Netflix’s Stranger Things just got the green light for a second season! News this big just couldn’t wait for my regular Streaming Saturday post.
Before I say another thing about Stranger Things, you have to watch the trailer for season two. Okay, it’s more of a teaser than a trailer, but that’s cool, too. They could’ve written “Stranger Things, Season Two,” on the back of a dirty napkin… that would’ve been enough for me. But anyway, here it is.
Quite a tantalizing trailer, isn’t it? But what are the phrases such as “The Boy Who Came Back to Life,” “The Pumpkin Patch,” and “The Pollywog?” A bit of sleuthing suggests that these will be the names of the nine episodes of season two. That’s right… Us fans get an additional episode next season! While I think that’s great, the show’s producers could make 100 episodes and I’d still want more.
I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the announcement of a second season. Just because the series was a smash hit doesn’t guarantee a renewal. I learned this lesson with HBO’s wildly-popular Carnivàle. This was the show the quite literally opened my eyes to the vast possibility of non-network TV series. It also was a hard lesson learned in the crashing disappointment that comes from network execs electing to abandon a fan favorite.
Despite tons of letters from disappointed fans, HBO elected to cancel Carnivàle after its second season, leaving that intriguing story unfinished. HBO did this with Deadwood and Rome. If memory serves, the high production costs of filming a series set in a bygone era was cited as the main reason for shuttering these wildly-popular series. With Stranger Things set in the 1980s, I wondered if recreating that era posed similar cost risks.
It’s good to see that Netflix knows a good thing when they have it.
I guess it’s pretty obvious that I geek out to Stranger Things. And why wouldn’t I? I would’ve been 13 years old during the fall of 1983, the timeline of season one. Back then, there were only three things that made life worth living: playing Dungeons & Dragons, listening to A Flock of Seagulls, and nursing a secret crush on Gina DiFraternelli. Needless to say, I can relate to the character of Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and the adventures he has with his friends. (Minus the CIA, monster, and inter-dimensional gateway, of course.)
I love how Stranger Things pays homage to popular 1980s sci-fi and horror films. The Duffer brothers, who created the series, borrowed heavily from the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, George Lucas, and Stephen King. Growing up, I saw all of these movies and read nearly all of the books. I loved it all, and it’s obvious that the Duffers did, too. This is just another reason why Stranger Things is an experience as much as it is a TV series.
The ending of season one offered as many questions as it did resolution. I think it’s safe to assume that Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is still alive… in one form or another. But what about the alien-like slug that Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) coughed up? And does the boys’ final game of Dungeons & Dragons give us any hints of things to come? And will Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) dump Steve (Joe Keery) and start dating Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton)?
To find out, join me next year in watching season two of Stranger Things!