'Stranger Things 2' Is A Worthy Sequel To Last Year's Sleeper Retro-Fest Hit

Welcome back to the Upside Down.

Bravo to the return of Stranger Things. If you like the ’80s retro-fest’s The Goonies-meets-HP Lovecraft shenanigans, then Season 2 — set in 1984, a year after the events in Season 1 — doesn’t disappoint.

There are new characters (played by Sean Astin and Paul Reiser, actors who have actually made movies in the Reagan-era), more monsters from the Upside Down, more backstories (Millie Bobby Brown’s telekinetic girl Eleven — she’s alive! — is finally reunited with her family), and more bromantic bantering and bickering (Gaten Matarazzo’s lispy Dustin steals the thunder towards the end of the show).

Of course, for viewers of a certain age, they’ll have a field day spotting shout-outs to ET, Gremlins, Aliens and Ghostbusters (OMG, is that a shot-for-shot recreation of that scene where Bill Murray first encounters ectoplasma goo in a library?).

In lesser hands, Stranger Things could’ve been a self-referential bore with no self to refer to. But it isn’t. Think of it as a  cover band that can make an old song sound new again — different lyrics, same grooves. Next stop, 1985… The Breakfast Club years? Hit it: Hey, hey, hey, hey…

Watch it on: Netflix

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