Stranger Things: Chapter One: MADMAX
October 27, 2017 1:12 PM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

As the town preps for Halloween, a high-scoring rival shakes things up in the arcade, and a skeptical Hopper inspects a field of rotting pumpkins.
posted by Fizz (38 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Fizz at 1:22 PM on October 27 [6 favorites]

Well that reminded us all what we liked about this show. And who we thought was boring (Steve). I'm glad the boys have a new obsession in Max and was glad to see El in all her curls.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:37 PM on October 27

Was it me or was the sound design as intense and significantly emphasized as it was in this episode as opposed to the previous season?
posted by Fizz at 1:41 PM on October 27

I can't stand the bargain basement Rob Lowe with a mullet guy.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:44 PM on October 27 [9 favorites]

I can't stand the bargain basement Rob Lowe with a mullet guy.

Apparently by season's end he's supposed to be an interesting character and not just the usual one note "bad kid". Will have to wait and see if he gets fleshed out in any significant kind of way.
posted by Fizz at 1:47 PM on October 27

Boys, don't be surprised that Max likes and is better than you at video games. That just leads to badness down the road, trust us.
posted by rewil at 1:54 PM on October 27 [30 favorites]

elsietheeel -- I was watching with a friend and we both turned to each other and exclaimed "fake Rob Lowe!" Glad we weren't the only ones.
posted by sldownard at 2:04 PM on October 27 [1 favorite]

Fake Rob Lowe and Jean-Ralphio Saperstein's dad. In Indiana. It's Upside-down Parks and Rec!
posted by elsietheeel at 2:24 PM on October 27 [14 favorites]

I stayed home from work and have watched the whole thing and I have feels
posted by skycrashesdown at 5:19 PM on October 27 [6 favorites]

Same. It's going to be a long wait for all of the episode posts.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:31 PM on October 27

I laughed out loud when Paul Reiser's character told Joyce to trust him and that he was on her side - like, sure, pull the other one Burke.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:33 PM on October 27 [16 favorites]

why Nancy didn't pound her awful little brother into the carpeting when she caught him stealing her money after rifling through her underwear drawer is a question with no answers. she just stands aside so as not to block the doorway when he leaves and then pretend-chases him. ineffectually. you HAD him, Nancy, you had him and you let him go. what were you even going to do if you caught him again? has Miller's Crossing even come out yet? YOU ARE GABRIEL BYRNE IN THAT FILM, NANCY. learn from this and stop being a fool

and we are to believe this petulant ur-brother is in the right because the parents lecturing him are Reagan-Bush voters with punchable faces. this is an insult beyond my ability to bear

Steve deserves somewhat better than Nancy. but Nancy deserves so much better than Jonathan.

why can't this goddamn show just let Winona smoke her cigarettes and wear her denim jackets. just let Winona and Max ride off in the van full of psychic teens. just Winona, Max, Eleven and the van full of psychic teens.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:37 PM on October 27 [18 favorites]

15 minutes in and they are using classic 80s tunes as too much of a crutch y'all, it feels like nostalgia music video hour. Scorpions, The Romantics, Oingo Boingo, Devo...great stuff, but it's a bit like they got a bigger licensing budget and decided to use it.

Paul Reiser was great! Hardly recognized him. Sean Astin too.

Pissed off raccoon in the trash can.

I love giant storm in the upside down. Aaaaaand I loved the last scene. That was grrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeaaattttt.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:31 PM on October 27 [4 favorites]

Never trust Paul Reiser!
posted by WaterAndPixels at 10:01 PM on October 27 [7 favorites]

posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:04 PM on October 27 [1 favorite]

Weird to see Steve and not immediately wanting to punch him.
posted by rikschell at 3:59 AM on October 28

Oh yeah. And yes, please, tell me more about 8.

El has the same hair as Ripley in Aliens. Er, that Ripley will have, since Aliens is a couple of years off from the show. Still, I assume this is not a coincidence.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:16 AM on October 28 [4 favorites]

Mojang has released a Stranger Things skin pack for Minecraft.

Nice to see Barb isn't completely forgotten!
posted by adept256 at 9:43 AM on October 28

Jonathan asking Will whether he'd rather be friends with David Bowie or Kenny Rogers is such a 2017 take on that sort of question. Early 80s Bowie was at his absolutely most pandering and least interesting, and Jonathan (based on how his character has been presented previously) should be aware of that.

Also, I would absolutely pick Kenny Rogers, because at least if I was friends with him I'd probably get to hang out with Dolly Parton, who was always fucking rad.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:28 AM on October 28 [18 favorites]

I know this show is in good hands because when they were playing Dragon's Lair in the arcade at the beginning I said it was overpriced crap, just like Our Heroes, and like them I also couldn't help but play it.
posted by Justinian at 1:57 PM on October 28 [6 favorites]

“There is no way they got that far in Dragon’s Lair on the amount of quarters they had.” - my husband.
posted by skycrashesdown at 2:54 PM on October 28 [21 favorites]

Random thoughts on 2nd viewing (why yes, I did watch all 9 episodes yesterday, and am rewatching it 24 hours later):

* "Wastoid" -- Ferris Bueller reference?

* The Hollands even have a picture of Barb in the bathroom. WTF?

* OMG, I had the exact same sheets with the squares as Mike has over top of the little Eleven fort.

* The Wheelers are Republicans, the Hendersons are Democrats. Yup.

* David Harbour is about 3 feet taller than Winona Ryder. I don't ship it.

* The synthy soundtrack parts are really great.

* Hopper's unwritten rule #4: Dinner before dessert, always.
posted by axiom at 3:00 PM on October 28 [3 favorites]

Mrs. CheesesOfBrazil had no clue what Dragon's Lair was, and you better believe I gave a '80s-arcade-nerd-lecture
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:20 PM on October 28 [4 favorites]

Forget Dragon's Lair, I wanna know more about Max's strategies for Dig Dug. That and Galaxian were my go-to games, though I also liked Carnival because if you didn't get the ducks, they'd come down and eat your bullets.

Rewatched the first season in preparation for this, and I remember how useless Mike's dad was there. Glad to know he continues with that characterization. (I suspect his mom will SAY she voted for Reagan to get along w/ her useless husband but may not when in the ballot box.)

The basement of the lab now has an airlock and regularly-scheduled flamethrower details. I must know more, that can't be good.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:08 PM on October 28

Heh. I had the Galaxian tabletop in my bedroom. It's just about remembering the patterns the alien ships drop down in. Though I was little younger than these kids; R-type was the one that stole my lunch money.
posted by adept256 at 6:17 PM on October 28 [2 favorites]

I wonder if the Chicago police cars crashing was partially meant as a nod to Blues Brothers.
posted by drezdn at 7:11 AM on October 29 [1 favorite]

So that nice detective man is going to bring back Barb and everything will be ok, right?

posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:09 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]

For those of you who have seen the whole season: Keeping your answer spoiler-free, would you say that season 2 is more scary or less scary than season 1?

(Asking for a friend who doesn't like scary stuff and also this friend is me.)
posted by jcreigh at 4:04 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]

Less scary. The monster is familiar, the jump scares are predictable, and it's all sort of formulaic. But still amusing!
posted by elsietheeel at 4:07 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]

I'm only up to episode 5 so far but I would say this season is far more intense/scary than last season.

It's also not great if you're sensitive to seeing children in pain.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:19 PM on October 30

Max is supposed to be a Dig-Dug genius and yet we see her standing in place, mashing the pump button, instead of doing that thing where you walk forward and keep throwing the hose to kill the monsters way faster

posted by DoctorFedora at 5:31 AM on October 31 [6 favorites]

jcreigh, I agree with elsietheeel that S2 is less scary than S1.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:37 AM on October 31

Yep. This one is Aliens to S1's Alien. Bigger, more familiar, more action, less horror.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:06 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]

I wonder if the Chicago police cars crashing was partially meant as a nod to Blues Brothers.

They're in Pittsburgh in that opening.
posted by numaner at 2:09 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]

numaner: "I wonder if the Chicago police cars crashing was partially meant as a nod to Blues Brothers.

They're in Pittsburgh in that opening.

Sort of. Really obviously not filmed here.
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]

I mean the words "PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA" appears on the screen. I'm not from either city so I dunno what they're really supposed to look like on a random street. Although from my one day in Pittsburgh I don't recall that tunnel, but we took bridges in and out. But I also don't worry so much about how DC metro in tv shows are never actual fucking DC metro that I ride every day.
posted by numaner at 9:57 PM on November 2

My viewing partner lived in Pittsburgh and was gracious enough to let the opening scene pass with one "NOPE." He was more bothered by the six-character names on the high score screen. ("It was three! THREE! You didn't get six characters in the 80s!")
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:07 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]

* Hopper's unwritten rule #4: Dinner before dessert, always.

I'm with Eleven on this one.
posted by Start with Dessert at 12:25 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]

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