After the surprise hit that was Season 1, I kind of figured Season 2 would be a bit disappointing. That’s not to say it’s bad, though. I still liked it and was hooked enough to burn through all nine episodes in two days. But I wasn’t expecting it to be such a direct follow-up to Season 1. What made that first season so memorable was the mystery surrounding everything. It really kept you guessing as to how everything fit together. In Season 2, however, we already know about the Upside Down, and we already know about demogorgons. Sure, Season 2 gives us the “shadow monster,” but this new threat ends up being just a conduit for more demogorgons. It’s like the writers thought, “You know, one big demogorgon was pretty scary, but you know what would be even more scary? Ten little demogorgons!”
Season 2, then, starts to play out like more of a traditional exorcist/monster movie instead of a sci-fi mystery. But it’s a fun monster movie, and the kid actors are still great. Will gets much more screen time in this one, and the actor who plays him actually does a pretty decent job. It’s weird how quickly Millie Bobby Brown (El) grew up, though. That may be why they kept her away from the other kids for so much of the season. Isolating her, however, was honestly a waste of her character. I was interested in exploring her relationship with Hopper, but then they sent her off on this ridiculous sidequest to find her “sister,” where she meets a band of clichés and then comes right back. That episode was just… dumb and didn’t fit in with an otherwise strong—if fairly unoriginal—sequel.