It Will Continue In Our Hearts

Second Star To The Right

Star Trek Continues is one of my favorite Star Trek productions, professional or fan-created.  If you are a regular reader, you know just how much I love this show.  If you’d like an idea of just how much I love STC, read my old post here.


This particular post isn’t a happy one.  Nope, it’s very sad.  STC has ended its run and I don’t know what to do.  Vic Mignogna and company have crafted what I believe to be the greatest fan production of any series ever and now it is done.  The show’s finale, a two-parter entitled To Boldly Go ties up the original series and connects it to Star Trek:  The Motion Picture.  I won’t spoil it, but know that it is a tearjerker in more ways than one.  It was emotional for me because it signals the end of the series, but many of the things that happen in this particular episode made me cry as well.  You can check it out as well as all of the other episodes at this link.


I’m proud to have been a supporter of and donor to this series.  I genuinely believe that everyone involved put their heart and soul into the production and it shines through with each episode.  The attention to detail is mind blowing.  The costumes are perfect.  The music fits right in with the music from the original series.  The sets are bright and alive. Each episode leaves me wanting more.

The show also has an excellent cast including Mignogna as Captain Kirk, Todd Haberkorn as Mr. Spock, Chuck Huber as Bones, Chris Doohan as Scotty, and Kim Stinger as Uhura.  New characters were also added to the series including Dr. McKennah (Michele Specht), Lt. Smith (Kipleigh Brown), and Lt. Drake (Steven Dengler).  The addition of these and other characters only adds to Star Trek’s legacy.


The series also has a long list of  excellent guest stars that includes Clare Kramer, Lou Ferrigno, Gigi Edgley, Amy Rydell, Fiona Vroom, and Michael Forest.  The Enterprise even channeled Doctor Who with guests such as the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, and Nicola Bryant, who happened to play one of my favorite Doctor companions, Peri.  I could go on, but you should check out the entire cast for yourself here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I truly will miss Star Trek Continues.  As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’ve met many of the cast and crew and none of them have disappointed me.  They care not only for Star Trek, but the fans and friends that have followed their journeys aboard the Enterprise.  I wish all of them nothing but success in their future endeavors.

As always, thanks for reading.  Be sure to check out Star Trek Continues and also check out the work of Hannah Barucky, whom I completely stole my featured image from (which was edited by James Kerwin) for this post.  I purchased one of her prints awhile back and you should too. All other photos were taken from random interwebs sites.

Live long and prosper!


Justice For All!

Mother Boxing The Critics

I saw Justice League on its opening weekend.  I waited for over a week to put my thoughts on the film in a post for a few reasons.  For one, I wanted to see what others thought about the film first.  I knew how I felt, but opinions seemed to be so mixed right out of the box that I wanted to see if I might have missed something in the film.  I also knew that there would be fanboys on both sides of the comic and/or movie spectrum screaming about how much DC sucked and Marvel ruled and vice versa, and I wanted those folks to vent as much as possible to see exactly what their pros and cons were about the movie.  Finally, it was the Thanksgiving holiday and I just felt like waiting a bit before revealing my thoughts.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My short review is this:  Go see this movie.  If you are a fan of the Justice League or any of the characters in this film, go see it.  It’s not a perfect movie by any means, but it is definitely a wild ride and my second favorite comic book based film from this year.  Wonder Woman was tops, with Spider-Man: Homecoming coming in third and Thor: Ragnarok way back in fourth.

This film has some excellent action, well-developed characters (especially considering the run time), a decent dose of humor, and more Easter eggs than you can shake a stick at.  As usual, DC injected plenty of hints, winks, and name drops that only their comic book readers will catch, but none of that takes away from the enjoyment of the film for the general crowd.

Go. See. It.

My longer, more in depth review follows.  A few spoilers might pop up, but nothing too major.


So what makes Justice League such a cool film to check out on the big screen?  Here are my pros plus a few cons that may turn some away.


The Heroes:  Say what you want, but it just doesn’t get any bigger in the comic book world than Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.  The Holy Trinity of Comics coupled with three awesome characters that are just as excellent in their own right means that you’re going to see some excellent action on the screen.  Ben Affleck is the best Bat since Michael Keaton, and this is coming from a man who literally talks in Christian Bale Batvoice when he goes to conventions.  Gal Gadot has become the face of Wonder Woman for a whole generation.  Henry Cavill is given a little more room to breathe in this film despite having less camera time than his friends.  He’s a bit more lighthearted and a lot less grumpy (except when he’s freshly resurrected, but I don’t blame him there).  Ezra Miller brings a ton of laughs to the film as the Flash/Barry Allen, and I have a feeling that he actually might be the breakout star of the film.  Jason Momoa chews through the scenery as Aquaman/Arthur Curry.  I initially had doubts about him, but all of my worries were put to rest after seeing him in the film.  Ray Fisher portrays Cyborg/Victor Stone with a bit of reservations (intentionally) at first, but as he comes to accept what he is, he opens up to the rest of the group.


The Action:  There is a lot of action in this film.  From our heroes fighting each other to taking on Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and his parademons, the action is as big as you’d expect from such larger than life characters.


The Supporting Cast:  In all honesty, the supporting cast didn’t have a lot to do in this film, but they all gave solid performances.  Amy Adams has gotten better as Lois Lane.  Diane Lane is always reliable as Martha Kent.  Jeremy Irons gets in a few solid laughs as Alfred, and new addition J.K. Simmons (comic film fans know him as J. Jonah Jameson from the Tobey Maguire Spidey flicks) does a solid turn as Commissioner Gordon.


The Plot:  The plot is very basic.  An evil force is coming to take over the world and Batman and Wonder Woman know that they can’t defeat it alone.  They gather up some super friends and take on the big bad, Steppenwolf.  I was glad to see that WB and DC somewhat simplified the story line.  In my experience with these recent DC films, they culled a lot of their material from the books (which is a good thing in my opinion), but dug a bit too deep for the general public and comic fans that don’t read DC to keep up.



The Lack Of Certain Heroes:  As big and bombastic as the group was, a part of me missed characters such as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, J’onn J’onnz/Martian Manhunter, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and Captain Marvel/Billy Batson (or for you New 52 and beyond folks, Shazam).  There are hints at the Lantern Corps (but I’m not spoiling it), but I really missed all of these guys.  Captain Marvel is getting his own film sooner or later, and I hope that this means that he’ll eventually join the League.

The Rushed Resurrection of Superman:  While the way that Superman is brought back makes sense in the film, it seemed to happen entirely too quick.  Plus, the end of Batman V. Superman hinted that Superman was going to be able to rise on his own, but I guess that was tossed away in the build up to this film.


The Film Length:  Clocking in at just under two hours, this was the shortest new DC film so far.  Was it due to Joss Whedon’s involvement?  Maybe Zack Snyder was told to cut back because so many people said that BvS and Man of Steel were too long?  I don’t know, but I do wish that a little more time was given to develop the story.  Still, it’s not enough to deter me from watching and enjoying this film.


What others are saying

I’ve seen a ton of gripes, compliments, complaints, and glowing reviews about certain aspects of this film on the web.  One of the biggest gripes is the CGI used for Steppenwolf, Superman, and Cyborg.  While I can definitely see the reasoning behind the gripes over Superman and understand why many disliked the CGI on Steppenwolf, I don’t get the CGI hate for Cyborg.  I thought that they did an excellent job with that animation.


Superman’s chin looks wonky in a lot of scenes and downright terrible in others, but it doesn’t take away from the film in my opinion. Neither does the appearance of Steppenwolf.  I’ve seen CGI characters in other films that looked a lot worse than Steppenwolf, but hardly anybody griped about them.  He could have looked better but, again, his appearance didn’t take away from the film.

Another major gripe (and this came from a lot of Marvel fanboys) is that Steppenwolf was a boring villain.  Apparently the folks griping about this have never watched any Marvel film that didn’t feature Loki (as the main villain), Vulture, the Winter Soldier, or Ego.  Ronan, Hela, Obadiah Stane, Mandarin, Malekith, Red Skull, Whiplash, Justin Hammer, Aldrich Killian, Ultron, etc., etc., while all (for the most part) excellent villains on the page, were reduced to one dimensional characters in their respective films.


Of course, there’s always criticism of Batfleck.  You already know my opinion of Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight Detective, but many people believed that the violent aspect of the character was dialed back in this film and I have to agree with them.  Batman actually got in a couple of excellent one-liners and I must admit that while refreshing to see him lighten up a bit, I missed the excessively grumpy, head-bashing Batman we saw in BvS.  Part of me has to wonder, though, if some of the people griping about the lighter Bat in Justice League were the same people that griped about the Bat being too violent in BvS???


There was also some praise on the web for the film as well.  A lot of it, rightfully so, was pointed at the performance of Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa.  Both of those guys did excellent jobs in the film.  Miller was the main source of comedy in the film, and his wide-eyed gaze brought both a childlike wonder to the character and a lighter tone to the film in general.


Aquaman, long the butt of many jokes in pop culture, was portrayed as a gritty loner with a big heart by Momoa.  The character’s attitude was definitely culled from Geoff John’s New 52 version of Arthur Curry, and I’d love to see someone make fun of Aquaman in front of Momoa now and see what happens to them!


Final Thoughts

Again, it’s the Holy Trinity of Comics and three other legendary DC characters in a film that’s opening wide the door to the arrival of Darkseid.  Why wouldn’t you see this film?  Danny Elfman’s score was solid (and resurrected my favorite Batman theme), the action was nonstop, and it whets the appetite for more.  Go see this film.  I promise that you’ll enjoy it.

Oh, and if nothing else, check it out for the scene where Flash realizes that Superman can see him in the Speed Force…..and those two scenes in and after the credits!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





I Went To A Thor Movie….

And A Comedy Broke Out

Marvel has done it again.  Made an excellent film, you say?  No.  Did an excellent job of promoting and hyping a film that turned out to be less than expected?  Yep.

That’s not to say that Thor: Ragnarok is a bad film.  It’s just not as great as I hoped it would be and is ultimately a stinker in my opinion.  As they did with the last Guardians of the Galaxy film, Marvel used excellent teasers, trailers, and promos to spark interest in the newest Thor film.  They even paid big bucks to Led Zeppelin in order to use their legendary Immigrant Song in the film (something that, in my opinion, should have been done with the first Thor film).

When I finally laid eyes on the movie, though, I realized that Marvel pulled the ol’ bait and switch on me.  Ragnarok looked and sounded much cooler in the promos than it actually was in its full form……just like Guardians, Vol. 2.


L-R:  Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

I so desperately hoped that Marvel would finally get a Thor film right.  Captain America was one for three (Winter Soldier was excellent, but Cap’s other films were ho-hum) and he and Thor are my favorite Avengers.  Their first films seemed rushed in order to get to the big Avengers film in my opinion, and their debut solo films suffered for it.  With Ragnarok, I thought that Marvel might finally have a grasp on a true cinematic version of the God of Thunder.


Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

The film definitely looked good on paper.  The return of Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, and Tadanobu Asano as the Warriors Three, Idris Elba (Heimdall) and Anthony Hopkins (Odin), meant that there would be some solid acting from the core cast.  The new additions of Cate Blanchett (Hela), Karl Urban (Skurge), and Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) gave me confidence that I could expect some decent villains.  I wasn’t familiar with Taika Waititi’s work on film, but I knew his direction and writing from Flight of the Conchords, and that left me feeling good about him at the helm.  Writer Christopher Yost gave me a tad bit of pause, considering the fact that he penned the screenplay for Thor: The Dark World, but I was glad that someone with theatrical ties to the characters was at least a part of the film.  He’s also written for a number of animated shows including Star Wars Rebels and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The only real wild cards for me were actress Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) who I was not at all familiar with and the writing duo joining Yost, Eric Pearson and Craig Kyle.  Pearson is best known for his work on Agent Carter, which seems legitimate enough, but Kyle is primarily known for his work on Marvel’s animated films and television shows which are very lackluster for the most part.  I’ll talk more on the writing and Thompson later.


Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie.

Mild spoilers ahead!!!!!

The plot of the story takes place roughly two years after the events in Age of Ultron.  Thor finds himself at the mercy of the demonic Surtur (voiced by the always brilliant Clancy Brown) who has plans to unite his crown with the Eternal Flame stored deep within the vaults of Asgard in order to trigger Ragnarok, the end of everything.  Obviously Thor escapes, steals the crown, and heads back home to restore his father to the throne.  He outs Loki as the false Odin and then the duo find their father (with a little help from a “strange” friend) exiled on Earth.  Odin tells the pair that he is about to die and that their older sister, Hela, the Goddess of Death, will be released from her prison and will put Ragnarok into motion.


When Odin passes, Hela immediately arrives on the scene, destroys Mjolnir, and chases Thor and Loki across the Bifrost Bridge, successfully tossing them both out of the Bridge’s path.  Thor ends up on Sakaar, where he is captured by Valkyrie and sold to the Grandmaster as a gladiator.  Loki also crashes on Sakaar, but uses his charms to win the favor of the Grandmaster.  Thor fights Hulk in an epic battle (one of my favorite scenes in the film) and they eventually reignite their friendship.


Hulk gets ready to pound Thor into a pulp.


Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster.

At the same time, Hela has taken over Asgard, selected Skurge as her executioner, and is trying to hunt down Heimdall, who has stolen the sword from the Bifrost Bridge and is thus preventing Hela from leaving Asgard in order to begin her domination of the universe.


Thor getting lit.

Back on Sakaar, Thor has convinced Valkyrie, Loki, and Hulk to team up with him and battle Hela for Asgard.  He has also freed all of the gladiators, including Korg (voiced and motion captured by Waititi), who starts a rebellion against the Grandmaster (something that he has planned for a long time).  Thor and company then steal one of the Grandmaster’s ships and fly through a wormhole dubbed The Devil’s Anus in order to quickly get to Asgard.  A big battle ensues, people die, lots of lightning and thunder, etc., etc.  You’ll have to watch the film in order to find out the rest.



The cast:  As expected, the established actors in their roles were excellent.  The writing derailed three of them, though, and I’ll get to that later.  I can see no one else as Thor besides Hemsworth.  The same goes for Hiddleston as Loki, Elba as Heimdall, and Hopkins as Odin.  The new cast members were hit and miss.  Tessa Thompson did a fine job as Valkyrie.  I hope that her character is fleshed out a bit more in future Marvel installments.  Karl Urban did a decent job with what he had to work with, but the writing hurt his character as well.

The action:  The action sequences were fast, well executed, and surprisingly full of violent deaths.  Much like her brother Loki, Hela has a penchant for throwing blades at her opponents.  The size of the blade varied depending on her mood.  We also got to see Thor really thunder and lightning things up, which I missed in the other films.  This is the first PG-13 Marvel film that I would consider cautioning parents with small children about.  Despite no blood, there’s a lot of violent death.

The music:  The music set the tone of this film perfectly.  Mark Mothersbaugh perfectly scored the film, injecting just the right amount of suspense, humor, or whatever else was called for scene by scene.  Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin is used sparingly, which is a good thing, but used at just the right moments when needed.  There are a few other nice musical Easter Eggs dropped in for the sharp listener, but I don’t want to spoil them here.


The writing:  More than anything, this film’s writing derailed it at every turn.  I’m all for injecting humor into a film, but cracking nonstop jokes while people are dying all around completely breaks any and all tension in a scene.  I won’t name specifics, but there are quite a few times whenever a character throws in a joke at the worst moment (and no, it’s not Loki every time).

Speaking of Loki, he’s terribly written in this film.  Yes, I know that he’s the God of Mischief and I also know that the character has been a go-to for injecting humor into the multiple films that he has been a part of, but making him no more than a gag-a-minute funny man really depressed me.  Loki deserved better, as did Cate Blanchett’s Hela, who delivers a couple of terrible one-liners herself.

Hulk is reduced to a giant toddler.  Much like Loki, he’s given a lot of opportunities to throw in humor at inappropriate times.  Did anybody writing this film realize that it’s about Ragnarok……the end of everything……as in everybody and everything dies…..forever??????

Thor loses a bit of his swagger in this film as well.  He’s supposed to be unsure of himself, but Thor’s ego always comes through in every situation.  Hemsworth has to tromp through forced humor as well.

The varied levels of strength:  No one seemed to be able to set a limit to Hela’s power in the film.  Early on she crushes Mjolnir like it’s an afterthought.  Later in the film, when she’s supposedly stronger, she takes a beating from Thor, amazingly recovers, and Thor is suddenly unable to beat her.  There’s also an army of the dead that enters the battle (no spoilers as to who they are) who are seemingly hard to stop but fall to pieces at the business end of a pair of M-16’s from Earth.

Jeff Goldblum:  I know that I’ll get more hate than I can shake a stick at for this, but Jeff Goldblum was annoying in this film.  I love the guy in pretty much everything else that I’ve ever seen him in, but his portrayal of the Grandmaster was too much.  Basically take everything that made Goldblum’s Ian Malcom cool in the Jurassic Park films away, inject a heaping dose of his insecure David in Independence Day, and top it off with Goldblum’s over-the-top real life persona and you have the Grandmaster.  Goldblum can be hilarious, but he irked me to no end in this film.

Cate Blanchett:  Again, this will probably draw a lot of hate mail from my three readers, but I just didn’t buy Blanchett as Hela.  I was hopeful that Marvel finally lifted their dull villain curse with the wonderful Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but they proved that the curse is alive and well with Hela.  Despite being all powerful, she was dull.  Bad writing really hurt Blanchett’s performance, but there were times where I would look at her and see a “Remember the size of the check you’re cashing.  Just chew your way through this and get back to good roles later” look on her face.

In conclusion:

Thor:  Ragnarok failed to add anything memorable to the MCU.  Goldblum was annoying, Blanchett appeared to just be walking through the scenes.  Sif (Jaimie Alexander) wasn’t even in the film.

Yes, it’s definitely action packed and chock full of sophomoric humor that seems to be spilling from an ever-growing wound in Marvel’s writer corral, but if this is the future of the MCU, I don’t have very high hopes.

Please, Marvel, if you’re reading this (and I know you aren’t), get better writers.  Lay off of the Whedon-inspired humor a bit and give us a meatier story.  You literally took one of the most apocalyptic battles in comic history and turned it into a buddy comedy.  It was definitely noisy and teetered on Technicolor brightness, but it ultimately turned into a pile of forgettable fluff.  Please give Thor a better story.  Please????????

Thanks for reading, folks.  I’m chapped about this film and I think it’s pretty obvious that I am.  If you have a differing opinion (and I know somebody does, because I’m definitely in the minority on this one), let me know in the comments.  Feel free to share this with friends and family, too.  I want their opinions as well.

Stranger Things Part Deux

I blew it

Yes, last month I promised all three of my readers that I would be blogging every single day for the month of October.  I planned on watching at least one horror film per day and then reviewing it or an aspect of the film, a character, actor, etc.  I made it thirteen days in and then I missed day fourteen.  I blew it.  Day fifteen came and went (and I even watched films to blog about) and that quickly turned into day twenty, twenty-five, and then Halloween showed up.  I’m sorry for dropping the ball, gang, but life and laziness got in my way.

With that said, however, I did watch a ton of horror flicks (that I didn’t blog about) and the second season of Stranger Things.  I really enjoyed the first season and had high hopes for season two.  Other than one episode, season two was great.  I’m hungry for more!


A few mild Season Two spoilers lie ahead!  Season One will definitely be spoiled if you haven’t seen it yet.

Season Two of Stranger Things opens with a quick look at a young lady named Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) who possesses mental powers and a tattoo similar to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and her gang as they enjoy a little criminal activity in Pittsburgh.  We are then transported to lovely Hawkins, Indiana where our four heroes, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Will (Noah Schnapp), are getting back to a somewhat normal life minus their friend and savior, Eleven.  It has been almost one year since the events of Season One, and after seemingly sacrificing herself to the Demogorgon, the boys assume that Eleven is either dead or lost in the Upside Down.  Mike repeatedly tries to make contact with her, but with no success.

Faithful viewers know that at the end of Season One, Hopper (David Harbour) is seen leaving Eggo Waffles and other food in a container in the forest near the lab.  In Season Two we learn in the first episode that Eleven is alive and well and being hidden by Hopper in his grandfather’s old cabin.


We’re also introduced to a couple of new characters in the form of Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery from the recent Power Rangers film) and his stepsister, Maxine “Mad Max” Mayfield (Sadie Sink, Blue Bloods, American Odyssey).  Billy plays the big bad that provides trouble not only for his sister, but for last season’s “started-off-as-a-jerk-but-became-a-cool-guy,” Steve Harrington (Joe Keery).  As the new girl, Max is viewed by Lucas and Dustin as a potential new member to their group, especially when they find out that she has beaten Dustin’s top score on Dig Dug.


Nancy (Natalia Dyer) feels terrible that she can’t tell her friend Barb’s parents about what really happened to Barb (Shannon Purser) during the events of Season One.  She dogs Steve about it but he’s afraid that something bad could happen to them if they expose the truth.  After telling him off, Nancy teams up with Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), to take on the lab and gets an assist from a humorous conspiracy theorist (Brett Gelman).

Will’s mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), has fallen for her old classmate and perpetual nerd, Bob Newby (portrayed by 80’s legend and Lord of the Rings actor, Sean Astin).  He goes out of his way to normalize life for the Byers family, usually with goofy results.  I was suspicious of his character at first, but he proves to be a loyal companion not only to Joyce, but to Will as well.  Be sure to watch for a few winks and nods to some of Astin’s classic 80’s roles.

Paul Reiser, known for successful films such as Aliens, Beverly Hills Cop I & 2, and Diner, as well as the highly successful sitcom Mad About You and the somewhat successful My Two Dads, portrays Sam Owens,  who has assumed direction over the Hawkins Laboratory.  I really liked his character in this series.  Reiser has always been one of my favorite actors, and he knocks it out of the park in Stranger Things.


Another character introduced this season that deserves mention is Lucas’ little sister, Erica (Priah Ferguson), who doesn’t have a lot of screen time but completely steals every scene that she’s in during the season.  I hope that we see more of her in the future.  She was hilarious!


Eleven quickly becomes tired of being cramped up in Hopper’s cabin and repeatedly asks him to let her explore the outside world.  Fearing for her safety, Hopper denies each request.  After one too many broken promises, Eleven starts to venture out on her own and soon finds her real mother (Aimee Mullins).  This leads Eleven to discover that she has a “sister” who shared a room with her at the lab.  This girl is Eight, or Kali, and Eleven sets out to find her.


Kali (center in the picture above) has the ability to create visions in the minds of anyone that she faces off against.  When Eleven finds her, they form an uneasy bond.  Eleven is glad to find someone else like her, but doesn’t agree with the shady operation that Kali is running with her friends (Kai L. Greene, Gabrielle Maiden, Anna Jacoby-Heron, and James Landry Hebert).  In a very Yoda moment that is ripped almost directly from The Empire Strikes Back, Kali shows Eleven how to channel and focus her powers to move an eighteen wheeler much like Luke attempted to free his X-Wing from the swamps of Dagobah.   While Luke failed due to the distraction of his friends being in danger, Eleven succeeded.  Like Luke, she also left her “training” to help her friends in need.


The episode where Eleven finds her “sister” completely derails the season for a moment.  Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why Eleven needed the guidance of Kali, but it just seemed like the episode was shoehorned into the season.  I didn’t completely buy into Kali and her gang.  They seemed too over the top and unbelievable even though they were based off of standard street thugs common in 80’s films.  That’s saying a lot considering the fact that this series also features an Upside Down world, Demogorgons, and a girl that can rip you apart with her mind.  The episode broke the rhythm established by every other episode in both seasons, and it’s my least favorite episode so far.


While all of these events are going down, Will is experiencing “episodes” where he briefly breaks into the Upside Down (not intentionally) and then pops back.  These “episodes” get worse as the season plays out, and he is eventually taken over by them.  His situation is what draws Eleven back to Hawkins, but I don’t want to spoil what’s going on with him just yet.  This season is still too fresh and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that hasn’t seen it.

Mike feels like an outsider in his own group.  He can’t find Eleven and doesn’t like the fact that Lucas and Dustin have allowed Max to infiltrate their group without consulting him first.  He’s also extremely (and rightly) worried about Will.

Lucas falls for Max, but so does Dustin, which puts some tension between them.  Lucas also suffers at the hands of his little sister, whom I’ve already mentioned.  He and Dustin eventually get over their squabble about Max and with her and Steve set out to help Will.  Again, I won’t give away too much so as not to spoil anything.

Oh, and Dustin raises a Demogorgon in his bedroom.  He finds a “puppy” in his trash can and secretly keeps it in his room.  As it quickly grows, it becomes a “demidog,” or young version of a Demogorgon.  You’ll have to watch the series to see what happens next.


One character that I want to bring special attention to is Steve Harrington.  Considered a big jerk for most of Season One, Steve finds himself in a state of limbo at the beginning of Season Two.  Despite still being considered a couple, friction over the death of Barb and what to do about it creates a divide between him and Nancy.  With the arrival of Billy Hargrove, Steve is no longer the top dog on the basketball team or with the ladies.  He basically ends up as an outsider who ends up in a friendship with Dustin due to the events happening with the rest of the core Hawkins kids.

Steve comes to realize that Dustin looks up to him and takes on the role of a leader.  Does he have all of the answers?  Absolutely not.  Like most of us, he figures things out as he goes along, makes great decisions, makes terrible decisions, but does it all with the intention of helping the ones that need him.  Dustin needs Steve’s guidance with girls. Max needs Steve to stand up for her whenever Billy tries to stop her from seeing Lucas.  Dustin, Lucas, and Max need Steve to stand between them and sure death when a pack of demidogs attack.  Steve stepped up big time this season, and it shows us that Joe Keery is an excellent actor.  He took a run-of-the-mill character that could have easily fallen into the background and made him one of the best characters on Stranger Things.

The guy is a hero.  We all need a Steve in our lives.

Thanks for reading.  I hope that I haven’t spoiled too much for anybody.  I highly recommend watching this season of Stranger Things as well as Season One.

Go out there and find your Steve!