Will the Second Season of Stranger Things be as good as, or better than, the first?

I suspect not, but I don’t say this because I don’t trust the actors, the director, the writers, or the producers, to do an excellent job. I say this simply because Stranger Things 1 was a) so very good and b) good in part because of its refreshing uniqueness.

What did that refreshing uniqueness come from? It is anti-uniqueness. Stranger Things Season One turned uniqueness upside down. Or, more exactly, it turned plagiarism upside down in a kind of alternate universe of unique familiarity.

In literature and performance, it is generally considered bad to copy, even in style, prior works. This proscription is developed nowhere more intensely than it exists in the world of western science fiction and fantasy. No matter how good a story is, if it looks or feels like a previous story, it is docked many brownie points in the informal ratings. Never mind that Harry Potter was one of the most derivative works every created and at the same time, most revered. It is a general rule in literature and movies that the best work follows certain rules (including how the stories are made, but also, uniqueness) but the BEST work can do what it wants.

And this has always been annoying to me. I wish westerno-normative science fiction and fantasy would pay more attention to Eastern norms. The best works do not have to be something 100% unique and undone. The best works can be structured and strictured, classically formed, serving as the worthy monstrance for an adorable morsel of creativity.

Anyway, Stranger Things, as by now you know, addressed the proscription against borrowing by turning hard on the yammering proscribers and whacking them firmly upside the head.

VAGUE SPOILERS HERE ON IN, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Stranger Things is ET, Explorers, and a couple of other movies, with the kids conspiring against the adults. It is Close Encounters, with the obsessive craft work of a key character, driven, apparently, by the psychic unity of other and human. It is Poltergeist because of the plaintive voice from beyond the wall, it is Carrie and/or Scanner and/or Firestarter because of things. It is Commando, Predator, and Alien because of (hey, no spoilers!). Some see Goonies, but I’ve not seen Goonies so I don’t know. Some see Star Wars, but they are wrong. There definitely is a moment of Little Shop of Horrors. And yes, the Big Lebowski, maybe, even though that is not sci fi. But this reference does kinda tie the whole movie together.

StrangerThings_AlteredStatesFew, perhaps none, have noted that it is The Thing. There might be a moment of Repo Man. I’ve yet to see anyone notice Cocoon, but it is there.
Few note, but it is absolutely central to the story, Altered states. Also, there is some of those various time travel movies that involve a lot of energy (though there is probably no time travel in Stranger Things. Or is there?)

Super 8. That one too, and Super 8 is not an 80s movie, but was in that style. What does two meta’s make? A rip in the time space continuum, I’m thinking.

Stranger Things is, in fact, a list of movies to make sure your young child sees before they are old enough to see Stranger Things.

These are thematic representations, specific scenes, plot elements, characters, and everything alluded to or simply ripped from earlier work and used wholesale.

I assume, hope, that Stranger Things 2 will do this as well. But, since Stranger Things 1 already did it, is it really new???? Won’t that ruin everything??11?? Huh.

Anyway, Stranger Things 2 is in the works. Here is a look at each.

Stranger Things 1

Stranger Things 2

Actually I’m expecting Stranger Things Season Two to be as good as the first season. What do you think?

Comments

  1. #1 phanmo
    Nantes
    February 7, 2017

    I watched Flight of the Navigator the other day, definitely (reverse) reminiscent of Stranger Things!
    I have to say that I’m rather shocked that you haven’t seen Goonies…

  2. #2 Charles Nagy
    France
    February 7, 2017

    With your ringing endorsement, I decided to watch it. After two episodes I can’t say I’m all that impressed. Do you need to have kids to appreciate it? Maybe its building but it seems very slow. Not like Game of Thrones which grabbed me straight away…

  3. #3 Charles Nagy
    France
    February 8, 2017

    Greg, I think it’s a generational thing. All the reviews I have read have all been extremely positive, however, they all seem to have been done by people who were still kids or adolescents in the 80’s. I was already 30 ish by then and wasn’t really all that impressed with ET, not really a fan of Stephen King or even an X Files aficionado. Hence, while I could see most of the allusions and tributes to those earlier shows, it didn’t grab me in the same way. I did find it a bit slow as well, and the tension building a bit too predictable. I have always preferred “scientific” science fiction anyway, so supernatural or psychic power movies never grabbed me. That being said, I did enjoy Harry Potter, but that was because of the superior acting and production values. I’ll have to sit this one out I’m afraid 🙂

  4. #4 GregH
    February 8, 2017

    I’m 60. I liked Stranger Things a lot, but I’m not sure I care very much about ST2. We moved on to A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was pretty darn good, and then Ajin, which made me forget all about Stranger Things. I’m happy that Netflix is doing good tv.