Face Off: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 1 is better

Can’t top the first year, according to editor

Catherine Jasper, Co-Editor in Chief

A few weeks ago, “Stranger Things 2” was released on Netflix, and the entire world went a little bit crazy. While the new season was fantastic, I couldn’t help thinking back to the awesomeness of Season 1.

Try to think back to July 15, 2016, when “Stranger Things” first appeared in your Netflix queue. This eight-episode science fiction show went from virtually unknown to a pop culture phenomenon almost overnight. The reason the first season did so well is simply explained: The world had never seen anything like it before. And unfortunately, it will never get that feeling again.

Everyone can remember the first time he saw “Stranger Things,” the first time he realized how good it was. That first feeling, that first realization that this was a new, great thing will never happen again. There is excitement for a new season of a great show, and there is discovering it for the first time. They just don’t compare.

Even though Season 2 explores the lives of the characters, Season 1 introduces them to us. Without Season 1, how would we know about Mike’s passionate leadership, Dustin’s lovable hilarity, Lucas’s confident fearlessness and Eleven’s awe-inspiring power? Sure we got new characters in Season 2, but — as I said before — nothing beats the original.

One of the major appeals of the first season involved the way the story was told. Instead of being a campy, clichéd tale of a group of kids trying to find their missing friend, it was a thrilling, artistic journey of growth with a nice mix of classic science fiction elements and plenty of ’80s nostalgia.

Season 2 was more of the same, but we can’t forget the story that started it all. Season 2 feels as if it is trying too hard. It’s almost like the writers listened to what everyone loved about Season 1 and made the same show with these elements magnified. While this might seem like it would make better TV, it really detracts from what is the most important: the story. It is almost as if the show is aware of its own success, and chooses to focus on elements that will make the viewers say, “Oh, I remember that song,” or “That movie was popular in the ’80s,” rather than focus on the characters and their journey.

In Season 1, the villain was definitely better. Don’t worry, no spoilers, but having a villain that is clearly defined and understood by all the characters makes for a smoother story. It also leads to some pretty cool fight scenes with both kids and teenagers taking on a role not typically seen in Hollywood, hero.

Truly, the best part about this show is how it doesn’t fit into any mold. It is a combination of mystery, suspense, science fiction and romance. While Season 2 may be getting all the hype right now, don’t forget the story—and the season—that started it all.