Stranger Things season 1 has now gotten the official Honest Trailers treatment, courtesy of Screen Junkies. Season 2 of The Duffer Brothers’ hit Netflix series – also known by its more movie-like moniker Stranger Things 2 – premiered less than two weeks ago (at the time of writing this), but has quickly tapped into the pop culture zeitgeist much like its freshman season did back in 2016; inspiring everything from memes about Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) the world’s greatest babysitter to Upside Down parodies from Sesame Street.
On the more academic side of things, there have been much in the way of conversation around Stranger Things 2‘s controversial seventh episode, as well as everything from the show’s efforts to be more inclusive during its sophomore season (by adding more female characters and introducing Lucas’ family), its response to the fan-led #JusticeforBarb campaign, and the question of exactly how long the series will continue to chart the lives of its main characters on an annual basis, Harry Potter-style. The show’s Honest Trailer by and large focuses on the elements of Stranger Things season 1, but also nods to a couple of these hot discussion topics.
The Stranger Things Honest Trailer (see the video above) pokes fun at the first season’s many, many 1980s pop culture references – in particular, its multiple nods to Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and the collective works of Stephen King – but also acknowledges that the TV series offers a compelling narrative and likable protagonists to go along with all the waxing nostalgic. Screen Junkies‘ parody trailer also notes that, purely on the surface, the plot for Stranger Things 1 is basically “The Hangover with kids”. (Best to watch the actual video, if you want to understand how that works.)
While the Stranger Things Honest Trailer does make reference to season 2 being as much of a pastiche as season 1 (see the Aliens/Demogorgon joke), there’s a reasonable argument to be made that Stranger Things 2 is better than its predecessor because its dials back the nostalgic-referencing and spends more time fleshing out its own standalone mythology. That isn’t to say that Stranger Things 2 isn’t chockfull of visual nods and/or plot points that bring to mind classic sci-fi/horror films either; the season contains clear references to movies like John Carpenter’s The Thing and Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, among other highly influential entries in that sub-genre (see also War of the Worlds).
With Stranger Things 3 not expected to arrive until sometime in either late 2018 or early 2019, there will be plenty of time for everyone to further reflect upon Stranger Things 2‘s strengths and weaknesses before the next chapter in the saga of Hawkins, Indiana’s residents arrives. The Duffer Brothers have also begun to openly cite the influence of more recent pop cultural works (like The Dark Knight and Game of Thrones) on their show too, raising all the more questions about how Stranger Things will continue to evolve tonally and stylistically from here. In the meantime, the Honest Trailer makes for a fun addition to the growing pile of Stranger Things-inspired silliness online.
Stranger Things seasons 1 & 2 are now available for streaming through Netflix.
Source: Screen Junkies
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