Karson’s Kritiques: ‘Stranger Things’


As Halloween neared, I already felt the eerie atmosphere around me with ghouls and mysterious creatures hanging from every mailbox and front door. Netflix thought well ahead in making their release date for “Stranger Things 2” the Friday before Halloween. I put on my pumpkin socks, blacked out my entire basement, and prepared myself for some seriously spooky screening of one of my favorite shows.

Season one of “Strangers Things” premiered on July 15, 2016 and enticed an audience of 14 million American adults within 35 days of its release, according to Symphony Technology. Their second premiere had an equally prodigious reaction with a 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Even critics on Rotten Tomatoes raved about the season, claiming that the “slow-building sophomore season balances moments of humor and a nostalgic sweetness against a growing horror.”

I watched the first season last August in a span of 20 hours during an extreme binge-watching fit. I soon regretted this because I could not see how the plot continued until the next year. However, I also had some hesitations due to the fact that, for me, typically the first season of everything is the best.

When I began watching, I was taken aback at how great the second season was. The producers, the Duffer Brothers, took characters to a whole new level and displayed intricate character development through the entire cast.

This season is about the Byers family and their community trying to overcome their past, without realizing that these past horrors have not left Hawkins yet. It is full of plot twists and cliffhangers, even more than the first season, which is hard to believe. I was on the edge of my seat, from the moment I pressed play on the first episode.   

I applaud the producers because they did a fantastic job of balancing multiple genres in one show. They have so many viewers because they have mastered the art of pleasing the masses. In just one episode, you get sci-fi thrills, intense action, and budding romance from different plot lines.

Having a diverse set of characters also brings a new spark to the show, which makes it stand out among other Netflix originals. Making the majority of the cast kids makes me sympathize with them and feel more connected to the storyline. After watching both seasons, I relate my own childhood to these kids. Some of them even reflect my best friends’ characteristics and how we behaved when we were younger.

I’ve become completely and utterly obsessed with this show since the beginning and hope the series keeps its exciting momentum as the story progresses. I’m not too thrilled about having to wait a year for another season, but this gives me time to rewatch the second season about a million times and truly comprehend its happenings. If you need me, I’ll be eating eggos and avoiding the upside down. If you don’t know what I mean by that, go watch the show and find out.

Karson Langrehr is an In-Focus Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.