Things Just Got A Bit Stranger

Mike, Mike, Mike! Guess what day it is Mike! Guess what day it is!

Uhh…hump day?

No! It’s Halloween!

Hooray! We finally made it! So Misfits, let me start off by saying happy Halloween! To keep us in the spirit, I want to discuss with you a very appropriately themed show: Strangers Things. But Before I get into that, I want to keep my promise from last week: showing you all my girlfriend and my rendition of Pulp Fiction’s Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega.

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I made my own bolo tie out of a Blue Moon bottle cap. Plus An awesome addition to our get-up, we ran into another Mia at a party and she was accompanied by her fearsome husband and my boss, Marcellus. Not planned at all and one of the coolest coincidences ever! (If you guys are reading this, you looked awesome!)

Now, I once again must halt my self-indulgent ramblings and get onto talking about Stranger Things! So strap in, defrost some egos and let’s go! The first season, which came out in 2016, was one of my favorite shows immediately after I watched it. It’s like a remastered, extended 80’s horror/thriller movie that isn’t super cheesy, has great production value and allows you to enjoy the adventure for more than the length of a movie. However, the conclusion of season 1 left me screaming for more! There were so many questions left unanswered and I literally could not wait for season 2 to get here and answer them for me. However, I had no idea where they would take the story and how they would try and top an amazing first season (though after watching the new season, I’d say they did a mighty fine job). So needless to say when the new season came out, I had to binge watch both installments so that I could….you know, write a good review…for you…so I really did it for work. Be grateful, those are 19 hours I will never get back, that I sacrificed for you, my beloved readers. 19 incredible hours. But now sadly now that I am done binging, new episodes of Stranger things are, as Eleven would say: …Gone….

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Before we go any further I want to let you know there are spoilers ahead (Oh yes, there will be spoilers -Jigsaw, Saw II). So if you are like my friend and cohost Nick and you either have just started watching this show or have yet to begin, here’s what you do: Open a new tab (don’t want you to forget about my brilliant article), log into Netflix and spend the next 19 hours watching both seasons. Then come back and read this masterpiece. Either that or maybe you don’t mind spoilers, if that’s the case, screw it, read on!

BUT FOR REAL! SPOILERS! BEWARE!

This season picks up a year from when we last saw the group. The haircuts are generally still awful, but hey it’s the 80’s. Nancy, however, is sporting a new, more grown-up hair-do (Yass queen, slay). The boys, though still knowledgeable in dungeons and dragons lore, have upgraded to searching for coins in couch cushions to go play mindless video games (dope). They soon discover all their long-standing high scores have been beaten by MADMAX. The new high-scorer turns out to be…a girl? I love that they employ the fact that not only do girls play video games too, but they can kick ass at them just like any dude. The new girl Max slowly becomes a new party member in the core group (despite Mike being kind of a dick to her), which makes sense because El is “gone” doing her own storyline (Which by the way, I hope the whole thing with Kali is further explored in the future or else that whole arc would feel like a pointless waste.)

The first thing in season 2 that really got me excited was the re-reveal of Eleven. Not only did it mean she was alive and well, she was also with Jim Hopper as his sort of adoptive daughter. She is also finally growing her own hair! I know, I’m talking about hairstyles again, but it just makes me so happy to see her starting to become a real kid. Though it raises the question, will we see her as a redhead in season 3? We’ve already seen her bald, blonde (wig) and now a Brunette. Hopper and El make a great pair and he seems like he is truly trying to be a good dad (and for the most part succeeding at it). At first, I didn’t understand why he was hiding her from everyone, but I soon realized he was doing what every father tries to do, protect his daughter. He already lost one, I don’t know if he (or any of us) could handle him losing another. Though I realized this pretty quickly, it seemed it took everyone else in the show a little bit longer. Like seriously everyone that finds out is kind of a dick to Hopper. He is doing his best goddamnit! Raising a pre-pubescent girl is hard enough, add in telekinetic powers and that’s damn near impossible. You go Hopper. El also gets to interact with her Mama and even learns a bit about her past, which is nice that this girl is actually getting some answers about herself.

In addition to this new father-daughter-like pairing, I enjoyed the new groupings they implemented into this season. First, they showed Will actually with his family. This was nice because he was finally home and shown as an actual character, as well as surrounded by those that love him. But for God sake, can this poor kid catch a fucking break? It’s like they say, you can take the kid out of the upside down, but you can’t take the upside down out of the kid. Well, you can actually but it takes a few tries and a shit load of heat. Another pairing I really dig-dug (dig-dug, nice one JJ) was Steve and Dustin. Steve basically hung out with all the kids, but he formed a special bond with Dustin and for some reason, it was really heart-warming. Not only was it unexpected and fun to see the two bond, it showed the growth of Steve.

Speaking of growth, I think that is something that this show pulls off flawlessly. From Nancy, becoming more of an adult from her previous stupid teen self, to Steve being a grade A asshole who you can’t help but hate in season 1, turning into one of my absolute personal favorite characters. They show characters where they start out and have them go through events that really show the viewer how they became who they are now. But the unique thing about this show is that they do so without having boring, drawn-out sequences, they grow their characters throughout the exciting and interesting scenes that make up the show. Will, also showed an amazing amount of growth throughout this season. Yeah, that’s probably because he was on screen for more than ten minutes, but his character became just as familiar as the core four from the maiden running of the show. Yeah, he is still the Demogorgon’s bitch the entire time, but Noah Schnapp, the actor that portrays Will, seriously shows off his acting chops. Like seriously, damn this kid is a good actor. In the episode “The Spy” when Will says “I’m sorry, he made me do it” chills went down my spine. Noah literally made me believe he was co-inhabiting his body with the shadow monster.

Which also I just want to say that the shadow monster kicked so much ass, such a cool new monster to terrorize Hawkins this time around.

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Badass.

Also for those of you who had your doubts that Barb was dead (which like, dude, she had a slug coming out of her mouth), we get some closure on that. I personally felt we didn’t get enough of a chance to care about Barb’s fate, but it was nice they didn’t just leave that up in the air.

As for new characters that sucked; Billy. Fuck that guy. Like seriously grow a big boy mustache and cut your hair bro. Every time he was on screen I wanted to punch him in the face. Thankfully, in the end, Steve takes care of that shit (Go Stevie boy!) but not without getting his face caved in as well. For real, can he go one season without getting the shit kicked out of him? Though, I did feel bad for Billy when they showed his relationship with his Dad. It kind of explains why he’s such a dick, but it doesn’t really excuse him at all. It was also super Satisfying to see Max take care of business after Steve was down for the count. A younger kid, that is a girl in the 80’s no less, standing up to and beating a racist, dickhead bully. Poetic justice in the best way possible. Also while we’re on the topic of shitty characters, the wheeler parent’s literally are the worst parents ever. They’re lazy, bland and piss me off whenever on the screen, even if it is for 30 seconds. Like seriously, your kid fought a demon legit last year and now he’s out late and you don’t know where he is and you don’t seem like you could even try to give a shit. Sick. Take a note from Joyce Goddamn Byers. She has her house torn apart on a regular basis and LITERALLY went to hell and back for her son. Those kids better get her a good Mother’s day present, maybe a maid service or something.

Despite the shitty characters that inhabited season 2, there were also some new characters that were pretty great. First, was Dr. Owens. He was a doctor from the same organizations as “Papa” but you didn’t quite hate him so much. Plus he actually turned out to be a decent guy, going out of his way to help people, plus he was actually trying to cull the threat of the upside down portal (even if he did a shit job of it), not just cover it up and kill people to do so. As an added bonus he was played by, wait, seriously? That’s Paul Fucking Reiser? Like from “Mad About You”? Am I the only one that missed that?

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The other great new character was Bob. Yeah, he was kind of a pain in the butt in the beginning and kind of, sorta the literal reason the shadow monster got Will (like he legit told him to stand up to it, look where that advice got him bobby boy) but he’s a prime example of the growth we talked about earlier. He proved to be a useful part of the group and a brave son of a bitch (and a nerd too, bonus!). When he first popped up on screen, I’m sure I’m not alone when I yelled out: Rudy! It was nice to see Joyce with someone who made her happy unlike that jerk Lonnie. As much as I loved seeing Sean Astin make an appearance in one of my favorite shows, I think it would have been best if he kept his running shoes hung up in the Notre Dame Locker Room. But at least he was spared from seeing the future of his beloved RadioShack. You saved everyone else’s butts and for that, we are forever grateful, if only you could’ve caught that damn broom. Sweet dreams Bob the Brain (and RadioShack, R.I.P.). RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

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With things calmed down a month later, all the kids took part in a nerd’s worst nightmare: a school dance. It was nice to see all the young love blossom, Dustin looking fly as fuck and Nancy help him and his pearls (raaaghh) make all the mean girls jealous. Like really, that was so awesome. Misfits getting the girls left and right, good job guys. Unfortunately, in the closing seconds, we’re shown that the badass shadow monster was beaten for now, but boy oh boy, he is not gone. Is he gonna rear his shadowy head in season three? We’re gonna have to wait until 2019 (apparently) to find out. So until then, I urge you to:

Breathe…Sunflower…Rainbow…

Breathe.

 

So did you Enjoy the new season as much as me? Did you enjoy my review? Let me know in the comments or send me a message via email or our social media accounts. Don’t forget to like our articles, subscribe to our blog and twitter to keep up to date with all our new posts and news and let me know if there is anything you want me to review or talk about next week!

Until then Misfits, Stay Strange.

 

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