Since its recent premiere on October 27, the second season of “Stranger Things” is already taking the screens by storm, scoring 94 percent on “Rotten Tomatoes”. Our favorite characters are back, and have grown. This season takes last year’s acute dosages of thriller and sci-fi to a next level. The show had appeared out of nowhere, but now, its fans are counting down the days to find out what happens to their favorite characters, their anxiety-spurring monsters, and the creatively fictional world which we are now all too familiar with.
The season has blown fans’ minds with an aesthetic, storyline, script, and cinematography that absolutely exceeded expectations. That being said, consider this a warning: there will be spoilers ahead.
With last season’s cliffhanger torturing us all, this season, we really get a deeper look into what the “Upside Down” really is, how it works, and its creatures’ strengths and weaknesses. We are introduced to the “Shadow Monster”, as well as a multiplicity of “Demo-dogs”
However, aside from the ever-growing storyline that has bordered on horror this year, this season has served us viewers with a decent amount of institutional critique, and has been subtly putting forth a resisting agenda. “Stranger Things” is almost quietly addressing the United States under Trump; the plot grows into a “Shadow Monster” that likes the cold, and that sucks life out of the town and its host, Will Byers. Through the host, the monster aspires to transform the surroundings into the order he wants. A character compares this monster to Nazi Germany in one of the season’s episodes.
Moreover, racial tensions arise as new characters arrive to Hawkins, and a subplot unravels. Lucas is threatened by his love interest’s brother, merely for being black. These racial tensions are conjured very subtly throughout the season.
As opposed to the first season of “Stranger Things”, it seems as though this season attempts to serve as critique to the contemporary American lifestyle. The directors are adamant on letting subtle points of comparison and critique pass through, hiding beneath the unceasing 80s references and horror shockers. This tells us one thing about “Stranger Things 2”, that it is more than a sci-fi show, but rather a one that points a finger at our own reality.