Author Topic: Stranger Things  (Read 8934 times)

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Offline sylvan

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #140 on: November 14, 2017, 06:25:17 AM »
My only criticism is with episode 7 and the whole 008 storyline. I wasnít mad keen on it in general, but I think this may have worked better being interspersed into other episodes. Dedicating a whole episode to it seemed a bit unnecessary.

Here comes the spinoff!

Offline sylvan

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #141 on: November 14, 2017, 06:39:45 AM »
I don't binge these shows, so it took me a couple weeks to finish the season. I had heard all the uproar about the teenage actress playing Max being "forced to do an unscripted kiss. When it finally came in the last episode, it made no sense. First off, to call that a kiss is a gross overstatement. She head-butted him and the opposite corners of their mouths touched. Oh, how controversial! :mehlin Then 5 seconds later, Mike and El kiss. The whole season, Mike was essentially waiting for the return of El. When she finally showed up at Will's, it was this emotional reconnection that lead to Mike lashing out at Hopper. When Mike's sitting at the dance all alone as everyone else is getting close on the dance floor, and El walked in, it was again this emotional connection between the two. The kiss that they shared should have been the culmination of them trying to get to each other the entire season, this great emotional connection between the two of them. INSTEAD, the entire dance scene came off as a bunch of 13 year olds doing what 13 year olds do... awkwardly have no control over their urges.

So, not only do I find the UNSCRIPTED Max/Lucas kiss to not be controversial, it was a stupid creative decision that completely ruined the impact of the SCRIPTED kiss. I honestly don't know how someone at that level could make such an AWFUL creative decision.

Offline BlackInk

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #142 on: November 14, 2017, 10:37:10 AM »
You definetely have a point, but I wouldnít say it was AWFUL.
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Offline TioJorge

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #143 on: November 14, 2017, 11:25:02 AM »
Finished it. Not bad, not great. Enjoyable moments, and some very redundant filler. I really think they're just milking it at this point and it's pretty clear that while they may have had some scraps and bits of a story to tell for another season, it certainly wasn't fleshed out and I'm going to go out on a really thin limb and say that Netflix pushed very hard to get this out quicker than the brothers intended.

It doesn't have to do with the first season coming out of nowhere or it being some magical bull. It's pretty simple in that it was concise and concentrated, knew exactly what story it wanted to tell and made a conscious effort to tell that story in a meaningful way in a fairly limited amount of time, as most seasons of that length do with either fantastic results or very bad results.

I don't think S2 was bad but it was a far cry from what the original intended to do and that is pretty clear in it's execution and how meandering some of the episodes are, especially in regards to character development and who they choose to focus on.

I'll no doubt check out S3 at some point, even if it's just as a boredom killer, but it's super disappointing to see what could have been something truly original and special more or less degrade at least partially thanks to greed. Netflix is known for this though so I suppose it shouldn't be all that surprising.

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Offline sylvan

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #144 on: November 14, 2017, 02:00:33 PM »
You definetely have a point, but I wouldnít say it was AWFUL.

I only use that word because it felt like a moment that was building since the end of season 1, and could have been a very impactful moment. It's just feel like that was lost in the moment due to an unscripted creative decision that undid a very emotional plot point that was initially well thought out and presented by the writers.

Offline SoundscapeMN

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #145 on: November 20, 2017, 10:59:55 AM »
https://twitter.com/Stranger_Things/status/932370869506138112
was reminded of how Mr.Wheeler reminds me of Mr. Weir Freaks and Geeks.

someone should make a mashup of the 2 of them, and also I'm hoping that some of the Freaks and Geeks cast show up at some point, even just as cameos. Although Wil Wheaton was I guess talked about appearing in Stranger Things 2, but it didn't work out.

Offline DragonAttack

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #146 on: November 21, 2017, 06:30:09 PM »
We did not binge watch over a weekend as we did Season 1.  Instead, it took us about three weeks for this season.  I try to watch it just as light entertainment that is pretty well developed.  And then we watch the last two episodes.  Holy crap!  That was intense! 

Episode 7 reminded us of Breaking Bad's 'The Fly' episode.  That seemed out of place as well, and then they come at you with both barrels.  We liked the pace of this season (again).  Also glad that after a bunch of 1980-81 tunes, that some from '84 were played......and yeah, hearing Queen's 'Hammer To Fall' was a nice touch for us ;)
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Online Logain Ablar

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #147 on: November 22, 2017, 02:22:21 AM »
We did not binge watch over a weekend as we did Season 1.  Instead, it took us about three weeks for this season.  I try to watch it just as light entertainment that is pretty well developed.  And then we watch the last two episodes.  Holy crap!  That was intense! 

Episode 7 reminded us of Breaking Bad's 'The Fly' episode.  That seemed out of place as well, and then they come at you with both barrels.  We liked the pace of this season (again).  Also glad that after a bunch of 1980-81 tunes, that some from '84 were played......and yeah, hearing Queen's 'Hammer To Fall' was a nice touch for us ;)

Yes - I thought the same. After the episode finished I turned to the wife and said "filler!".

Offline ariich

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #148 on: November 22, 2017, 07:49:54 AM »
My friend and I are bemused by the hate towards episode 7. We both thought it was great.

People are weird.

Offline Podaar

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #149 on: November 22, 2017, 08:00:42 AM »
^

I did as well. I don't think it would make sense for Eleven to give up her quest for family and return to her friends if she didn't find out that the grass wasn't greener. I liked the episode.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #150 on: November 22, 2017, 08:17:33 AM »
My friend and I are bemused by the hate towards episode 7. We both thought it was great.

I did as well. I don't think it would make sense for Eleven to give up her quest for family and return to her friends if she didn't find out that the grass wasn't greener. I liked the episode.

Plus, I don't think that's the last we will see of her 'sister'. I think you needed that introductory episode with her and Elle/Jane for better continuity when she shows up down the line.
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Offline Adami

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #151 on: November 22, 2017, 08:55:03 AM »
My friend and I are bemused by the hate towards episode 7. We both thought it was great.

People are weird.

I don't think too many people hate it, but it just seemed very out of place. I thought it was a great episode, but just from another show or something. It was like a backdoor pilot in the middle of a tight run.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #152 on: November 22, 2017, 09:00:54 AM »
The GF and I took our time and finished a few nights ago.  It was solid, but nothing amazing.  Thought the first season was better, more intrigue then and now the storyline is a bit convoluted.  I had no issue with the episode 7.  Was also glad someone with a bigger role actually died, need some suspense in this show and they really don't have it since everyone feels safe although his death seemed pretty obvious when he stepped up to the plate and manned up unlike what his character appeared to have been in the past.

Online Destiny Of Chaos

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #153 on: November 24, 2017, 07:18:44 AM »
Started watching Season one about a week and a half ago. Finished season 2 on Wednesday night. Incredible show! Loved everything about it. Can't wait for season 3.

Offline lonestar

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #154 on: November 27, 2017, 09:23:43 AM »

Sesame Street parody....Sharing Things....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npcqBt_e4k0


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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #155 on: November 27, 2017, 09:51:59 AM »
This show was not on my radar.  I had heard a few things here and there, but nothing to really draw me in.  But my sister was hyping it over Thanksgiving, and me and my wife, my boys, my sister, and my niece and nephew ended up binge watching the first season Friday and Saturday night.  Just...wow.  Lots of really good things to say about it.  There were definitely things about it that bugged me as well.  But overall, really good.  It managed to catch the '80s vibe incredibly well, whether through the music, the clothes (without being over the top), the cars, Winona in a lead role, or what have you.  And I loved that it constantly reminded me of some of the best '80s films without crossing the line and feeling like they were trying to hard (I probably got the strongest callbacks to Stand By Me, Poltergeist, and E.T., as well as having the spirit of Stephen King all over the place without feeling like they were referencing any specific King story). 

I read the beginning of the thread, but stopped where the studio had been dropping information about the then-forthcoming season 2.  I will stay out of the thread until we watch that.  Not sure when, but I am sure we will see all sometime between now and then end of the New Year break. 

A few thoughts and theories about the story after just seeing Season 1 one time.  Some of this may have actually been explained in season 1 and we just missed it.  Some may be proven or disproven in season 2.  I have no idea.  Just throwing some things out there that I was thinking about and some things I discussed with the wife and kids.

So...it seems like the main portal between the Upside Down and here is what was opened at the lab, and is fed and kept open by some big power source there.  Unless we were intentionally misled, I think that much is pretty clear.  What wasn't clear, at least to us, is how the small portals that opened and closed (like the one in the tree that Nancy went through) worked.  And, related to that (or not?), is how the monster crossed over by more or less making its own portals and smashing through walls.  Again, not sure whether there was actually more info than I gleaned through a first viewing, or whether this is all explained better in season 2, but here is my main theory as to how it works.  My son was asking whether the monster creates the other portals.  Could be, but I don't think so.  I think the smaller portals appear and disappear more or less on their own in the area close by Hawkins Lab because that area is in close proximity to the power source and/or the main "rip" between realms.  I think maybe power fluctuations or something like that cause them to open and close, and the monster sometimes finds them and comes through.  Using the analogy of the paper that the high school teacher used, I think where we have the "main tear" at the portal, the "paper" is weaker close to that point, and as the "paper" flexes and moves, other holes open and close nearby.  Kind of related to that, because the "paper" is weaker at that point, I think the monster is able to sometimes break through at points fairly near the main portal, but probably not other places.  And the reason it likely chooses to do so at times, I think, is because it can hear (and possibly see) others making loud noises on the other side in places close to that main portal, just as Joyce and Hopper could in the last episode when they were in the Upside Down.  So, reality is distorted and the boundary between here and the Upside Down is weaker and tends to fluctuate close to the main portal, which enables a fluctuating ability to cross back and forth in the area close to the main portal, which weakens and disappears the farther away you go.  That's my best theory anyway. 

So...is Eleven alive?  At first, I assumed she had to be gone.  There's just too much that wouldn't work about her trying to assimilate into the real world that it seemed best anyway.  But I assumed she really died.  I thought Hopper leaving food was basically a memorial.  But then I began second guessing that, and I think she must be alive, and that he knows it.

Is the monster alive?  I don't know.  But I don't think it matters.  I wasn't sure whether the snakelike thing they removed from Will's throat was another living thing, or whether it was basically a feeding/breathing mechanism to keep him alive while another one spawned or something.  But I think either way, the hint has been dropped that there are (or soon will be) more of them.  And if not, there are (or soon will be) other creatures from the Upside Down that are going to create problems. 

Steve.  Hated him.  But it was cool that he had more or less of a redemption arc.  He seemed obviously genuinely sorry and changed by everything, which seems to have put him on a good path instead of the very bad one he was on.  I like that.  I hope he stays on that better path.

Will.  Was what he saw at the end of the last episode a hallucination?  Was it real?  If it was real, what does it mean?  And does he understand what is happening, or is he afraid and in denial?  If he has part of the Upside Down that is now a part of him, does he have a special connection with the Upside Down that will allow him to connect with El, open and close portals, or other stuff?  I have no idea.

Anyhow, see you all in a few weeks once I get caught up.  :D
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #156 on: December 04, 2017, 09:03:53 AM »
Wow, no discussion?   :tdwn  Oh well...

So, started season 2 over the weekend.  Got through episode 4.  Some brief thoughts:

-The positive:  This far in, it is pretty clear that the writers have done a really nice job of crafting a credible follow up that manages to take everything that made the first season good and raise the stakes without feeling like the writers just fell into the trap of having to one-up their prior work without having any substance behind it.  Season 1 was awesome because it was fresh, but also because the story was solid.  Season 2 can't have that newness and originality that season 1 had.  But it is just as solid, if not moreso.  The '80s nostalgia remains strong, and feels even more on point.

-The negative:  Not much.  The only major thing is, I was hoping that now that the show is a success and more mainstream, they would have been able to resist the urge to make the characters so "edgy" with all the gratuitous, over-the-top profanity and bad behavior.  Not only is it not necessary, but it makes the characters more a parody of what people nowadays think about the '80s than what the '80s actually were.

Anyhow, good story on its own.  But, as with season 1, there is a lot of deep symbolism that adds a lot of layers and makes it rewarding to watch and draw connections beyond just following the plot (as if just following this awesome plot isn't enough fun in and of itself).  I love how pretty much EVERYTHING is symbolic, no matter how seemingly innocuous it may seem when first introduced.  Dig Dug forshadowing what is going on beneath Hawkins, for example.  This is pretty fantastic.  I have this dilemma right now of wanting to rush through and finish, while at the same time, wanting to take my time and savor the show.  Part of me really wants to drag it out.  After all, it can't possibly remain this good for multiple seasons after season 2, can it?  Can it?
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Offline sylvan

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #157 on: December 04, 2017, 10:00:41 AM »
I had a feeling season 2 would answer a lot of your questions. I still don't think we know what exactly the Upside Down is, or the monster. There's deeper insight into the connection with Will. Obviously you've gotten some answers about 11at this point. I think I'm pleased with where Steve ends up in the story.

Offline Kattoelox

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #158 on: December 04, 2017, 10:07:49 AM »
When you finish season 2, I'd be curious to know your thoughts on Billy, Max, Steve's evolution, Eleven, and Will.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #159 on: December 04, 2017, 10:33:09 AM »
I still don't think we know what exactly the Upside Down is, or the monster.

But as much as we all probably think we WANT to know those things, do we NEED to?  Will it make the story better or worse?  Sometimes, we just don't need to know, and it's better when the menace remains shrouded in mystery.  (xenomorphs, I'm looking at you)

When you finish season 2, I'd be curious to know your thoughts on Billy, Max, Steve's evolution, Eleven, and Will.

I'm almost more curious to know what my feelings on Samwise Gamgee will be.  :lol  He unknowingly really screwed up Will by offering his advice on how to handle things he is not able to understand.  I have mixed feelings on that.  On one hand, he's a buffoon who makes things worse because he's too eager to fit into this role that he wants in his life.  On the other hand, how could he possibly know that there are things going on that are a lot bigger than the world he lives in?

As for the others you mention, I'm curious too.  Billy is a bit of an enigma.  Aside from giving sound basketball advice to Steve, he comes across as a complete tool and a psycho, but with a lot more going on beneath the surface than has been revealed so far.  But as much as I dislike him, I'm reminded that I disliked Steve just as much, but that he had a rather admirable redemption arc in season one that completely turned his character around. 

Speaking of Steve, I'm not entirely sure where I stand with him.  I still admire him for his ability to confront his own faults and turn things around in season 1.  And I kind of feel sorry for him for what he is going through in the first half of season 2.  I'm kind of annoyed by his emotional immaturity in dealing with Nancy and taking her drunken ramblings at the party too personally.  But then again, I have to remind myself that he's a kid, and one that was coming from a pretty self-centered place.  He just isn't equipped yet to handle that sort of thing with more maturity and grace, so I shouldn't expect that of him.  He's also not as equipped to fully understand and appreciate what Nancy and Jonathan were and are going through, so I sort of give him a pass on that end as well.  But that last point also saddens me a bit too because it makes me feel that Nancy and Steve are somewhat doomed as a couple anyway.  Nobody is really equipped to understand her and deal with her stuggles over Barb and the Upside Down other than Jonathan.

I really like Max and hope she becomes an actual and permanent "member of the party."  I don't see how she won't, unless something tragic happens to her.  But there seems to be something deep and mysterious about her and Billy's background, and I'm not sure what it is.  Are they also part of the experiments that created Eleven and Eight (and, presumably, at least 9 others with powers)? 

Anyhow, I'm just rambling.  It's cool that there is so much to chew on here.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #160 on: December 05, 2017, 08:51:29 AM »
#justiceformews

I love this comment from a user at AVClub:

Quote
Dustinís dumb decision makes sense if you accept that he really wants life to be like E.T., and this episode underlines how the show is trying to draw a line between fantasy-weird and reality-weird: You might want the fantastical creature hiding in the closet to be your lifelong companion, but itís probably just eating your cat.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 09:00:53 AM by bosk1 »
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline soupytwist

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #161 on: December 05, 2017, 09:10:36 AM »
#justiceformews

I love this comment from a user at AVClub:

Quote
Dustinís dumb decision makes sense if you accept that he really wants life to be like E.T., and this episode underlines how the show is trying to draw a line between fantasy-weird and reality-weird: You might want the fantastical creature hiding in the closet to be your lifelong companion, but itís probably just eating your cat.

Dustin's nonplussed reaction to losing his cat was the thing that annoyed me most about season 2. 

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #162 on: December 05, 2017, 10:33:12 AM »
#justiceformews

I love this comment from a user at AVClub:

Quote
Dustinís dumb decision makes sense if you accept that he really wants life to be like E.T., and this episode underlines how the show is trying to draw a line between fantasy-weird and reality-weird: You might want the fantastical creature hiding in the closet to be your lifelong companion, but itís probably just eating your cat.

Dustin's nonplussed reaction to losing his cat was the thing that annoyed me most about season 2.

Did he have a relationship with the cat?  Im not sure it was made clear he had a connection to it and it seemed more to be his mother's pet and loved animal.  I kind of figured he really didn't care for the cat and hence his non emotional response to the eating.

Offline soupytwist

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #163 on: December 06, 2017, 02:20:19 AM »
#justiceformews

I love this comment from a user at AVClub:

Quote
Dustinís dumb decision makes sense if you accept that he really wants life to be like E.T., and this episode underlines how the show is trying to draw a line between fantasy-weird and reality-weird: You might want the fantastical creature hiding in the closet to be your lifelong companion, but itís probably just eating your cat.

Dustin's nonplussed reaction to losing his cat was the thing that annoyed me most about season 2.

Did he have a relationship with the cat?  Im not sure it was made clear he had a connection to it and it seemed more to be his mother's pet and loved animal.  I kind of figured he really didn't care for the cat and hence his non emotional response to the eating.

Maybe as a cat lover (not like that...) I just found his nonplussed reaction unrealistic, I think it would have been better if they'd made it a stray cat/dog, because even as a 40 year old bloke I still find the loss of a family pet really, really tough. 

Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #164 on: December 14, 2017, 09:13:23 AM »
How was he "nonplussed?"  To me, he seemed reasonably shocked, but that was overshadowed by his sense of, "Oh, crap! I need to handle this before mom (1) finds out, or (2) becomes a snack herself."  At least, that's what I took from eps. 4 and 5 together. 

Anyhow, I had to take a break from this because I just didn't have the time.  I just watched ep. 5 last night.  This episode was so rewarding and so frustrating on so many levels.  The show's ability to constantly promise resolution of issues, but then semi-deliver at a level where you don't feel cheated, but everything still isn't resolved, is one of its cool strengths. 

On another note, I was thinking about getting this as an additional Christmas present for my son:  https://www.amazon.com/Hawkins-Middle-School-Sweatshirt-Hoodie/dp/B01M5J54FC/ref=cts_ap_2_vtp?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=2897711222&pf_rd_r=817a866a-e0e6-11e7-8413-93d9fb3ae34e&pd_rd_wg=Ww0n9&pf_rd_s=desktop-detail-softlines&pf_rd_t=40701&pd_rd_i=B01MQCHLIL&pd_rd_w=RiNTX&pf_rd_i=desktop-detail-softlines&pd_rd_r=817a866a-e0e6-11e7-8413-93d9fb3ae34e&_encoding=UTF8&th=1&psc=1
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #166 on: December 14, 2017, 09:31:01 AM »
Yeah, I saw that one as well.  It is pretty cool, especially little touches like the upside down bike.  The only problem is, it is pretty season-specific.  The one I linked to, you can wear pretty much anytime. 
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #167 on: December 15, 2017, 10:26:19 AM »
Space Knife.  :metalol:

The Spy simultaneously pissed me off and was one of the best episodes of the series. 

Back to Dart and Dustin for just a second.  3 episodes left in season 2, and I've been able to stay spoiler free as I've been viewing.  So I'm curious--was anyone here actually surprised when Dart turned out to be basically a baby "demogorgon?"  I mean, yeah, we didn't see his face open up until he ate the cat.  But wasn't it obvious to everybody in the world?  But interesting how the end of The Spy changed my perspective a bit on a few things related to that.  The demogorgon in season 1 was scary.  But at the same time, it seemed somewhat limited in the harm it could inflict.  It skulked around in the shadows and picked people off when they were alone or in small groups.  But even Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve were able to do major damage and keep it at bay with their traps.  In season 2, it didn't seem that that scary a creature, because now we have a growing group of people that are prepared for it.  So the one Dustin had seemed like more of a relatively minor threat, even assuming it would reach maturity at some point. 

The other thing that had changed prior to this is that I was pissed off at Dustin's stupidity.  He isn't a dumb kid.  But "minor threat" or not, the thing was going to be a problem, and he would then be at fault for not recognizing that threat and at least trying to kill it while he still could. 

The last few minutes of The Spy changed all that.  Seeing the shadow creature orchestrate the killing off of an entire group of Hawkins Lab red shirts was pretty chilling.  These things aren't even full grown, and they can do that with ease.  They are clearly NOT a "minor threat" at all.  And in a way, that same revelation kind of let Dustin off the hook for me somewhat.  I mean, if Dart isn't the only one of those things, then his stupidity really isn't to blame for a bunch of them now running amok.  Dart is only one of many, so it doesn't really matter.1


1  And part of me, although it is admittedly a part of me that has VERY poor judgment for what actually makes a GOOD story vs. a bad one, kind of secretly hopes that Dart feels some sort of connection to Dustin and saves him and the gang from some harm at some point.  How dumb would that be?  But I can't help myself.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 01:46:00 PM by bosk1 »
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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #168 on: December 20, 2017, 04:02:16 AM »
Back to Dart and Dustin for just a second.  3 episodes left in season 2, and I've been able to stay spoiler free as I've been viewing.  So I'm curious--was anyone here actually surprised when Dart turned out to be basically a baby "demogorgon?"  I mean, yeah, we didn't see his face open up until he ate the cat.  But wasn't it obvious to everybody in the world? 

It was obvious that it would grew and become more dangerous, but I didn't realize it was an actual Demogorgon.

I've just finished watching the whole Season 2 so DO NOT READ FURTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL WATCHING IT!


















I liked it quite a lot. It's not perfect of course, but the good enough things about the show are really that good to let you completely enjoy it. I've liked Season 1 very much, but it's not that I couldn't live without it and I was in feverish anticipation of Season 2, but the moment I started to watch it, I was immediately drawn again to the Hawkins world. The characters, the atmosphere, the music... there's something about this show that just hits it and makes it immensely captive to watch.

Like Season 1, it was as low burn. The "OH SHITSHITSHITSHIT" moments come in the latter part of the season (like the end of episode 4 if I remember back in season 1, with Will's fake body discovered), but when it happens, you just can't stop watching.

The cast of kids is the heart and soul of the show, and it's a match made in heaven. Give a Emmy to the casting department for the kids, they struck GOLD, especially with Will's actor since all he needed to do was being a lost kid in Season 1, but now had to be a possessed kid screaming with rage and fear. Outstanding work from the kid.

Also, I want to submerge El with hugs until she has problems breathing. Once again an absolute talent of a young actress creates an adorable and compelling character that you just can't avoid to love, and how bad I want her to be happy, smiling, and full of Eggos whenever she wants it.

Like read earlier in the thread and on comments on the web, they should have totally swapped episodes 7 and 6. You can't just have the biggest "FFFUUUUUU" cliffhanger of the seasons, the Demodogs crawling out of the lab, being followed an entire detour episode. It would have worked way better to have El's training on Dagobah (Search your feelings. You know it to be true) first, with us going WTF at the scene of Mike yelling that it's a trap (What it's happening? why? OMG I wanna know), and then seeing it unfold in the FOLLOWING episode and realizing it only when it was too late - just like the characters in the situation - would have been waaaayyy better.

And what about the conspiracy guy basically encouraging underage kids to have sex? pretty sure the creep had an hidden camera somewhere.

This season was Steve's redemption. I've read that he was meant to be a total asshole (and boy, what an unforgivable thing was to slut shame Nancy by vandalizing public property), but the authors loved the actor so much that they turned him around, boy did he came around this year - and after all it's only logical that boys grow up and mature. His total dickish teenager role has been given to Billy evidently (Metalhead moment: wasn't Metallica an unknown underground band known only to "true" metalheads back in 1984? Billy, who's definitively not a metalhead even though he listens to Scorpions, had a Kill 'em All poster in his room).

The two final episodes were breathtaking and awesome. Cruel of them to kill off Samwise Gamgee in that horror movies cliches fest. Poor guy. Remember Bob the hero. And Barb got justice, yay!!!

Only fear for season 3... that they're walking on thin ice story wise, this was essentially a retelling of Season 1's plot. But the cast of kids is worth alone an entire season of them being young kids fooling around. And I hope Nancy's mother gets some side action  :lol
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 09:24:50 AM by MirrorMask »
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #169 on: December 20, 2017, 09:02:33 AM »
Tempted to read that, but I won't.  I still have the last 2 episodes to go.  Watched through The Lost Sister last weekend.  My wife had fallen asleep, so she rewatched that one last night, and I caught the first half or so again as I was drifting off. 

**Spoilers through The Lost Sister below**

I have made sure to stay away from spoilers.  But there is a contributor on AVClub.com named Emily L. Stephens who writes an episode-by-episode blog that is quite good.  I have really enjoyed going to each entry as I finish an episode and reading, not only her very well-written reviews, but also the comments and discussion.  And people there tend to be good about not spoiling, so that's cool.  As I understand is the case around the Internet, people there were quite divided about The Lost Sister.  Some absolutely hated it.  Some thought it was "fine."  VERY few seem to have actively liked it.  Aside from the general difference in tone, a common issue even among those who thought it was okay is that the gang just seemed like a bunch of cardboard cutouts with no real motivation in general, and certainly no motivation about going out and helping Kali go out and kill.  That is one of the issues I myself had.  But as I watched that episode again, I softened a bit on that.  There is a brief section where Kali is introducing the gang and what they do, and she points out that they all are rejects that were cast off by society, and that the people they go after have hurt the specific members of the gang (not just Kali) in some way.  There isn't much more given than that.  But hearing that again in context of having seen the episode, I think it worked more than I initially felt it did.  Yeah, the details are VERY vague, but we DO get a bit of explanation for why the others in the gang are doing what they are doing instead of "just because."  And I guess I just feel like the show has earned enough emotional capitol that I don't have TOO much trouble buying that. 

My general thoughts on the episode were that, while it is easily the worst single episode of both seasons, it wasn't bad.  I don't hate it.  And it does definitely help serve the purpose of Jane's (I hate not calling her El now) arc and development in a few big ways OTHER than simply completing her journey out of Hopper's cabin and back to the gang in Hawkins.  (1) There was some definite emotional growth and self-discovery, even if it may not appear very profound at this point and, in some senses, may have come about in kinda dumb ways; (2) It gave her a new perspective about how her friends need her; (3) It unlocked a barrier in her learning how to up her game with her powers, which, for better or worse, is necessary to defeat the shadow monster; and (4) It served as a reminder of why, as much as we might wish otherwise, Jane simply CANNOT lead a normal life because, even if we can somehow come to terms with all the other stuff, she killed a bunch of people.  So even though the episode felt in a lot of ways like the series was just treading water and taking a completely unnecessary diversion, it actually accomplished a lot.  In fact, in some ways, I think it may have actually accomplished more than some other single episodes this season.  That still doesn't make me love it.  But I am okay with it.

So, here's where I think we are going in the final two episodes.  Again, I haven't read any spoilers, so to the extent I am correct, if at all, it is just from deducing things based on what has been done so far.  A good deal of this is likely to be wrong.  But whatever.  I think Jane has to do two things.  First, she has to "exorcise" the shadow monster from Will.  Second, she has to shut the gate.  Earlier this season, I don't think she would have been able to figure out how to amp up her powers sufficiently to do either.  This is why I think The Lost Sister is important.  She had her "Luke, size matters now; now lift the stupid X-wing!" moment, and she will need that to accomplish both of those.  We also got some insight into how her powers work.  It isn't about trying harder, or focusing harder, or something like that.  It is about invoking a strong emotion, and channeling her power through that.  Kali had her use anger.  That could work here.  But I'm not sure there will be anything she could get that angry about to accomplish what she needs to accomplish that would feel emotionally satisfying.  Maybe Billy threatens the entire gang in some real, tangible way, and that somehow is enough?  (and gives him at least SOMETHING more than just the cardboard stereotype he has been so far)  Or maybe she taps a completely different emotion, and it ends up being her LOVE for the gang that she is able to use to level up her powers and do what needs to be done.  Either way, The Lost Sister appears to be important for that reason.

Of course, if she casts the shadow monster out of Will and closes the gate (which I don't see as even possibly not happening), then how do we possibly leave things open for a season 3?  I was thinking that maybe Hopper is also now "infected" with the upside down after the time he spent down in the tunnels.  When he got sprayed in the face twice before passing out, it looked like that was some kind of spore, maybe not too unlike the alien spores in Alien: Covenant.  It would not surprise me to see him cough up a slug in the season 2 epilogue just like we saw happen to Will at the end of season 1. 

Anyhow, I am eager to see how close or how completely off base I am.  My son finishes finals today.  We will probably watch tomorrow night, or Friday at the latest. 
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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #170 on: December 20, 2017, 09:24:18 AM »
NOT SPOILERISH REPLY TO YOUR LAST COMMENT

You're in for a treat with the last two episodes!  :metal excellent stuff.

I copy and paste a comment from my post above since it's about episodes you've seen:

Like read earlier in the thread and on comments on the web, they should have totally swapped episodes 7 and 6. You can't just let the biggest "FFFUUUUUU" cliffhanger of the seasons, the Demodogs crawling out of the lab, followed by an entire detour episode. It would have worked way better to have El's training on Dagobah (Search your feelings. You know it to be true) first, with us going WTF at the scene of Mike yelling that it's a trap (What it's happening? why? OMG I wanna know), and then seeing it unfold in the FOLLOWING episode and realizing it only when it was too late - just like the characters in the situation - would have been waaaayyy better.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #171 on: December 20, 2017, 09:44:18 AM »
The only problem with that is that having it in this order, you get a true emotionally-poignant moment of El hearing Hopper's message to her.  That couldn't have happened in the order you suggest.  I'm okay having the delayed cliffhanger payoff.

But going back to the cliffhanger itself...the sound effect is really subtle and understated, so I can't tell if it is what I think it is.  But is that basically the shadow monster laughing as it springs the trap?  It sounds like laughing, which is really chilling (and brilliantly so). 
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Offline kaos2900

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #172 on: December 22, 2017, 07:53:35 AM »
Finally finished season 2 last night. Really strong ending. Curious to see where they go in season 3. Don't understand the kiss controversy. It's like everyone forgot what it was like to be in middle school. Could have done with out episode 7 but a very minor gripe for an otherwise amazing show.

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #173 on: December 22, 2017, 07:59:13 AM »
Another thing that rang true was Dustin being shunned by the other girls. Call me bitter 'cause as a young teen I was most definitively not handsome in any kind of way, but I'm sick of the Hollywood trope of the nerdy / outsider guy getting the hot girl. It - just - doesn't - happen.

All things that make Dustin loveable are there for us, the viewers, and not for the girls of his age at the ball. It's only logical that they wouldn't care to dance with the weird kid that got teeth late and dresses up as a Ghostbuster and hangs around always with his weird friends and the "zombie boy". Good job from Nancy to save the day and make him feel important.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Stranger Things
« Reply #174 on: December 22, 2017, 08:31:13 AM »
(Metalhead moment: wasn't Metallica an unknown underground band known only to "true" metalheads back in 1984? Billy, who's definitively not a metalhead even though he listens to Scorpions, had a Kill 'em All poster in his room).

Not only that, but the scene where he was getting ready to go out and his dad came in and confronted him, he was listening to Metallica.

Finally finished season 2 last night. Really strong ending.

Me too!  :D  Some thoughts:

Coming into the last two episodes, I had been thinking that as much as I enjoyed season 2 thus far, it was good, but not as good as season 1.  There were a lot of things I liked.  But some that just didn't work, and season 2 just seemed to spin its wheels for awhile setting up the inevitable big showdown at the end.  But these last two episodes were SO good that I felt like they really took season 2 up a notch and put it right up there with season 1.  And what is cool to me is that much of that comes from the little, seemingly inconsequential details that, in the end, were very rewarding.

One such detail was when they were in the house, weapons drawn, waiting for the demodogs to crash in on them, and we see Lucas with his wrist rocket locked and loaded, and looking deadly serious.  That was SUCH a cool visual on so many levels, and I love that they did that.

Another was Will communicating through Morse code.  Kids back then knew Morse code, especially nerds who spent their time playing D&D, so it totally rang true.  And it was a very clever way of (1) calling back to how Will communicated with the lights in season 1 to spell words, and (2) having him communicate in such a way that the mind flayer wouldn't have picked up on, but everybody else would.  And also, juxtaposed on top of that, you had a brilliant way of getting a ton of backstory exposition about the characters in this scene that was very emotional.  Just...SO well done.

Steve:  Really nice character development for him this season.  I REALLY like what they did with him.  The fight with Billy was really cool, too.  He unflinchingly stood his ground to protect the kids simply because it was the right thing to do, knowing that he was outmatched and likely to lose.  And...he did lose in the end, which was the realistic way to play it.  And even after that, he didn't shy away from his responsibility to protect the kids when they went down into the tunnels.  He's...kinda what you would want/expect of a kid that age in that plenty of growing and maturing to do, and had some serious character flaws that you would expect someone that age to have, but he also was beginning to make some really good choices and show that he had a lot in him that could make him an exemplary young man. 

Dart:  Called it!  :D

Another thing that rang true was Dustin being shunned by the other girls. Call me bitter 'cause as a young teen I was most definitively not handsome in any kind of way, but I'm sick of the Hollywood trope of the nerdy / outsider guy getting the hot girl. It - just - doesn't - happen.

All things that make Dustin loveable are there for us, the viewers, and not for the girls of his age at the ball. It's only logical that they wouldn't care to dance with the weird kid that got teeth late and dresses up as a Ghostbuster and hangs around always with his weird friends and the "zombie boy". Good job from Nancy to save the day and make him feel important.

Yup!  LOVED that.  It was done perfectly.  I thought FOR SURE that one of the girls he asked was going to dance with him, and that would have been satisfying.  The way it played out was even better.  And it also really took Nancy's character, who annoyed me plenty at time, up a notch as well.

One last note:  I made a prediction about defeating the mind flayer that ended up being wrong, but I'll drop it here anyway.  I got the "heat" thing and expected that.  But I also was pretty sure water would be involved.  It seemed like they were dropping clues that it didn't like water.  For instance, Master Samwise made a big point about the tunnel map going around water.  I mean, I realize that for tunnels, there is a very practical reason why they can't easily go under a lake.  But I thought the Duffers were dropping a hint that the mindflayer was avoiding water and didn't like it.  That seemed to be reinforced by Will recoiling at the bath water earlier in the season, and seemed like a mirror/counterpoint to water being used to enhance El's abilities.  It all seemed to fit so nicely that I was sure of it.  :dunno:  Oh well.

Not sure where season 3 is headed, but it wouldn't surprise me if Hopper and Dustin start coughing up slugs from getting sprayed in the face in the tunnels, and that that somehow gives the mind flayer a connection back to Hawkins to reopen the gate.  I guess we'll see when we see.  It's been a fun ride through season 2.
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