'Stranger Things' is on its way back: Here's how to see it

The boys, and Eleven, are returning for a second season. Here's how to book your ticket to the Upside Down by way of Hawkins, Indiana.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
3 min read

The boys (and Eleven, not shown) are almost back in town again. "Stranger Things" returns with its second season Oct. 27.


Just in time for Halloween, the second season of spooky, Spielberg-esque "Stranger Things" is on the way. The Netflix Original series was a surprise hit when it came out in July 2016, telling the story of a group of Dungeons & Dragons-loving preteen friends in 1980s Hawkins, Indiana, who stumble upon a disturbing government conspiracy in their own town.

Twelve-year-old Will Byers, who vanished into the creepy Upside Down in season 1, is back now -- but does the slug he spat up in the finale mean he never really left? And what of Eleven, the young girl with psychokinetic powers, who escaped from human experiments at nearby Hawkins National Laboratory? Will presumably deceased Barb ever get the justice many fans will she deserves? Better stock up on Eggos and get ready to binge.

How to stream 'Stranger Things' in the US, UK or Australia

Get yourself a Netflix subscription. All nine new episodes will arrive on the streaming service on Oct. 27, the Friday before the week of Halloween. 

Not sure Netflix is worth it to you? The service offers a free month trial, so if you sign up on Oct. 27 or after, you can soak up both seasons and cancel your membership without penalty. But the show has already been renewed for a third season, so if you get hooked, you're going to have to befriend someone with Netflix so you can (eventually) watch season 3.

In the UK or Australia? Netflix in those countries is dropping "Stranger Things" on the same date.

Episode titles

Netflix announced all nine episode titles back in 2016, but nearly all of those titles have changed -- and episodes 7, 8 and 9 are being kept secret. Here's the latest list of episode titles that have been disclosed. Sadly, none of them are too revealing. Where's "This Is The Episode Where Barb Comes Back To Life"?

Old and new faces

Pretty much the entire first-season cast is returning, with Noah Schnapp (Will), Winona Ryder (Will's mom Joyce), David Harbour (police chief Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Charlie Heaton (Will's older brother Jonathan) and Natalia Dyer (Mike's older sister Nancy) all back.

But there'll be some new faces, too. Sadie Sink, 14, plays Max, a new girl in town who apparently joins up with the group of young friends. Dacre Montgomery, 21, plays her older stepbrother, Billy. 

Movie and TV veteran Paul Reiser will join the show as Dr. Owens. Reiser hinted at Comic-Con this summer that his character might be a baddie working for Hawkins National Laboratory, saying, "I basically come in to clean up (Matthew Modine's character, Dr. Martin) Brenner's mess, and, uh, certain things happen."

Sean Astin will also come to Hawkins, playing the local RadioShack manager Bob Newby, a high school classmate of Joyce Byers and Chief Hopper.

Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen plays Roman, an emotionally damaged woman who's somehow connected to Hawkins. Brett Gelman arrives as a disgraced conspiracy-minded journalist, and Will Chase has been announced as the father of a family transplanted to Hawkins from California (maybe Max and Billy's dad?).

While you wait

Here are three "Stranger Things"-related strange things to do while you wait for Oct. 27. 

1. Trailers

Watch the second 2 trailers. Here's the first one, shown at Comic-Con in July (our photo gallery goes through it shot-by-shot).

And here's the newest one, just released Oct. 13. Gaaah, tentacles!

2. Game on!

Go back to the 1980s, the decade the show's set in, with this new mobile adventure for iOS and Android that takes you into the world of Hawkins, complete with Eggos.

3. Get a laugh

Watch the (short) riff of a "Stranger Things" clip as done by the new cast of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Police Chief Hopper comes in for most of the mockery.  As Hopper chases pills with a Schlitz before blowing smoke at his bathroom mirror, the hosts crack, "They shoulda called this, 'Sadder Things."

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