Over the past few months, Stranger Things by the Duffer Brothers has been the Netflix hot topic and you would have to have been buried under quite some rock to miss mention of it on social media. Combining the eeriness of American Horror story with all the underrated nostalgia of The Goonies, it smartly captures the ‘high concept’ feel of eighties cinematography that was classically thrilling but easy to follow.
Set in the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins, the plot sees a neighbourhood descend in to mystery and superstition after a young boy goes missing not far from a government research facility that nobody really knows the purpose of. Cue a psychokinetic stranger appearing out of nowhere, three young boys obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons embarking on a quest of their own, and a troubled Sheriff unraveling the disturbing truth as government officials start appearing out of nooks and crannies.
Aliens and things-that-go-bump-in-the-night aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but the heart-warming group of underdog young boys going on a dark adventure to find their missing best friend and the dilemmas of their surrounding community are plot lines that will suck you in no matter what theme they are dressed up in. Other than the obvious villains, the characters are very difficult to dislike, all with their own moral dilemmas and journeys of self-realisation that are easy to connect with. The season has an addictive feel to it, leaving you on just enough of a cliff’s edge at the end of each episode to make it the sort of show you can binge watch in a day and be left feeling as curious as you were when you began.
Season one’s finale left us with only little hints at discord in the story-verse with everyone seemingly getting their happy ending, but it was just enough to make the intentions of a second season well known and many questions are waiting to be answered. Avidly anticipated season two is set to air sometime in 2017 and already many hints have been dropped, teasing what might be in store.
Set in 1984, roughly a year after the events of Will’s disappearance, the second chapter in Hawkins’ story is going to see Will grapple for a normal life after his unpleasant stay in the Upside Down, but his slug-vomiting in the last episode hints at the monstrous consequences of this that have yet to fully unleash themselves.
The producers have teased that although the Demogorgon may appear to be vanquished, we must bear in mind that there is a reason why it was the only monster in the otherwise empty alternate dimension. Actress Milly Bobby Brown has more than confirmed that her character Eleven will be making a return with plenty of social media posts, so what does this mean for other characters we apparently saw swimming with the fishes?
One death that has apparently been confirmed as definite is that of Barb – who we came to feel for but was snatched to build up the danger. The story of season one took place over a mere matter of days, so the repercussions of her vanishing have yet to take place. A clip has been released of the missing person report in the News about her that will be part of the next season so investigations will surely follow. The characters of Steve and Will have been upped to regulars this time around, leaving us to wonder what might happen to the Steve/Nancy/Jonathon love triangle and the sibling relationships.
Three new characters have been confirmed so far. First up is skateboarding tomboy Max, played by Sadie Sink, with a complicated history and suspicion towards strangers due to her difficult relationship with her step-brother, Billy, played by Darce Montgomery. Billy is your superficially charismatic ‘bad boy in a black Camaro’ who hides an explosive and irrational personality. A third gender neutral character named ‘Roman’ who appears unconnected to anyone else has also been unveiled. Word is that Roman is in their thirties and suffered significant loss when young and has since sought revenge. Such a shady combination of characters is sure to bring tension to the already disturbed community.
A full list of episode titles has been released, leaving fans guessing as to what might occur. The premier episode goes by the name of ‘Madmax’ which seems a likely connection to the eponymous new character. The season finale, ‘The Lost Brother’, raises some interesting questions – does Eleven have a brother? Could it be another experiment child of the Hawkins National Laboratory coming to light?
Although lacking official confirmation, there are many other threads of story line that this sequel will hopefully explore. Might Eleven’s Papa make a return in the world where people seem to be coming back from the dead? Just how deep did the experiments and this alternate universe go? Is the Chief actually on the ‘bad side’ after getting in to the car at the end of season one and what exactly did happen to his daughter? Might Eleven get to meet her own mother? How much has Will changed?
If one thing’s for sure, Stranger Things is still going to be a hot topic come Halloween 2017 if this season lives up to the last.