Stranger Things Addresses Issues Not at All Strange to American Teens

Natalie Jones, Reporter

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“Stranger Things” is a science fiction Netflix series taking place in the 1980s. In season one the characters experienced paranormal threats from the parallel universe, the Upside Down. The end of season 1 left Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a girl with supernatural powers, sacrificing herself to save Will (Noah Schnapp) from the Upside Down. Season 2 of Stranger Things picks up a year after Will escapes the Upside Down.

Season two dives into the psychological repercussions of the terror that the characters experienced in the first season. Will is still in shock from his time in the Upside Down, and he frequently experiences “episodes,” where he goes into a state of complete and utter fear. This paralyzing fear that Will experiences is a reflection of how many teens and young adults struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. “Stranger Things 2” brings to light how serious anxiety and panic is to overcome and it is not as easy to just “face it” or “get over it.” With the support of his friends and family, Will was able to escape the grip of the “shadow monster” aka a representation of anxiety and panic; however, even after recovery, he was a changed individual. The myth that once one faces anxiety they are cured, is debunked in season 2. Anxiety and panic is something that people must learn to manage; it does not just go away. “Stranger Things 2” is a metaphor for issue in society like anxiety and panic.

The character development of season 2, also increased the level of richness in the story. The audience gets to watch Steve Harrington (Joe Kerry) develop from a selfish high schooler in love with Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) to a responsible young man who takes care of a group of middle school boys with a knack for danger. Steve and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) develop a bro-mance throughout the season. Their budding friendship illustrates how important it is for young people to have a role model to look up to.

Season 2 of “Stranger Things” was a hit. The show brought to light important issues, and left the audience in suspense of the development form the Upside down. The story line developed with interesting plot twists, giving the audience a balance between the thrill of suspense and the underlying themes of friendship.

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Stranger Things Addresses Issues Not at All Strange to American Teens