Today it was announced that Stranger Things would be returning for a second season. While not a total surprise, it is a relief to know that one of my favorite shows of the year is coming back for another outing. With the announcement came a teaser trailer that revealed the names of next season’s episodes, giving us a quick taste of what to expect but not much else. Thankfully, Matt and Ross Duffer (who write, direct and produce the show) have been waiting for this day ever since season 1 hit Netflix and revealed a bit of what’s to come in season 2.
1. Everyone (Sans Barb) Will Back And They Will Be Joined By Some New Faces
“While some…have argued the series should be an anthology, the Duffers opted to tell a continuing story in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Still, the pair toyed around initially with flashing forward a bit before settling on continuing the story in 1984. “I don’t think we ever thought anthology,” says Ross Duffer. “I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade. That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here [in the 1980s], there’s still things that are unresolved.” So, expect to see the return of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), etc. “We don’t know about Eleven,” says Ross Duffer. “We leave that up in the air.””
Hot take: Eleven will obviously be back.
“The Duffers reveal there are four new characters popping up in season 2. “There’s going to be a lot of new and interesting dynamics that we didn’t see in season 1,” says Matt Duffer.”
If you look at the episode titles revealed in the teaser, three of them are obviously directly referencing people: ‘Madmax’, ‘The Boy Who Came Back To Life’ and ‘The Lost Brother’. The second one is clearly referencing Will while the first one is more than likely some sort of homage or thematic reference to the Mad Max films, I’d bet money that the last one is a reference to a new character. Or one of the characters’ brother gets lost early in the season and pops back up in the end of it. I’m just guessing here.
2. James Cameron’s Work Heavily Influences The Story And Structure Of Season 2
“Just as they modeled season 1 after a movie, they look at season two as a blockbuster’s sequel. “I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different,” explains Matt. “There’s Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.””
Going strictly off of science-fiction sequels, Aliens and T2 are not only two of my favorites, but pretty much two of everybody’s favorites. Plus, I’m a tad sick of people always saying “We’re trying to make our Empire Strikes Back” so I consider this a welcome breath of fresh air.
3. The Upside Down Will Still Play A Major Role But The Story Will Travel Outside Of Hawkins
“The Duffers want to go further into Things’ alternate dimension. “We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down,” says Matt. “So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of season 1.” Adds Ross: “We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.””
Yeah, coming from someone whose knowledge of story structure begins and ends with studying English in college, even I understand that there is just no way to not go back into the Upside Down. You can’t open a portal into a dark, inverted version of the real world and then just never talk about it again. “Hey, what about that gaping hole in the fabric of reality we tore open so we could enter and exit the parallel version of our world?” “Oh, don’t worry about that. It wasn’t really that bad anyway. People just made it sound worse. You know, politics.” That being said, I’m down with them venturing outside the Hawkins city limits. Mostly because I feel like we’ve seen everything there is to know about Hawkins, Indiana.
““We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” says Matt of Things’ small Indiana town. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.””
So I don’t know. Personally, these teases kind of raise more questions than answers on my end, but I’m into it. There’s nothing here that’s making me too worried. Honestly, as long as I get to see Eleven come back in time to go to prom with Mike, I’ll give the whole series a 10 stars just for that fan service.