Why let reality get in the way of your enjoyment of good entertainment? If you don’t want to read anything about what ‘Stranger Things 3’ should be like, move on to another article. Otherwise, here are some things that probably resulted from ‘Stranger Things 2’ that will need to be explored in the threequel.
Economics – Hawkins has to be a dried-up ghost town or the ruins of a small town when the lab closes up. The small shops and restaurants could survive while the shutdown was in progress because of the influx of military and moving people. After that though, there’s no way to replace all of the revenue lost from government workers who rented or bought homes, went grocery shopping or stopped at the local diner. An economist will trace the downfall of the economy to the failure of several crops in the area, most notably the pumpkins in every pumpkin patch. But the closure of the lab will be the true economic downfall. Some people might point out that all those dead government workers would’ve had the same effect. However, had the U.S. government kept the lab open, it would have brought in more workers. The poverty rate is going to climb unless…
This is the middle of Reagan’s presidency. Maybe he deregulates and sells off the property, which is bought by a weapons manufacturer. Employees flood into the area again, but is this a good business and will they find 11?
Ninja Kids – Steve’s been beat up twice now. He really needs to learn how to fight. He is supposed to be the number one jock in the school when we first meet him. He shows his athleticism swinging a bat. He’s got the physical talents, he just needs to develop them. The “Karate Kid” was released in the summer of 1984 before the events of “Stranger Things 2.”
Steve’s not the only one that needs to develop fighting skills. The nerds need to develop their real-life fighting skills. After the first incident, everyone leaves thinking, “Well, that’s over. Thank God,” and they go back to their relatively normal lives as was evidenced in one of the first scenes with Nancy and Mike. Mike steals Nancy’s quarters and doesn’t tell her why. They promised no more secrets after the first season; they were back to fighting and leaving each other in the dark in the second. It’s human nature to ignore one bad thing. However, when after a second incident occurs, it’s time to find someone who can teach you how to fight. The best fighters know when they’re overmatched; the best teams learn to fight as a team. They also play to each other’s strengths. “The A-Team” came on the air in 1983; “The Stranger Things” kids have a group to pattern themselves after. They can’t just go back to playing D&D; it’s just a game.
Science Kids and Preppers – Maybe the nerds can’t become the best fighters. They can learn to shoot more effective weapons than the wrist rocket. Bows and arrows would be in their wheelhouse as something they could get excited about because they play D&D. Nancy already knows how to shoot a gun; she could teach the rest of them.
If those aren’t their thing, they could work on their science skills. Knowing which chemicals create toxic reactions and which could be explosive would be useful. Survival skills like setting traps would also be good to know. Again, they have role models in “the A-Team.” And they’re already pretty good with Morse code. (Does anyone know that anymore?)
Relationships – Let’s leave out the whole relationship thing. They’re kids. It wouldn’t last longer than 6 months for any of them. Maybe the teens have a shot. The way these relationships work or don’t work is going to come down to the writing and who the show appeals, too. Eleven and Mike are 12 when they meet. They’re 13 when they go to the Snow Ball. We don’t live in the age of Romeo and Juliet, so their romance really isn’t okay. The same holds true for any of the pre-teens. Dating might be a part of growing up, but it doesn’t have to define the show. Yet, with the interracial dating of Max and Lucas and the clear hatred of her brother for Lucas’ “kind” of people, it could wind up playing a big and important part.
Emotional Connection – Is anger the strongest emotion? That’s how El moves a train car. It’s how she closes the gate, but it feels empty and hollow. If anger is really the strongest emotion, then Billy should be the star of the show. There are a lot of angry characters. Max and Hopper both admit to their anger issues. Still, if this is the message of the series, then maybe we all just need to be a little angrier to attain our true power. I don’t happen to believe that, but I’m not sure what other message is currently being sent by “Stranger Things 2.” There’s a work together theme. There’s a take action theme. There’s a friendship theme… It just seems that anger has won out in the finale of the show, even with the love of the Snow Ball playing a small role in the denouement and teaser.
All of these thoughts were ones that occurred immediately after watching the last episode of “Stranger Things 2.” I enjoyed the series while watching it, but there are far too many questions if you try to throw a little reality at it. Yes, I know it’s sci-fi. However, it uses the real world as its basis for reality. No one will believe in the monsters. Atari’s the big gift. He-Man loves Barbie. Science fiction and fantasy set up there rules and have to play by them; otherwise Superhero Bob could come back to life with superpowers from the radioactive bite of a Demodog or really anything else could happen and the viewer (or reader) would have no way of being able to suspend disbelief. I guess the other question is whether or not they will explore 8’s character more. That whole sequence really seemed like a toss off, but it did develop El’s character, gave her a choice, and allowed her to come back to the real story.
Feel free to leave your comments about “Stranger Things 2.” Try to keep them nice. Check out my other blog posts on penguinate.com. If you want to meet a member of the Stranger Things cast, get your tickets for Lilac City Comicon 2019. The science teacher/AV advisor Mr. Clarke, Randy Havens is scheduled to be in Spokane. You can read more about Lilac City Comicon here.