As October night’s are drawing in, the weather’s getting worse and Stranger Things is preparing to creep back onto our screens. The first series of Stranger Things may have had all the ingredients to make it an instant cult classic but with one generation hooked on Netflix and another full of 80’s nostalgia, the show has captured the hearts of the masses. So in preparation of Stranger Things series 2 released 27 October, here are the five things we love most about Stranger Things and what we are hoping to get in the new series. For those that haven’t seen the first series yet (where have you been?), we promise not to give away any direct spoilers, but there will be a few insights and teasers.
1. Retro Homage: nothing beats 80’s nostalgia
Beginning with four boys playing Dungeons & Dragons in a dimly lit basement, Stranger Things warps us back to a time when Walkie-Talkies, frozen waffles and exploring the neighborhood on Stingray bicycles was all the rage. There’s an extraordinary eye for detail from what the characters are wearing and the house decor, through to the classic cliques formed in High School. The quaint little fictional town of Hawkins in Indiana either brings a wave of nostalgia or is reminiscent of any American 80’s movies you may have watched growing up. There’s also plenty of 80’s movie references, from the plot mirroring E.T to Jim Hopper being reminiscent of down on their luck 80’s cops to Eleven’s mind controlling Jedi like powers.
In the new series we look forward to indulging in more 80’s nostalgia. Bulging shoulder-pads, flammable shell suits and cassette mix-tape moments are highly likely and extremely welcomed.
2. The epic Soundtrack: the right music rings true
Quintessentially 80’s throughout, the Stranger Things soundtrack not only manages to echo the era, it massively compliments the mysterious plot. With the synth-heavy instrumental of the title screen, to classics from Joy Division and Moby, Stranger Things not only sounds great but is a testament to 80’s music.
With the new series set a year after the first, we are hoping 1984 classics like Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” and Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” make the cut. Bonus points if they somehow fit Thriller in there.
3. The intense & realistically awkward Characters
Whether you were the geek with braces, the prom queen or the joker, there’s a character in Stranger Things that will take you back to those school days. The best TV shows have just the right cocktail of characters (Oh, Friends we praise thee), but Stranger Things took this to a new level with some mind bending twisted personalities and story-lines to match. Here’s a breakdown of our favourite characters and why:
- Eleven: Going from a shy and confused young girl to an all powerful bald ninja; we expect this girl to have a lot more to give in Season 2 as we learn more about her story. We can tell that you that a year on she has curly locks (pictured above).
- Dustin: The most adorkable character, obsessed with science and food, totally underestimated and likely to become a hero in Season 2
- Joyce: a seemingly irritating over-paranoid mother, who proves her instincts are on the nail and risks her life for her son. We expect more heroics in Stranger Things Season 2
- The Shadow Monster: a supernatural beast explicitly inspired by the works of the Trope Namer (apparently). A faceless multiple armed monster that appears to live in the shadows. We wonder if this is the just one of many or an entire species yet to be discovered in Season 2?
Not much has been revealed about the new series, but there are hints of some new characters with new cast members announced as Paul Reiser, Sean Astin, Will Chase and Brett Gelman.
4. Those Cliffhangers: can it get any more intense?
The narrative for Stranger Things Series 1 was pretty tense throughout, which definitely contributed to the scare factor. Far more chilling than gory, the Duffer Brothers managed to evolve the plot ‘old-school’ with gradual reveals and a well-constructed storyline. We know that a good mystery should be drenched in unexpected twists and turns, and series 1 did exactly that – building momentum and keeping us all on the edge of our seats. It’s not until Chapter three, for instance, that Eleven reveals her secret to the boys. Meanwhile, we have built up a substantial familiarity with our fictional world and have gained ample interest into each character – each of them intriguing or spurious in their own way.
We are curious to see how Stranger Things Series 2 will manage to continue this slow release tension now that a lot of the core mysteries have been revealed. We sense that some of these new characters and the end of season 1 hint of a hovering darkness within Will marks the beginning of a new challenge for the Byers family.
5. Dimensional mind-play: The ultimate escape room experience
Well, as escape room creators we can’t help but admire the concept of being trapped in an upside down dark dimension; a mirrored place that is exactly the same but horror fuelled.
The ultimate escape experience complete with man eating supernatural beings and Christmas light puzzle solving. We are hoping for more puzzles and tricks in season 2 that challenge the characters to solve the clues and discover how to cross dimensions without losing their heads.
Are you ready for things to get stranger this Halloween?
If you haven’t seen Stranger Things Series 1 yet then quick… give it a good ol’ Netflix binge before the new series gets here. Here’s a trailer of Stranger Things Season 2 to get your revved up and ready. There’s only one big teaser from Netflix and it’s that “1984 only gets stranger”.
If you enjoyed this you might also want to check out our breakdown of Black Mirror’s Playtest or get planning for what you’re gonna do when you’re not watching this gem at home over Halloween with our list of 5 things to do this Halloween weekend.