jenn and i just finished watching stranger things 2. i think it mostly sucked. of course there were elements i liked, like the many nods to classic fantasy/sci fi/horror tropes and how they continue to nail so many small details about the 80s, but overall i think this season was really muddled and half-baked. there were so many subplots and relationships between characters that were introduced and then never explored or resolved. there were also a bunch of new characters and none of them were given any development. it was just like, “time for a new bully. steve is out, billy is in. that is all.”
i’ve got so many specific complaints, mostly about undeveloped or unresolved things, that i’m gonna list ’em.
- eleven’s jealousy of/dislike for max — came up several times, nothing happened with it.
- mike’s dislike for max — came up several times, nothing happened with it.
- sexual tension between billy and mrs. wheeler in the last episode — came up once, a lot of time was spent on it, it was fun but it didn’t go anywhere.
- billy’s abusive father — came up once, sort of explained billy’s bad attitude, seemed like it was going somewhere, but didn’t.
- nancy and steve — are they broken up or not? never explained.
- nancy and jonathan — are they together or not? never explained.
- how did steve turn from the school’s biggest, toughest badass to a wimp overnight, getting picked on by the new tough guy and getting his sensitive heart broken by his girlfriend? that’s ridiculous.
- kali and the chicago punks — what the hell was the point of that? a whole episode just to show how eleven learned to focus her anger to intensify her power? then we never see kali or her lame gang again — utterly pointless.
- while i’m on episode 7: eleven showing compassion for her enemies when she almost kills that retired lab guy, then doesn’t — that seemingly important element never comes up again.
- another episode 7 complaint: the retired lab guy says dr brenner is still alive but nothing ever becomes of this incredible news. i’m assuming this seed is being planted for a major plot line in a subsequent season of the show but i think if that is the case, there should really be some other hints or evidence of it peppered throughout this season the show.
- billy’s vaguely racist feelings on lucas — seemed like it was going somewhere but didn’t.
- when the “demodogs” are loose in the lab facility, why do they kill everywhere but dr owen? he’s only got a few minor flesh wounds. how absurdly convenient.
now, i like art to have a healthy amount of ambiguity. i don’t like things spelled out, i want to use my brain, be left with some questions, fill in the blanks. but there is a clear line between being artfully ambiguous and being inept and lazy, and this season of the stranger things was definitely the latter.
really, the thing i liked the most about stranger things 2 was the fact that our new kittens liked to cuddle with me on the couch when jenn and i watched it, and the show provided a vehicle for that. i definitely didn’t hate the new season but i don’t think i’d recommend it to anyone at this point.
new topic: it occurred to me today that military personnel are trained and given the implements to kill people — despite the fact that murder is illegal in most countries, and the death penalty is becoming increasingly rare. that strikes me as really odd. especially trained military snipers, they specialize in being ruthlessly efficient killers, but if they did the same thing outside of their military jurisdiction they would be persecuted, jailed, and possibly even killed themselves. it’s an incredible double standard. who gets to say when it’s ok to kill someone, and when it’s not, when killing is absolutely illegal for 99.9% of us?
i’d like to see the names and faces of military officials who authorize the use of deadly force, and the names of faces of people who carry that stuff out. i want to look in their eyes and see if i can discern any hint of a god complex or some similar psychopathic disconnect from the world that most of us live in. i wonder if sanctioning murder or being a sanctioned murderer weighs on the psyches of those folks the same way it might on the mind of a common criminal, despite having some sort of social license. do they wrestle with it? do they feel guilt? do they feel justified? do they view their ‘targets’ (what a cold term for a fellow person) as nothing more than that? do they have to turn off any sense of empathy in order to do their job?
i need to meet a sniper and have a chat with them. i have a lot of questions.