The internet turned upside down yesterday after learning that Netflix's Stranger Things would officially return for a Season 2. Since the news broke, along with every episode title, fans of the series have been frantically piecing together everything we know in search of answers.
In addition to revealing the episode titles, earlier this week the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter there will be "a handful of really compelling new characters this season. ... [Some] really, really intriguing ones." Now that we know a little bit more about them, I couldn't agree more!
TV Line released the names and brief descriptions of three of the four new regular characters today, and it looks like we're getting even more badass female goodness in Stranger Things Season 2.
- Max: A "tough and confident" skateboard-riding girl, age 12-14, whose appearance, behavior and pursuits seem more typical of boys than of girls in this era.” The first episode of Season 2 is titled "Madmax" (clearly suggesting parallels with George Miller's film series) which suggests we'll see Max's significance early on. Since we don't officially know whether or not Eleven will return, perhaps Max will fill her shoes in the otherwise all-male gang.
- Billy: Max's “very muscular and hyper-confident” older brother. In true 1980s fashion, Max drives a Camaro. With those descriptors to his name, I have a feeling Billy might turn the Nancy-Steve-Jonathan love triangle into a square.
- Roman: Easily the most mysterious of the three announced characters, so much so that we don't even know Roman's gender. (Despite the name suggesting it's a guy, the character is currently described as "gender-neutral.") All we know is this person suffered a great loss at a young age.
One of my favorite aspects of Stranger Things was easily its ability to highlight strong female characters. The series was unique in that it included three powerful women in lead roles, all from different age groups, who each displayed their strength in different ways.
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For Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) it was staying grounded in her sanity and beliefs even when everyone said otherwise. In Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), it was her personal growth in the face of trouble. And Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), the youngest of the group, was just an all around badass ready to throw down for her new friends.
Don't get me wrong, the men in the cast were similarly invaluable. But rarely are audiences faced with not just one tough lady blessed with Imperator Furiosa-like levels of ass kicking ability, but three.
The Duffer brothers have previously stated that they're viewing the second season as more of a film sequel. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the showrunners cited James Cameron and his exceptional work on sequels as inspiration for Stranger Things.
“I know movie sequels get a lot of s—, but the ones we look up to aspire to pivot and do something different. There’s Temple of Doom, Aliens, Terminator 2. I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”
With Cameron's classic sequels boasting strong female characters like Sarah Connor and Ripley as inspiration, paired with these new casting descriptions, I imagine one of the things they're actively aiming to keep from the original series is the empowerment of their female characters.
As for the "something new" element, we have a few theories about what kind of adventure Mike and his motley crew will be thrown into this time. Is there a Max and Eleven power friendship in their future? Only time will tell.
Meet Max, Billy and Roman in Season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix in 2017.