Review: Stranger Thing Season 2 Episode 1 “Chapter One: MADMAX”

As someone who never truly dived into the ‘Stranger Things’ hype due to its continual, often restricting belief that it needed to reference every piece of 80s pop culture imaginable, this episode was liberating as it felt the writers were now taking their own path. Excellently setting up a series of mysteries that lock and weave together nicely, the Duffer Brothers have balanced the time period with beautiful visual effects and science fiction experimentation, with a satisfying development to the show’s mythology. Last season’s science fictions were brilliant, but felt lost within introducing so many characters, so this episode finally found the right mixture. The show also continues to capture not only the 80s sense of style and wonder perfectly, but also its social implications, fears and ideologies. It is very much a set-up episode, one that does begin to meander in its second half, but if the show can push the overall narrative forward in a compelling way that doesn’t need to rely on other texts, I will be happy. 8.8/10

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