Stranger Season 2 (2020) *Non-Spoiler Review*

With the benefit of hindsight, there is a lot to like in this second season. The writer took an entirely different approach and it's not hard to understand why. However, with the burden of expectation of a second season to navigate (a kind of "sequelitis"), it did cause some degree of discontent at least among international fans. I personally thought the set-up took a world and an age to get going although it wasn't without some justification seeing what came later. Perhaps domestic audiences were in a better position to appreciate what the writer was doing because of the socio-political issues that were raised initially. In its defence the approach taken was innovative in terms of the way the 3 disparate cases introduced at the start became interconnected because of the various players involved. Politics gave those cases seeming undue prominence but as it turns out, the three cases -- the Tongyeong drownings, the Segok station suicide and former prosecutor, Park Gwang-su's death -- brought to light systemic problems of corruption within the criminal justice system stemming from individuals flouting the law . The downside to all of this, as a myriad of new characters were trotted out in dribs and drabs, is that it placed the onus largely on the viewer to try and weigh the relative importance of a myriad of supporting characters while tracking their appearances throughout the series in relationship to their specific cases. Even as someone who watches a lot of detective/ police procedurals, I often found myself needing to watch every episode at least twice to navigate my head around this large ensemble of vested interests while wondering where they fit into the bigger story. This consequently slowed the show's progress in the first half. Moreover, in the attempt of trying to be mysterious for its own sake and ramp up the hype, there seemed to be a lot of window dressing in the early days.

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