Sci-fi horror aficionados with a soft spot for the 1980s are sure to be getting their Halloween fix in early with the arrival of season 2 of “Stranger Things” — a surprise hit for streaming giant Netflix
Created by twin brothers Ross Duffer and Matt Duffer, “Stranger Things” revisits the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, where in the first series the disappearance of a boy unleashed supernatural forces revolving around the parallel universe known as the Upside Down and the Hawkins National Laboratory that dabbles in the paranormal.
Season 2 takes place in 1984, a year after its predecessor. The cast fuses a young generation of acting talent (Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp and Finn Wolfhard) with stars who made their name in the 1980s (Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine).
The first season of “Stranger Things” referenced iconic 1980s movies such as “E.T.,” “Poltergeist,” “The Goonies” and “The Fly.” Movie homages in the second season include “Back to the Future,” “Stand By Me” and “The Lost Boys.” Netflix itself has certainly been having some eighties retro fun with the “Stranger Things” season 2 posters paying visual throwback to cult horror classics from the period.
Is the nostalgia as good as it used to be?
While the debut season of “Stranger Things” generated rave reviews and 18 Emmy nominations, the second season has so far received mixed critical notices. Entertainment Weekly, hitherto one of the show’s biggest cheerleaders, griped, “Last season, ‘Stranger Things’ ripped off the greats. This season, it’s ripping off ‘Stranger Things’…’Stranger Things 2’ settles in for five straight hours of pure unfiltered Netflix bloat.” But The Atlantic called it “a thoughtful and compelling trip into unknown territory.”
Call season two a sequel
“I don’t want to call it season two, I just want it to feel like a movie sequel,” Ross Duffer told New York magazine. The Duffer brothers plan four seasons of “Stranger Things” before they return to feature films (their first film 2015 horror movie “Hidden” went largely unseen and they were turned down to make the hit remake of Stephen King’s “It”.)
In what is a first for Netflix, season two of “Stranger Things” is accompanied by “Beyond Stranger Things,” an aftershow behind-the-scenes guide to the making of the series. “Beyond Stranger Things” is hosted by actor Jim Rash and features interviews with the creators and cast. AMC’s
“The Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul” have previously hosted aftershows as has “Game of Thrones, although “After the Thrones” is one of HBO’s
rare missteps, lasting just one season.
Integral to the success of “Stranger Things” are the charms of the tweens and teens in the show. The young acting talent has met President Obama and received awards acclaim (Millie Bobby Brown, 13, was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress as the Emmy Awards for playing enigmatic psychic Eleven.) This year the new breed includes Sadie Sink as skater girl Max and Dacre Montgomery as John Hughes-esque high school jerk Billy. Sean Astin, who joins the cast of “Stranger Things 2” playing Winona Ryder’s love interest, flies the flag for the older generation at the age of 46.
View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-strange-things-about-stranger-things-season-2-2017-10-27