January 2018 (Volume 68, Issue 3)
By Emma Patz, Entertainment Editor
Amidst much anticipation, on October 27, Stranger Things season 2 was released on Netflix. Within hours, thousands of people devoured the entire nine episodes. Overall, the second installment of the wildly popular series received warm praise. With a Spielberg vibe, and wildly talented child actors, what is there not to love?
I am only a little ashamed to admit that I am one of the many who completed the second season in under a day. Initially I enjoyed it- but an aspect of the show troubles me- the relationship between “El” (Millie Bobby Brown), and “Max” (Sadie Sink). One of the proponents of the show that most people love is the classic friendship shared between Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and El. So, when Max was introduced, I was thrilled. However, my excited feeling quickly dissipated into disgust. Immediately Max and El were pitted against each other. It is all too common for women and girls to be portrayed as enemies of each other in the media- even young children. In the popular reality dance show, Dance Moms, Chloe and Maddie were instantly deemed “rivals”. Keep in mind they were around ten years old. In today’s age, many are advocating for increased camaraderie between women and girls depicted on screen. Season 2 of Stranger Things only perpetuates the injustice, as not only do Max and El not get along, but there are really no other female friendships. Furthermore, in all nine episodes, it passes the Bechdel test (when two female characters with names talk to each other about something other than a guy) about twice.
There is so much potential for Stranger Things. It has extremely talented actors, an interesting plot, and the fan base to keep it successful. However, I hope that the writers change their tune for next season in regards to Max and El. The show is set in the 1980s, but it’s 2017. It is time for the screen to reflect what goes on in real life (minus demogorgons of course).