Stranger Things season 2 drops this weekend. I’m not the only one who is excited. Stranger Things won the Best Ensemble Drama at the 2017 Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, as well as MTV’s TV Show of the Year and a few Emmys. Clearly, the most important Emmy Awards were:
- Best Stephen King story not written by Stephen King; and
- Best Steven Spielberg film not directed by Steven Spielberg.
And who can forget the hilarious Wynona Ryder reaction to David Harbour’s hyperbolic SAG acceptance speech, where he called on us all to face down the Demigorgans of our world and punch them in the face that they simply do not have. Or words along that line.
It isn’t just people that give out weirdly naked statues to well-dressed people that are interested in Stranger Things. Our favourite monster man himself stepped out of his Maine hideaway to praise the show.
According to the Washington Post, 70% of people who started the show finished the entire season–a staggering number in a drive-thru television age. It is the 3rd most popular series on Netflix, and I suspect that season 2 will inspire a strong re-watching/new fan response. Add to this internet hype, #ImWithBarb and other twitter campaigns, and a slough of 80s-style Hallowe’en costumes for sale, and it is evident this show is a hit.
Beyond those high-end accolades of the Hollywood elite and the groundswell of popular support, this show is just simply cool. I’ve been chomping at the bit to show Stranger Things season 1 to my son. We have finally begun, finishing s01e04, “The Body,” on the weekend. This show is just so good–even for kids today who haven’t read Stephen King and haven’t lived in the era that the show is set in. Beyond nostalgia and intertextuality, we have great characters, beautiful design, and a sleuthy SF/Fantasy/Supernatural mystery that a great 80s Loser’s Club-Scooby Gang need to solve–with lives on the line.
Stranger Things 2 is the first show I want to binge watch. It launches on Friday, and sadly we won’t be done season 1 by then! Ack! The sorrows of a fan’s life.
Beyond sheer goodness, Stranger Things was hot enough to call for the ridiculous: a 90-minute talk hosted by two scholars and a community of great readers. Last year, during the Signum University webathon day, I joined @TolkienProf Corey Olsen, President of SignumU, for a great chat about Stranger Things. We talked about that bit of nostalgia and intertextuality, but most of the conversation was about the construct of the speculative universe.
Here’s the link to that video. I hope you are queuing up for season 2–after all, despite 90 minutes of conversation and 8 episodes, we still don’t really know what Stranger Things is about. See you on the other side.