Cover Story 62: Stranger Things 2



The crowd-pleasing Netflix sci-fi smash is back for its second season and we look into why it’s so damn popular.

We all know the feeling. We’ve all been there. We’ve all discovered a new TV show, immediately become entranced by it and allowed it to take over our psyche.

Over the past two years, there’s probably not a show that seduced the minds of viewers more than “Stranger Things,” the Netflix original that balances ’80s nostalgia, mind-blowing sci-fi twists and the lovable humanity of children.

The second season just debuted — don’t worry, this is a spoiler-free zone; we won’t ruin it for you — and it’s all anybody was talking about on social media for a while there. People watched the whole season in a day and were re-watching it a couple days later. Some people then rewatched the first season. “Stranger Things” mania was upon us. Again.

Even in 2017, when our attention is divided and our entertainment options are more plentiful than ever before, it seems like people all agreed on this: They can’t get enough of “Stranger Things.”

If you’re a newbie, no judgment here. In fact, we’re kind of jealous, you’ve got the whole thing ahead of you still. But we wholeheartedly recommend you jump on the bandwagon. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons people — ourselves included — just can’t seem to get enough of “Stranger Things.”


  1. THE 80s

The most awesome thing about “Stranger Things,” without a doubt, is how well it nails the ’80s. It’s able to make something old feel new and something strange feel familiar. There are parts that seem like old John Hughes movies and parts that feel like the best Steven Spielberg films.

The Duffer Brothers, who created the show, wear their influences on their sleeves in that way. But it’s not just about influences, it’s about re-creating a time and place that feels authentic.


Rare is the time when a bunch of unknown kids carry a brand new show. But it happened with “Stranger Things.” Sure, there are some adults — we’ll get to them — but the heart and soul of the show is the kids. Not only is their acting great, but their innocence gives the show a different dimension than most sci-fi stories out there.

Who doesn’t immediately love Dustin? Or identify with Lucas wanting to play peacemaker. Or understand Mike’s loyalty to his friends?


Every good story needs a little bit of mystery and we get that when we meet Eleven in “Stranger Things” Season 1. Nobody knows where she’s from, why she doesn’t talk and why she acts so strange. But her fish-out-of-water arc adds some funny moments to the story. And when she displays her true power, she’s immediately your hero.

It helps that she’s played to perfection by Millie Bobby Brown. It also helps that we know the mystery of Eleven is far from complete.


This is the best way to put it: “Stranger Things” just strikes the right notes. There’s a lot happening and a lot of characters, but the vibe is just completely right. In a time where TV tries to be too smart or too fancy, “Stranger Things” reminds you of a time when TV and movies were fun. Sure, it’s thrilling in some places, dramatic in others, even scary in a few — but it also seems fun. And that’s important.


This is a different thing than the 80s blurb, we swear. The show is great because it takes place in the 80s and hits the right notes, but it’s also good because it’s perfectly aware of its audience and it’s full of homages and references to the past that its audience will enjoy.

Whether that’s alluding to “E.T.” with bike-riding scenes or having that “Goonies” vibe, “Stranger Things” reminds us of being a kid. And that’s always fun.


In a time when it seems like half of our entertainment options are remakes or adaptations of a book or comic, “Stranger Things” is awesome because it’s completely original. There’s no source material that half the audience has read like with “The Walking Dead” or there’s no universe of comic books to which everything is tied like with Marvel.

The fact that it’s new, original, unique is fantastic isn’t seen enough of these days.


Of all the adults on the show, Winona Ryder gets the most attention for her role as Will’s mom, Joyce Byers. But the local police chief, Jim Hopper, is also played to perfection by David Harbour. He has a heart and he’s smart.

But it’s also clear we don’t know everything about him and his involvement in what’s going on. So that’s another mystery we’re eager to see unraveled.


    You didn’t think we were going to leave out the Upside-Down, did you? If you’re a newbie, it’s basically a parallel universe that comes into play throughout the search for Will. But it’s so visually cool and trippy to the brain, that we want to know more about it.
    It’s not uncommon for TV shows and movies to be littered with “Easter eggs” for their most die-hard fans to find. It’s especially true in the sci-fi realm, where fans often obsess about their favorite shows even more.

As such, “Stranger Things” is good at navigating this terrain and giving fans more reason to pay careful attention.


    It’s the best thing any type of entertainment can do — keep you wanting more, keep your appetite insatiable. “Stranger Things” does just that, whether it’s the first episode, the first season or the second season.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we can’t get enough of “Stranger Things.”

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