Modern-day TV viewers are drinking up nostalgia the way Capetonians use water when they're in Johannesburg.
The biggest pop culture phenomenon of this trend is the Netflix original series 'Stranger Things'. Having become a Halloween staple and catapulting the careers of Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will) who seem to be able to do anything.
The second season finds the show opting for a slow burn compared to the last season fast-pace, with it picking up roughly one year after the first season.
We catch up with our band of heroes with Will clearly still being affected by his time in the Upside Down.
There is also a new addition to the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, fiery Max (Sadie Sink) and her bully brother Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery). Max’s addition to our unlikely heroes is quite interesting and changes the dynamics of the group.
All the characters have their own character arcs and executive producers really do a great job of giving all of the main cast equal screen time.
Dustin is still my fave with his sharp wit and the writers use his expert comic timing to cut through the tense moments in a realistic way.
However, don’t think for a moment that the second season isn’t scary. The introduction of the Demodogs and the ultimate reveal of the big bad gives a real sense of heft to the season.
Will in particular finally gets time to shine since he was MIA for a big chunk of the first season. Schnapp really gives one of the best performances of the kids since he is essentially dealing with PTSD.
Brown also brings new depth to Eleven and to see her growth and even develop a typical tween emotion like unnecessary jealousy is quite fun.
The only real bump in the road in this season is episode 7. While it does provide some much-needed exposition and character development for Eleven, it ultimately needs up feeling like a bad episode of the X-Men based show, 'The Gifted'.
And those that wanted #Justice4Barb can rest easy after watching the second season. Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) are finally able to gain closure feeling responsible for her death. And Barb’s arc in the 'Stranger Things' universe gets a much-deserved conclusion.
The experiences of season one have also clearly made both Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) Jim Hopper (David Harbour) more vigilant and quick on the response to the approaching threat. With both of them showing amazing character arc and Byers even finds love this season
The second season definitely hit the ball out of the park, into the stratosphere and beyond. With two seasons still left, it will be interesting to see what happens to our band of heroes, since all them are currently going through puberty which is sure to bring a whole new dimension to the show.
'Alias Grace' is a six-episode adaption of Margaret Atwood's Booker-Prize shortlisted novel. The story is based on factual events; the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery.
The protagonist Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) is a domestic worker, who immigrated to Canada from Ireland as a teen with her family, life's story is a series of unfortunate events.
She is sentenced to life imprisonment for her supposed role in Thomas and Nancy's murders. However, Grace's stellar prison record soon grabs the attention of a religious group wants her exonerated.
Enter the young dashing American doctor Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft) who comes to study Grace's perplexing mind and to determine if she is sane. She relays her life story for him through flashbacks and he soon becomes besotted with the murderess.
One easily sympathises with the naivety of Grace's character and all the hardships she endured in life. The social ills of that time can be favourably compared to what we are experiencing now.
Gadon's performance is spellbinding and she keeps the viewer captive. Anna Paquin's portrayal of a moody and some-what jealous housekeeper is convincing. Holcroft is over-shadowed by his strong female castmates.
The storyline keeps you in suspense throughout and even at the end you are not quite sure if she did "it".
'Stranger Things 2' and Alia Grace' are streaming on Netflix globally.