October 30th 2017
Today I finished watching season two of Stranger Things. Now I know you’re thinking “Didn’t that only come out on Friday?” and to that I say, yes, sorry, I should’ve finished it on Saturday but I got distracted by some pumpkin carving.
Stranger Things 2 is probably the TV event I’ve been looking forward to the most this year, and, as expected, it was fantastic.
There’s really no original commentary I can make on the series. The pacing of the series is perfect (other than episode seven which just seems really, really out of place), there’s an incredible balance between humour and drama, they develop all of the characters brilliantly, everything that was set up was paid off superbly, and most obviously, those kids are absolutely phenomenal actors.
There’s a scene towards the end — either episode 8 or 9, it’s hard to tell because I hit the “Play Next Episode” button so damn fast that they blended into one two-hour masterpiece — where Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown start crying, and they almost set me off.
It’s weird, because usually good acting should blind you to the fact that the people on the screen are actors. If they’re good enough you’ll be so immersed in their emotions that you almost think they’re real. But with the Stranger Things cast, because they’re so young it’s almost impossible to dissociate the actor from the character. So you see Mike the Character crying on screen, and it’s hard not to see it as Finn the Actor crying. And either you start thinking “What kind of shit could a 14-year-old possibly have been through to be able to summon tears like that”, or “This kid is just ridiculously talented” and either way it’s hard not to feel emotional about it.
There are fully-grown Oscar-nominated actors who can’t cry on cue as believably as those two in that one scene. And it’s not even a particularly emotional scene. They just kinda look at each other and start crying. But it’s so fantastic. The entire thing is.
As I kind of mentioned, the only low point was episode seven, but I kind of get why they felt they had to explore that storyline, I just kind of wish they didn’t. I also wish they just didn’t bother with the epilogue scene at the end. There’s nothing you really learn from that bit of cliched Newsreader-Gives-Vital-Exposition storytelling that they’ve not already made clear throughout the rest of the series. I just feel like they could’ve rolled final credits right after the big climax, instead of rolling the ‘One Month Later‘ title. But, I guess they had to get their Season Three feeder in there somewhere.
Until tomorrow, now I have to sit around and wait for season three.