Get ready to meet the new girl in Hawkins, Indiana. When Stranger Things returns next year, it will reportedly include a brand new female character. According to TVLine, Stranger Things Season 2 is adding a girl named Max, a “tough and confident 12-14 year-old" that is going to shake things up in the young lives of Will, Dustin, Mike and Lucas. It's hard not to get excited about Max and the possibility of her playing a major role in this new season, but most exciting may be the fact that bringing in a new female character will amp up the girl power quotient in an important way.
When the show picks up in the fall of 1984, Max isn't riding a bike to school; she's all about the skateboard, which is very Marty McFly of her. Little else is known about this character, being that it has yet to be confirmed by the show's creators, the Duffer Brothers. But it's likely she'll get a chance to introduce herself in Season 2 premiere, which is believed to be called "MadMax." Now, I'm about to get into some speculation, based on the description of Max and what it sounds like we'll be getting. But I don't want my excitement for Max to come across as a dissatisfaction with the women who are already on the show.
Stranger Things already has its fair share of strong female characters. While viewers know very little about Eleven and her telekinetic powers, it's clear she wants to use them for good. She puts herself on the line for her friends at the expense of her own life. Will's mom Joyce Byers and Mike's teenage sister Nancy do the same. When things get tough, these women burst into action, unconcerned of what it could mean for them. They're selfless and complex characters, not mere love interests or sidekicks to the men and boys on the show. It's Nancy who leads the charge to get the Demagorgon, letting Jonathan, and eventually Steve, come along for the ride. When Joyce goes looking for her son, she's told to stay behind by Police Chief Jim Hopper, only to refuse those orders and making sure she is part of the rescue effort of Will.
Max differs from these characters in the fact that she's still a young woman coming of age. Sure, Eleven is also in her early teens, but she's something special. She's not like the other girls because she's been programmed to be different. Max's power seems like it doesn't exist in the fact that she's anything other than an average young woman. There's something powerful in this idea that Max will be a teenage girl whose power lies in herself. Even Nancy seems to struggle with having enough confidence in herself to not follow the crowd. The idea that Max doesn't follow the crowd or the trends, but instead has her own set of convictions, is exciting. It's hard to believe that boys of the same age would be able to handle this, which makes the dynamic of Max joining the Dungeons and Dragons crew so intriguing. How will these young boys react to a girl like this?
The addition of this new character though should excite fans not just because she's going to mix things up, but because she's described as being cooler than everyone else in town for basically being a girl who knows who she is. She's an equal to the boys, and maybe even a foe to all the bullies. She may not mentally be able to make a mean kid like Troy pee his pants, but she may be able to take him down a notch by being a bit more enlightened.
There's something satisfying about getting to see a young girl wield power that's all her own. She could be a strong young female character anyone of anyone age can look up to. Who knows? After Season 2, Barb may even have some competition for the internet's favorite character on Stranger Things.
Image: Netflix; Giphy