Get ready to be disappointed, folks. At least in some ways. It’s inevitable that the sophomore entry in any film or series disappoint on some level. After all, more likely than not, that first series or movie was something of a surprise, and now that there are expectations attached to it, you’re bound to disappoint someone for one reason or another. Plus, fans are notorious for getting upset over stupid plot things they wanted to happen not happening.
The same can be said of Stranger Things. This was a show that was dropped onto Netflix with little fanfare. All it got was a few posters and trailers, and it was only through the strengths of the show itself that it managed to take the world by storm. Now, with the upcoming second season, some folks are undoubtedly expecting certain things to happen, and with that expectation comes disappointment.
Speaking with THR, series producer and director Shawn Levy discussed this very idea. Though while some may disappointed, he seems to think it’ll ultimately result in a better, more satisfying show.
“We are going to do things that fans will be disappointed in but I think they will be more satisfied by… I’ll give one example that I’ve been asked about a hundred times which is people still think Barb’s alive. Because you think you want that but you wouldn’t really want that.”
This answer may disappoint some Barb fans, but I think it's for the best. For reference, I can point to one specific example that perfectly aligns with this. In Season 5 of 24, in the opening episode, we saw two major characters get killed off. One other, however — Tony Almeida — was only knocked into a coma. He woke up several episodes later…only to get killed off unceremoniously. For seasons, fans wished that he would come back, and in a later season, it was revealed that, in fact, he had NOT died. But the sad reality is that the show had moved on from him at that point. We THOUGHT we wanted him back, but in reality, we really didn’t. And when he did come back, it seemed all too clear that we'd moved on and really didn't want him alive. This is the same thing that can be applied to Barb and many other aspects of the show.
But it’s not all bad news. If you wanted the first season to be darker, it sounds like the second season has it in spades.
“The threats to Hawkins and to our characters are bigger, darker, oftentimes scarier. So people who found Season 1 too scary for them, probably you’re going to be more scared by Season 2. But again, the best thing I can tell you is, through it all, it’s got the best heart…”
Of course, it all comes back to that one central question. Can this show actually keep what made that first season great? What is it that we grew to love about the show, and will the filmmakers be able to keep that and excel going forward? Levy spoke to that idea, discussing why he thinks Stranger Things is going to be okay, as well as why some shows lose their way.
“The availability of more money can make you dream bigger, and sometimes you dream [at a] kind of scope and scale that is so tantalizing that you can often forget what brought you to the party. And for us it’s the people of Hawkins, Indiana. And we always check ourselves…we always make sure we’re honoring the people on screen first, and that all the bells and whistles don’t become so seductive that they lure us away from what counts.”
It definitely sounds like they’re on the right track with this one. Let’s just hope they’re able to stick the landing!
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