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  • There’s a higher bar for original stories--even homages--to clear when it comes to incorporating the lessons Hollywood has learned recently about depicting female characters who are as layered as their male counterparts. For all its charms, Stranger Things doesn’t quite meet that standard. Show More

  • The Duffers captured the vibe quite nicely, tell a story that doesn’t seem watered down and emerge with a series that could be the summer’s equivalent of a large popcorn with plenty of butter and a kidney-busting keg of Coke. Show More

  • Stranger Things 2 is quite good and, if your expectations are in check, largely satisfying. The Duffer Brothers fall into very few traps of self-importance or self-awareness and they deliver a second season with an expanded assortment of '80s influences, an expanded cast of instantly embraceable characters and some expanded Stranger Things mythology without the bloat that inevitably dooms sequels. Show More

  • This promising drama often has ambiguous and even sad things on its mind, and the familiar contours of its plot are most effective when they serve as a cover for somewhat deeper explorations. Show More

  • Until Stranger Things 2 really gets going--and that takes a while--it trails an air of self-consciousness that veers into strained fan service at times. The good news is, the show’s core cast remains an extremely versatile and effective ensemble, and once the story kicks into a higher gear about halfway through the nine-episode season, a lot of the old magic returns. Show More

  • Even when scenes border on getting mushy, as in the final moments of Stranger Things 2, the sentiment feels earned, not plastered on. Scary, witty and sweet, Stranger Things 2 just might give sequels a good name. Show More

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