AndersonVision Best TV of 2017: #5 – Stranger Things: Season 2 (Netflix)
STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2 REVIEWED
“Stranger Things” seemed to improve a ton of things from Season 1. Then, it tried to go full 80s and force a back-door pilot. The power of the Lab Siege was ruined to show that Eleven can make freaky friends in Chicago. Yet, it also commented on the nature of mid 1980s popular fiction. Why exactly did Stranger Things work this year?
Picking up from last season, its obvious that the Duffer Brothers learned who was the most marketable. While a hefty chunk of this season became the Dustin and Eleven spotlights, it’s not that anything was lost. Hell, the less time spent with Will in trouble…the better. It’s just that the world of Hawkins, Indiana is expanding to a point that it might became a supernatural Simpsons. Who will be the Ralph Wiggum?
New addition Max actually sparks the all-boy dynamic of Mike and his friends. Sure, they try to squeeze in a confused love triangle until they have to abandon it. It makes sense for young kids, but it also feels trite. What doesn’t feel trite is building up the relationship between Ryder and Harbor. David Harbour is quickly becoming the best thing about the show and he milks every scene he gets. Hell, he got the meme kids to listen to their Jim Croce.
The biggest takeaway from this season for me is Sean Astin. The once and future Mikey Walsh finally got to age into the most complete adult living in Hawkins. Naturally, he wasn’t long for this world, but nerds could hope. He made sense with Winona Ryder, even though her kids joked on him. This single role almost made up for Rudy. If someone recut Rudy where those dogs ate him…I’d forever be thankful.