Stranger Things 2 introduces more on-screen romances, this time between some of the younger cast members, that include some first kisses. To those ends, the second season ends in the sweetest most pop culture perfect way ever: with a school dance. They've battled and won over evil, demo-dogs and all, but can they survive the more relatable milestone of attending a school dance? It's hard to forget your first school dance, even if yours wasn't mere weeks after risking your lives to save your friends and hometown.
According to executive producer Shawn Levy, they planned for the season to end this way from the start. "Literally, from the beginning, from the very first moment talking about season two, we knew this had to end at the Snow Ball," he told Glamour in an interview at the premiere of the second season. "We kept our mouth shut for over a year, but this was destiny. This is about all these characters coming together, and we were careful not to do things just because audiences wanted it. But you can’t deny the world Eleven and Mike at the Snow Ball! I don't know that it gets better than that."
Two very important moments happen at the Snow Ball. Max and Lucas have their first kiss and Mike and Eleven are reunited which also ends in a kiss. "Neither kiss was firmly scripted," Levy explained to Glamour. "But we really agonised over, 'Does one kiss take away from the other kiss?' And yet, Caleb and Sadie are so winning, so charming. It kind of finishes that storyline. Mike and Eleven, though, that's almost the beginning of something. It's a reunion, but it's also a bit of a promise. Maybe there's some of the answer as to what's in season three in that kiss."
While the writers and producers were mulling over the perfect moment for these on-screen kisses, the Stranger Things co-stars were also agonising — over the kisses themselves. For some, it was their first kiss not just on-screen, but ever.
Caleb McLaughlin who plays Lucas went to fellow cast member Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, for advice telling Vanity Fair, "He's the master at it! He was like, 'Just like that…[makes a smacking sound].' The kiss wasn't that bad. It was cool, but it wasn’t like, 'Oh my gosh, I loved it.'" He continued. "It was my first kiss! I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I’m kissing Sadie. She’s my friend! Whoa!' So I was like, 'I’m just gonna kiss.' But she came in for the kiss, so it wasn’t me making the first move."
For Wolfhard and Millie Bobbi Brown who plays Eleven, it wasn't as big of a deal. They shared an on-screen kiss at the end of the first season. "Finn is the only boy I’ve ever kissed," Brown shared with Glamour. "It’s easy to kiss him now! [Laughs] I know that sounds really weird, but it’s easy to kiss him!" In a post on Instagram, the actress shared a photo with her co-star writing, "I'm so blessed to have a great (on screen romance) with this lovely boy! Eleven loves you."
Even with all the changes that have been made this season, Shawn Levy says that the heart of the show remains the same. “The idea of friendship and the championing of the outcast is still the heart of the show, more so in season 2," he said in an interview with Vanity Fair. "It’s about characters who don’t fit in easily...these characters exist slightly on the margins, and they’ve all been beat up by life. And yet they are redeemed through their connection with each other."