfortable and I didn't understand his purpose - like nothing was revealed besides his dad being abusive. Matt thinks he may be gay and is trying to overcompensate for his toxic father.

    I really liked this season but I thought season 1 was stronger, I do agree that the friendships were better in season 2. While I thought Jane's little Chicago visit was an important story arc, I didn't like watching it? Actually, the middle was kind of lost on me.

    And how are we doing a third season?

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    1. Do you mean Billy? Max is his sister.Yeah - I don't know what his purpose was and his abuse/possibly being int he closet isnt' enough to make me forgive his behavior.

      Agree about the Chicago trip. It moved Eleven/Jane forward but meh...

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    2. Yep definitely meant Billy! He seemed really thrown in there, and yeah, that one scene wasn't enough for me to forgive him for TRYING TO RUN KIDS OVER.

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  11. Nope, still haven't watched this and everyone keeps talking about how amazing this show is and I can't cope with the hype!

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    1. Oh no - that's a sure fire recipe for high expectations and disappointment lol

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  12. We're midway through season one, and to be honest I was totally surprised at how much we are enjoying it. I hope to watch more over the long weekend:) I skimmed since I didn't want to spoil it for myself, but agree there is a believability to these kids.

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    1. Me too! I'm not a huge sci-fi fan but these kids (and the adults) are so engaging that it's addictive.

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  13. I'm wondering how they're going to feature the other girl that Eleven met in next season. We'll seeeee!

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    1. Her "sister" Kali? If so, the creators said that was it for her but I don't believe them lol Also, they could have the other kids that were in the lab with them.

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  14. I had to skim because I haven't watched this show but it sounds right up my alley. You've sold me on Stranger Things!

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    1. Do watch! It's really good. I think you would like Sarah.

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