It was a wonder that Netflix didn’t renew Stranger Things once the overcrowding of dissections of the show online led to gushing articles about minor characters like Barb, or once any of the five children stars singing pretty much anything would lead to rapturous social media sharing. And then last week, it came out that the series was already Netflix’s third most watched show behind Orange Is the New Black and Fuller House. It seemed inevitable that Stranger Things would be renewed (though the series could work as either a one-off or a multi-season thing), but it was still curious that Netflix wasn’t jumping on it sooner — leading the Duffer brothers to declare some of the things they’d do if they got another season rather than when.
TV Guide, while wondering why it was taking a while, told fans not to worry, because the network had “never not renewed a series” — so it’d certainly be bizarre of them not to renew one that’s so successful. And they, and you, and everyone else, were of course right: because now Stranger Things has officially been renewed, for a second season that’ll stream in 2017. Variety reports that the season will run for nine episodes as opposed to Season 1’s eight. And it seems, based on the fact that this announcement comes with a teaser trailer, that perhaps the company had been strategizing the perfect renewal date to rekindle buzz for season one the second it started quieting. The teaser displays a lot of cryptic phrases (“Madmax,” “The Boy Who Came Back to Life,” “The Pumpkin Patch,” “The Palace,” “The Storm,” “The Pollywog,” “The Secret Cabin,” “The Brain,” “The Lost Brother”) which seem to be episode titles:
Immediately following the announcement, Entertainment Weekly got some quotes from the Duffer Brothers on what they could share about the upcoming season. The brothers already said a while ago that they didn’t want the show to be an anthology, and that they wanted to see many of the same characters return. It appears they’re sticking to that idea: Ross Duffer said, “I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade. That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here, there’s still things that are unresolved.” Which means, presumably, that the same preternaturally talented child actors will return. Except, maybe, Eleven. “We don’t know about Eleven. We leave that up in the air,” said Ross Duffer. Though, really, they probably wouldn’t reveal her presence even if they were certain about bringing her back, as that’s one of the big cliffhangers that’s getting people rabidly interested in a second season.
Also, according to Matt Duffer, they’ll be “ventur[ing] a bit outside of Hawkins” — and the opening scene of the second season won’t actually take place there. Perhaps most exciting is their continued assertion that much more will be revealed about the Upside Down. Ross Duffer said:
We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.