I re-watched it and loved it and I'm the absolute last person you would think would have been into season one - I don't really like the Amblin stuff or stuff it's supposed to be evoking in and of themselves but to me this was such a perfect mash-up of genres. It actually has a clear thematic depth too - the world is horrific and baffling and fantastic all at once regardless who's eyes your looking through after all.
This was the piece of pop-Art that really captured what so many things in modern culture were trying (and failing) to achieve - I'm thinking Kill List or something else like that tried it - different film archetypes that when laid out side by side way elevate the other.
I know a lot of people who haven't even bothered with it and when ask why they usually say "I don't think I'd like it or isn't that for kids?" ........which is the entire beauty of it. You're so used to a trailer telling you everything, that the unknown seems weird..........you're so used to not being a kid you don't think you can see through a kids eyes at all.
February 27, 2017 at 12:06 : distain (pupdurcs) posted on Gold Derby:
I re-watched it over the Summer with my brother. Honestly liked it a little less, and I didn't love it to begin with. It's good don't get me wrong, but I actually find most of the kids pretty fucking annoying, and it's hard to deny how simple its storytelling and characterisation is, enjoyable though it is. I'm kinda looking forward to S2, though I doubt I'll be jumping straight on it tomorrow.
Really, as far as these 80's-Spielberg throwback things go, I preferred Super 8.
Didn't find the time to re-watch it (it wasn't really a priority for me as I remember it well from the three or four times I binged it last year), but nonetheless I'm incredibly excited for the new season tomorrow. I'm getting together with some friends to watch all nine episodes tomorrow night. Should be a blast.
I wanted Eleven to be Hopper's daughter and guess what, she is truly Hopper's daughter
Poor Will gets tortured this time too. It actually follows the same path season 1 goes but with more character development. Also in season 1 we knew that there are more kids like Eleven and now they revealed one of those kids this season, gave her an episode totally. It did felt out of place, like watching a different show. Glad that it's only one episode coz we got more important things back in Hawkins.
What is Samwise Gangee doing in Stranger Things? Anyway he got a nice part and i did care for him in the end.
Dustin this season behaved in an odd way. This was the guy i liked in Season 1 and now he breaks the group rules and gets them into danger. We also get a new girl into group, Max who is annoying actually.
I expected more from the Shadow monster thing but i guess we have to wait for season 3 for that.
The show makers need to up the visual aspect of the show.
Millie Bobby Brown is the MVP this season too. David Harbor comes second.
Overall i like Hopper, Nancy, Steve better now. Dustin gets some minus points. Others are as usual.
Watched the first 3 episodes. So far, it's pretty much the same as S1 - very enjoyable, very addictive. It's still not anywhere near on the same level as the best TV out there right now, but it's so entertaining that it doesn't really matter.
I'm really liking Winona Ryder, more so than in the first season where I appreciated her passion and energy but sometimes found she overdid it a little. That scene where she watched Will's footage was so well done. Not loving Eleven so far (talk about petty when she knocked Max off her skateboard - also, Max is great), and Dustin is just as insufferable as he was before. The end of episode 3 was fantastic - looks like I'll be bingeing this thing after all.
Great, great season overall that doesn't quite match the quality of the first. Arguably the best quality of the first season is its perfect pacing and the way it is able to accomplish so much in a succinct, satisfying way. The second season isn't quite able to achieve this same effect, with the biggest roadblock being Chapter Seven, which is, while not an aggressively bad episode by any means (there are actually a ton of moments in it that I love, which is arguably enough to justify its inclusion), a bit unnecessary in the grand scheme of things; it was really banking on the pathos of its conclusion, which ultimately wasn't satisfying enough due to the simple fact that the storyline hadn't even played out for long enough to feel like actual growth and development occurred. It definitely feels they could've modified Eleven's arc ever so slightly to achieve the same endpoint, and still be able to cultivate a more succinct eight-episode season.
But still, I don't want to devalue all that Chapter Seven and the surrounding material had to offer, as it did wonders for the world-building, something this season in general did much better than the first. It expanded its scope without losing the small-town feel, and was able to add much more texture and detail to the town of Hawkins to make it feel more lived-in and genuine. And along with its slight expansion comes a crew of new characters, all of whom are as great as our original band: Bob the Brain is an absolute legend, Max is really fun and does wonders for the group dynamic (I'm a little bit bothered by the fact that they made her a love interest for Lucas, for the sole fact that television needs more Platonic relationships and I was holding out hope they would go that route with this new character), Billy is a great addition in his caricature glory, Dr. Owens ended up being a nice subversion of season one's "bad men", and Murray Bauman was an absolute treasure for the few episodes he was on.
The original characters still retain the spotlight, of course, and they mostly lived-up to how well-written and detailed they were formerly. If anyone felt truly short-ended, it was the kids; the heart and soul of the first season, yet they felt weirdly sidelined this time around despite the popularity of the characters. The ultimate problem may be that they shifted too much of the focus towards Dustin (being the most favored by fans, it makes sense) that Mike and Lucas were just relegated to being support characters throughout all nine episodes. (Seriously, Mike was arguably the lead of the first season, and it feels like he has about half the screen-time and dialogue of all the other main characters this season.) I wouldn't necessarily consider it a storytelling flaw, as I appreciate they took a different approach in deciding to showcase them as a group less, but they're not the series-stealing highlights that they once were. Throwing Steve into their storyline in the second half of the season, though, was incredible; the once-hated character has slowly become one of my favorites of this series, and he had some awesome showcase moments this season that played true to his character and his growth. Nancy and Jonathan, meanwhile, also felt slightly short-ended in comparison to last season, and I think the writers need to realize moving forward that these two characters need to be separated and find their roles elsewhere. I was not a fan of the further exploration of a "love interest" angle between these two as, once again, things should be more Platonic.
Regarding other character highlights, though, the Byers family once again was a strong epicenter of audience sympathy in another Will-centric conflict that was somehow even more grueling (at least for the audience) than his disappearance in the first season. While I definitely think the burden of being the conflict catalyst should ultimately be lifted off of Will's character in seasons moving forward, they did a disturbingly wonderful job of keeping that importance on the character and fully exploring the tortured, traumatized nature he has to live with. Noah Schnapp was really impressive this season as his role became significantly more demanding. Joyce was once again a fantastic character while being reined-back a bit from her over-the-top nature in the previous season, and Winona Ryder was great once again. The true center-piece of this season, though, is undisputedly Hopper and Eleven. Sure, we could see the potential for the father-daughter dynamic between the two coming from a mile away last season, but the way that potential was followed-through with this season was absolutely beautiful. Every scene between the two was emotionally poignant and touching in a completely genuine way. Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour are this season's MVPs, bar none; absolutely magnificent performances from them both.
In terms of other over-arching flaws, the only other major gripe I had with this season is that the payoff wasn't nearly as satisfying as it felt that it should have been. The first season has an outstanding finale that is off-the-charts cathartic in such a natural way. The conclusion of this season, on the other hand, didn't feel nearly as earned (a lot of the climatic sequences lacked the appropriate amount of tension), and much of the emotional payoff (other than with the aforementioned Eleven/Hopper dynamic) felt forced rather than properly achieved. And then they tacked-on an easy cliffhanger to the epilogue sequence that was already extended too long, and it just didn't sit right with me. I don't know, I was pretty fatigued by that point, so perhaps the ending of this season will grow on me with additional viewings. The season, for me, definitely peaked in its middle; the sixth episode was likely my personal favorite yet again, though I'd have to confirm that on a re-watch. Overall, though, this nine-episode adventure was packed with a shit ton of great moments -- from the comedy, to the horror, to the emotional backbone -- all the while doing a wonderful job of expanding upon its conflict and its world, and retaining the strong character writing off of which it thrived before. Really dug this overall, and I can't wait to get obsessed with it all over again.
Last Edit: Oct 28, 2017 18:12:56 GMT by DeepArcher
2 episodes in and just like season 1 it's just a perfect genre-combination - a genuine pop culture event really (unless they mess it up in the next episodes) - I can not think of anything else that works this well for what this is and is appealing to everyone in the best sense of that, certainly cinema isn't in delivering that in recent years at least.
I'm excited to post my full thoughts later, but for right now I'd give season one an A and season two a B. It's way more flawed (the 8 subplot should've never been included, the ending was kind of sloppy, the pacing and writing was a lot messier and more unfocused, I still don't see the point of Billy and Max), but overall it was still an incredibly fun, funny, emotional, and satisfying ride. Whereas literally every character in season one was tremendously great (besides the non-entity that was Barb), I think the clear MVPs here were Will Byers and the GLORIOUS Bob Newby, superhero.
Post by Johnny_Hellzapoppin on Oct 29, 2017 0:23:06 GMT
I just watched the whole thing straight through despite the fact I promised myself I would only watch 3 episodes a day for 3 days.
Luckily my disappointment in my own lack of self control is outweighed by the excellence of Season 2. I will post more complete thoughts later (it's 1.30am and I've been drinkin' , but for now it is suffice too say that on first watch, I preferred it to Season 1, and I loved Season 1.
Post by alexanderblanchett on Oct 29, 2017 13:06:50 GMT
So I spent the entire day yesterday to watch Season 2 entirely. And I am glad I did because i made the mistake and spread Season 1 over several days and it does make a much bigger impact to give it a "movie" treatment and watch it as one complete thing. The story itself was not as intriguing or original as when Season 1 premiered but for me it was all about the characters and their development. And there surely are many surprises, also in the way the characters bond, some of you would never have expected at Season 1. Anyway, this was the best part of the show. Another great part were the surprisingly good visual effects and the fact that they did not go over the top with that. Acting wise I have no complaints either. The kids were just as good as in the first one. Winona Ryder was a tard better and David Harbour got way more to do and was brilliant. From the original cast I think Joe Keery improved most. Thanks to the excellent character development he was able to give a really great performance as well. From the newest additions I really loved Sean Astin, who SO belonged into this show as well as Sadie Sink who was great. Paul Reiser also has a good character you never really can come in terms if he is a goodie or a baddie. Writing was amazing, soundtrack tremendous and direction very good. I really cannot wait for the next Season now.
Wow. He certainly has been the most impressive in cast so far. To think he was hardly in S1, I wonder if the producers/creators kinda knew he had some grade-A talent, or felt incredibly lucky when he delivered in S2.