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Stranger Things 2

I have broken my rule of not watching horror movies before bed (or videos after 11pm) and I've also stayed up past my bedtime - but I have now finished Stranger Things 2.  My biggest take away was that even though I didn't like it as much as the first season - it was still enough to hold my attention for two binge-watching sessions - something that no other show has done since...um... well, Stranger Things. So, well done. 4 out of 5 stars.

Could have used more threesomes.

Didn't like the fact that Billy's storyline was never wrapped - what was the point of him? Just someone to beat up Steve, so we can enjoy Hurt/Comfort fics? Someone to add a dangerous dynamic to Max's storyline? Also, he was so gross.

Loved Max/Lucas - so cute. Loved Dustin... I loved how the non-Mike kids got the focus this time, rather than Mike... Mike actually didn't have an arc this year, he was just support, and in stasis from last year. 

There was less focus on the Byers and their dynamic... I think I just wanted more Jonathan+Will scenes and more Jonathan+Joyce scenes, because the guy who plays Jonathan is an amazing actor, and I like him playing off Wynona (and Jonathan and Will together are adorable.)

Maybe I'll get my threesome in Stranger Things 3? First Steve/Nancy, then Nancy/Jonathan... then Steve/Nancy/Jonathan? That's the planned sequence right?

Steven ending up with the kids was hilarious, but kind of out of left-field. I liked it though. I especially like the fact that he and Dustin bonded, since it looks like Dustin just has his mom and no real male role models in his life.

I think part of me was disappointed because last season had SO MUCH character development, and this one didn't...like, it was basically just Steve getting dumped, and then feeling sad while he babysat kiddos. Meanwhile, Nancy's development was to be bolder, but even with that decision, her getting together with Jonathan, while cute - was... well, cute... it wasn't like "this is what I want now, I am boldly making this choice." And Jonathan is amazing, but he was just reacting the whole time.... he confronted his daddy/trust issues for like all of five minutes and then was distracted by sex and monsters.

Eleven and Hopper were great together though. I like the fact that he's adopted her - even if their fights are pretty volatile and epic, and Hopper makes bad choices.

I didn't like the introduction of Kali... I mean, I like the actress - but I tend to not like the "there are more than one" storylines... like, you know... Heroes or whatever. Eventually, you're just like "ugh, too many superpowered people." And apparently I get that way even when there are only two. BUT, I did like the actress - and I get what they were trying to do... trying to put Ell into as many different "homes" in a sort of Goldilocks search until she found (returned) to the one that was right.

I was really sad about Bob - I knew it was probably going to happen, because they hinted enough that Joyce's heart wasn't as in it as Bob's was.... and that Hopper was jealous... but... still... maybe it's just that I love Sean Astin so much. Also, that was totally a Jurassic Park homage, but Jurassic Park was early 90s, not 80s! I call foul! (even though it was great.) Though, I wish that he hadn't been killed after pausing to give Joyce a doe-eyed look - like, dudes, if this was real life, you wouldn't pause to stare lovingly at each other, you'd yell "RUN RUN RUN!" and you'd book it...or at least I would, if you want to stare lovingly at me, go ahead, but you will be staring at my back as I run the fuck away from the the monsters and leave your dumbass to be eaten. Like, don't get me wrong, I'll be real sad about it, but it'll be your own damn fault.

Anyway, to fic land where everyone will fix everything for me! Yay!

I'm sure I'l think of more things to say tomorrow... I gotta go get a ridiculously small amount of sleep now.

  This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/544919.html.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2018 07:14 pm (UTC)
I FINALLY finished season 2 last night, after starting it on Christmas Day. (I think I'm the last person on Earth to watch it, but that's how long it takes when you're trying to watch it with your family and everyone keeps being home at different times, ha.)

Billy was INSANE. Though to be fair, the bullies in 80s movies tend to be WAY out of proportion with reality - and the same was true in season 1 when those little punks forced Mike to freaking step off a cliff. But yeah; what a psychopath.

I was interested in Kali and the Morlocks (as I'm calling them in my head, X-Men style), but they seemed more like a spin-off, and in a 9-episode season I really didn't want to spend any time away from the main characters. (Though I was enchanted by that actress's accent.)

Bob also won me over in a big way, which is saying something, because I ship Joyce and Hopper hard. Sean Astin is just so dang likeable. RIP Easy-Peasy. :(

I was thrilled that this season also featured my favorite thing: Jonathan making breakfast. ;) It almost felt like an homage to the first season, like they knew that that was what I wanted!

I liked everything with Eleven and Hopper, particularly that Hopper was a less-than-perfect parent. And I liked that he dressed her in plaid, like a Winchester. :) Michelle and I were saying that Sam Winchester would have been a great parent for Eleven, because he knows what it's like to be a psychic "freak" and he would value her independence.

Oh man, now that I think about it...that is the fanfiction that I want more than anything! The Winchesters in Hawkins?? Investigating mass crop-failure after a kid mysteriously "dies" and returns? They would be ALL OVER that! But...ugh, there would have to be time travel involved, wouldn't there. Hmmm...
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:19 pm (UTC)
Better late than never! I have the same trouble with Due South - which I have watched before, but wanted to do a rewatch, and then my friend (who was unemployed at the time) was like "watch it with me!" and then they went back to school and are too busy, so we've managed to make it a few episodes into S2 in the TWO YEARS that I've had the dvds. And yes, I could just finish the rewatch myself, but... it feels like giving up? Haha, I don't know. It was kind of fun, because I didn't really remember it that well, since the last time I watched it was around 2001. /digression.

Billy IS insane, and I do NOT understand the part of the fandom that is like "let's ship him with Steve!" and it's like NO. HE IS A SOCIOPATH! Steve deserves RAINBOWS and his true loves - Nancy and Jonathan, two sane individuals.

But yeah, definitely over-the-top 80s bullies. I'd forgotten about the bullies KILLING Mike in S1. That was extreme.

I probably said in the post, but I like microcosms, so wasn't TOO thrilled about Kali, but having made that decision, they did do a good job of it.

I agree with everything else you said!

And yeah, to do a crossover, you either need time-travel on the part of Sam and Dean (possible) or you need to do a modern-AU of Stranger Things. OR... you have a story where John Winchester rolls into town with a 5 and a 1 year old, and no doubt just fucks everything up further! Hahaha
Jan. 2nd, 2018 07:27 pm (UTC)
I also wanted more from Nancy and Jonathan's storyline. It was nice that they got together (and I liked the acknowledgement that he needed time to be a brother to Will after he first came back, even though Nancy was waiting for him), but you're right, most of their storyline was very reactive.

One thing I did love was when Joyce, Nancy, and Jonathan were in the cabin trying to sweat the monster out of Will, and sweet Jonathan just couldn't handle seeing his brother in so much pain and buried his face in Nancy's shoulder. A typically "female" response, with Nancy sheltering him as the typical "male" response. I had been wondering why they brought Nancy along, since clearly she has a lower level of investment in Will than his family does. But when she picked up the hot poker to stab him, it made a lot of sense, because she is the ONLY one with a somewhat clear head in that situation, exactly BECAUSE Will is not her family.

I also liked when she stepped in to "save" Dustin at the dance. That was the sweetest. And it was nice to see her investment in someone who isn't directly connected to her, like Jonathan, Steve, or Mike.
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, I LOVED the interaction between Jonathan and Nancy in the cabin when they were trying to save Will. I loved that instead of keeping the male stoic, they instead showed us a male who loved and was vulnerable, and got upset, and had a whole range of emotions. Take that, toxic-masculinity! :P

And they've been doing that with Nancy's character since S1 - giving her the harder edge when it comes to actually fighting things. She doesn't panic nearly as much as Jonathan and Steve do (though, in fairness in S1 Steve had NO IDEA what was going on until way late in the game and Jonathan and Nancy had both had time to adjust.) But yes, I saw her coming to the cabin as a support for Jonathan, and at first that's all she was, but you're right - they also needed her there to do what was best, even if it meant causing Will pain.

And yes, I loved her 'saving' Dustin at the end too. In my threesome shipper heart, I also see that as connecting her back to Steve, even though he isn't in the room - since Steve seems to have adopted Dustin as his little brother/son.

I've been thinking about it, and I think that they were perhaps TRYING to do the divided storylines again - with the kids having the 'my pet monster' story, the teens having a 'let's expose the corruption of the ruling class' story, and the adults having the 'crop failing/something is wrong with my kid' story... but it just wasn't as sharp a divide or as well executed as S1, where we had the goonies/slasher/conspiracy divide. And understandable, since it must have been hard to divide the storylines once they were connected at the end of S1. Also, you had the extra layer of Eleven's 'search for home' quest. It was perhaps, just too much going on to give me everything I had hoped to see. Still great though! Enjoyed it immensely.
Jan. 3rd, 2018 01:42 am (UTC)
Keep shipping that OT3. ;) I'm curious about where season 3 will take those characters. I don't see your ideal future in store for them, but it also seems reductive to have Nancy continue ricocheting between the two boys. (PS - What deranged pocket of fandom is shipping Billy and Steve??? I was not aware of this. Billy should be shipped with no one. [Except maybe Mrs. Wheeler...? Haha.])

One of the things that I enjoyed about season 2 was how it kind of collapsed those generational storylines of season 1. The teens and kids were together in Steve's Adventures in Babysitting; Eleven and Hopper's scenes connected kids and adults; I think all that was missing was the Jonathan/Joyce scenes that apparently both you and I really wanted and didn't really get, to connect the adults and teens.

John Winchester and Jim Hopper would either clash like titans or become best friends, and I am 100% here for either of those outcomes. And Joyce would mother the hell out of Sam and Dean if left alone with them for even five minutes. Damn it, I need this fanfiction!
Jan. 3rd, 2018 02:06 am (UTC)
Yeah, no show ever has the guts to go the OT3 route - except Leverage, my darling Leverage. Still, even then, it was with plausible deniability.

I definitely don't want Nancy to keep ricocheting, but OT3 aside, I WOULD like an exploration of Jonathan and Steve's tentative friendship/understanding-of-each-other. So, that's at least what I'd like to see in S3, Nancy can just stick with Jonathan in the romance department, I'd be cool with that. The kids will be old enough to start carrying the romance sub-plot at that point.

(PS - What deranged pocket of fandom is shipping Billy and Steve??? I was not aware of this. Billy should be shipped with no one. [Except maybe Mrs. Wheeler...? Haha.])

Go on AO3 and look up the ship. It's HORRIBLE... all my OT3 goodness is getting INFECTED. (Also, yes, totally fine with Billy/Mrs. Wheeler... haha!)

That's a good point about them purposefully collapsing the generational storylines. And as a result, we saw our protagonists be WAY more proactive than in S1. In S1 they were reactive and stumbling around in the dark for the most part... in S2, they're like "okay, this is what is happening, and here is what I'm going to do - because now I have the knowledge and the support to do it." So, in that respect, it was pretty awesome. But yeah, I think they needed that thing to connect the teens with the adults better.

Oh man, John and Jim would be like... so similar, that they have to hate each other. And they'd both be (either knowingly or unkowningly) FIERCELY PROTECTIVE of their psychic kid. Joyce AND Jonathan would be mothering the heck out of Sam and Dean. There are 10 stories on AO3 - I just looked it up! Some are fusions, not crossovers, so those don't count, a couple are collections of one-shots or something... 3 are AU or time-travel with adult Sam and Dean, 1 is JUST with Cas, 1 has one of the Winchesters getting kidnapped by the hawkins lab as a kid. So, yeah, there are about 5 crossovers, but only one of them is not a time-travel au, and it's got a crazy premise. Still, there you go! If you can think of it, it exists on the internet. ;)
Jan. 3rd, 2018 05:11 am (UTC)
Thanks! I will check those out! :) Though now I kind of just want to write my own... Jonathan being a temporary big brother to still-traumatized five-year-old Dean... Isn't it canon that he didn't speak for a while after Mary died? And Joyce has allllllll of those crayons available for him to draw with...
Jan. 3rd, 2018 05:35 am (UTC)
Oh man, you're right. I think it's in John's Journal... which I have, but am too lazy to dig up, but it's true that Dean didn't speak for a while (both said in the journal and in Dead in the Water). But, on top of that, five is actually the perfect age for some Jonathan and Joyce parenting... because John moved them out of Lawrence before Dean's fifth birthday and Dean was mute. By 6 or 7, John was taking Dean out shooting for the first time... so 5 gets you the age of traumatized kid, but has not yet picked up a gun.

He also used to sleep with Sam, even if John put them to bed separately. MY HEART.
Feb. 18th, 2018 02:31 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Season 2. In fact, I liked it more than Season 1. I loved S1. It's interesting you say that S1 had more character development, I thought S2 had more character development. S1 setup all the characters and S2 was able to delve a little bit more into each character.

In wasn't sure about the intro of Billy and Max, I'm still not. It was sweet though how Max worked to integrate herself into the group, and finally ended up with Caleb. Very cute. As for Billy, I hate bullies, but given how his step-dad treats him and that his mother just stands by and lets him - no wonder he is a creep and bully. It will be interesting to see where they take him in S3.

I enjoyed how the show was a slow build into the final episodes. Eleven's trip to find Kali was interesting. I hope we see Kali next season, without the others though. They can't bring her up and just drop her the way that they did. She really needs to come into the world of Hawkins USA.

I felt sorry for Steve, losing the girl, but how he ended up with the gang, helping them out, becoming a sorta big brother. That was pretty cool.

So much to really love about this season. Hopper and Eleven (loved the talks and arguments between the two-great duo though), Bob ;(, sorry Bob, sad to see you go. Agree with you though, who in the heck stops when running from monsters to look lovingly at your girlfriend. That was kinda dumb. The way Bob solved the mystery though, that was cool. I loved how they used the house as the map again.

The only story thread that I wasn't fully on board with was Nancy and Jonathan. With everything that was going on with his brother, why would Jonathan leave them and go off on this adventure. I understand it was for his brother that he went on this trip, but still. I just didn't care too much for that story thread. Other than that I really loved the entire season.
Feb. 18th, 2018 08:03 pm (UTC)
I agree about Kali - if we see her again, I don't want it to be a weird side-quest thing. I'd prefer if she was brought into the mythology of Hawkins somehow.

I DID really like the amount of Steve we got, I agree - and that was a case where I felt there was a fair bit of character development - and exploration of where he fits into the picture outside of his relationship with Nancy. Which is good, because it means that even if he's never tight with Nancy or Jonathan again, he's not going to be leaving the narrative completely.

Hopper and Eleven were fantastic, I agree.

And you make a good point about Jonathan - I never really thought of that, but you're right in that S1 set him up as a VERY doting brother... and even the beginning of S2 we see him being very doting as well. Now I can't remember if he left before or after things started getting noticeably weird with Will. My instinct is to say that he must have left before - but then, he was only gone for a day and a night, and half another day? Did things really escalate that quickly with Will?

But, regardless if it makes character sense or not - I didn't much care for the storyline either, tbh. It might be why I felt there was a lack of character development.. because two of the characters were off on a storyline that I didn't particularly enjoy, nor did I feel it developed their characters beyond getting them into a relationship with each other.


I'll definitely be interested to see what happens in S3!
Feb. 18th, 2018 09:28 pm (UTC)
It's been awhile since I have watched the season, but my recollection is that they were gone during the whole escalation of Will. I can't completely recall if he was even there when Bob figured out the map with the pictures in the house. I think he was there, but I'm not sure. But everything did happen rather quickly with Will, and given Jonathan was by his side during all the goings on with Will in S1, the fact that he was gone on some mission that didn't really matter much to the whole scheme and plot of the season it did seem weird to have him out of the picture when things were getting bad with Will. Like you side there really wasn't much with that particular storyline except for the fact that Jonathan and Nancy became a couple.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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