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No spoilers here, folks. We’re just excited.

Because for weeks, the advertising for Stranger Things 2 (not season 2, number 2, per the show’s creators) has gotten bigger and scarier. You don’t have to look far to see new monsters, dying pumpkins, and as much 80s nostalgia as you can possibly squeeze onto a billboard, website banner, or magazine ad.

And now it’s October 27th. The wait is over. It’s go time.

The show’s popularity can’t be denied. Stranger Things united so many demographics, from adults in their forties—nostalgic about bike riding and Eggo waffles—to your current day Gen Z Netflix-head. Despite its hyperspecific plot and time period—references to classic rock, horror imagery, subversions of typical storytelling tropes—there is something for everyone, which is why it was such an immediate, widely beloved hit.

So in honor of the upcoming release, here are the things we loved about Stranger Things, and what we hope to see in our next visit to Hawkins, Indiana.

Reason #1: We Love Kids Dealing with Spooky Shit

It was 2017’s most surprising hit (couldn’t resist that rhyme). An R-rated horror remake based on a thousand-page book about kids facing a mythological evil that takes the form of a scary old timey clown? How is that bankable? Well, throw in a bunch of charismatic kids and hop in that DeLorean to head back to the 80s, and bang! You’ve got a popular, funny horror-comedy that people love.

It’s success can be tied to Stranger Things, which can be tied to Stand by Me and The Goonies and Gremlins. It’s kind of simple, really. People just like seeing young, guileless kids fight monsters. That’s why we can’t resist the dynamic between Mike, Eleven, Dustin, Lucas, and Will. There’s an innocence and optimism in believing that underdogs will save the world. We long for that because it gives us hope in humanity.

We can’t help but root for these kids. They are precocious, but not annoying. Brave, but not superheroes. Well, save for Eleven. She fucking rules and HAS POWERS. We want to see or have seen a little of that mix in ourselves.

And we definitely want to see more of that kid awesomeness in Stranger Things 2: bonding over games, telling each other secrets, and always having each other’s backs. Oh, and more of Mike and Eleven’s ~romance~ because they’re just the cutest.

Reason #2: The World is Bad and We Need to Look Away

Entertainment has always been a form of escapism. We look to film and TV to get away from our normal, gloomy, boring lives. Entertainment in the time of Trump has taken on an emphasis due to how terrible things seem.

In Stranger Things, monsters are real and there’s a shady government operation happening in their very own town. Their struggle makes our own issues seem slightly more tolerable.

Besides, it’s great to have something to talk about with with your kooky great uncle or your teen neighbor in times of great division in this country. When you can’t talk politics, at least you have Stranger Things.

Hopefully, Stranger Things 2 overtakes the national conversation. Wouldn’t it be great if chyrons on CNN recapped each episode, and TV critics could appear at every hour of the 24-hour news cycle to talk about the Demigorgon and Hawkins’ newest threats? I would prefer to talk about Steve Harrington’s hair than Trump’s attacks on free speech any day. (Although we really do need to keep talking about how awful everything is because we can’t let it be the new normal.) Let’s get back from the monsters in the Trump administration to the ones that really matter: the monsters from the Upside Down!

But for real—Steve Bannon is the one who killed Barb (RIP).

Reason #3: Everything Old is New Again

Time is a flat circle. Everything is cyclical. Life’s like poetry, it rhymes.

Trends from the 80s and 90s have been everywhere for the past handful of years. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be the highest grossing film of the year. Nintendo has released new versions of old consoles like the NES and Super NES Classics. Is it 2017 or 1981???

People want what they like: comfort food validation that they know will make them feel good. Stranger Things’ prominent placement of Eggos, Dungeons and Dragons, and The Clash return people to good times they’ve already had.

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug, and Stranger Things is the ultimate nostalgia fix. We literally can’t get enough of 80s pop culture.

So although Stranger Things relies on pulling at our heartstrings, I’d like to see more of that nostalgia element. Talk about Back to the Future more. Crank up the Michael Jackson, throw on a pair of high tops. I love it all. It’s the closest thing we’ll get to time travel at this point, and sometimes, it’s nice to see what life really was like back then.

Stranger Things wasn’t perfect—nothing ever is (except maybe Star Wars). But it’s a fun, immersive, compelling show with a wonderful cast and a fun story. It’s something we all can relate to and talk about, and I’m so excited it’s back.

Just don’t talk to me today. I’ll be completely unavailable.

Erin Vail

Erin is the 2003 West Reading Elementary Geography Bee champion, a TV obsessive, and never not thinking about Buffalo sports.

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