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Why 'Stranger Things' Is Worth the Wait, Kevin Spacey's Coming Out, and More: Talk of the Town
This past week was more horrifying than Halloween.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ YOUTUBE/ NETFLIX/ YVETTE FERNANDEZ
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STRANGER THINGS 2

Stranger Things debuted without much fanfare last year.

Viewers immediately took to the feel and vibe of the Netflix sci-fi thriller series set in the '80s: from its eerie opening theme, to the title font reminiscent of sci-fi and mystery novels published in the eighties, to the casting of Winona Ryder, the ultimate '80s icon.

The overall effect translated to an unexpected hit: Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a rare 96 percent rating, and word of mouth took care of the rest of marketing.

The show's producers originally did not plan for a second season, but because of the first season's huge success, Netflix last week released the full second season with 9 episodes. Stranger Things Season 2 garnered a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

More Dramatic, More Intense

In Season 2, we see the full repertoire of talent that each actor is capable of, especially that of Noah Schnapp who plays Will Byers. Unlike the previous season when Schnapp appeared only in a handful of scenes, this time Schnapp unleashes his acting talent, which may earn him a Golden Globe or an Emmy nomination for Best Actor. We also see the show explore the concepts of friendship and love more deeply, evident among the relationships of the four main characters.

We also see the characters deal with a more serious threat this season. Will gets stuck in between the real world and the Upside-down dimension, experiencing visions which become more and more terrifying. Eleven or El, played by actor Millie Bobby Brown, also becomes more powerful this season.

Stranger Things is created by brothers Matt and Ross Duffer. When you're done with Season 2 and find yourself wanting more, watch Beyond Stranger Things, an after-show talk hosted by Jim Rash. In it, the cast, crew, and the Duffer Brothers discuss the story development and behind-the-scenes production.

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KEVIN SPACEY ADMITS HE'S GAY

Nowadays, coming out gay is generally viewed positively. But last week, when Kevin Spacey came out, one actor labeled it as the worst coming out in history.

Spacey is in big trouble after allegations of sexual abuse made against him by actor Anthony Rapp were publicized last week. Rapp alleged that Spacey made sexual advances on him when the former was only 14 years old. Less than 24 hours after the allegations were made public, Spacey made a statement via Twitter explaining that he does not remember the encounter with Rapp, but apologizes for any inappropriate behavior. In the same tweet, Spacey admitted that he is gay. 

Things have taken a turn for the worse. Other personalities have since come forward, detailing similar instances of Spacey groping or grabbing them. They include Daniel Beal, a British barman, who claims Spacey exposed himself and attempted to force Beal to touch him. Filmmaker Tony Montana also accused Spacey of making sexual advances while at a bar in 2003. “He put his hand on my crotch forcefully and grabbed my whole package,” said Montana. 

In addition to the string of accusations Spacey is facing, another setback presented itself as Netflix cancelled his show, House of Cards, the company's first big original series. It ran six seasons. Although talks of cancelling the show have been around since summer, the announcement came the day after Rapp accused Spacey of sexual misconduct.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ATIO CASTILLO HAZING CASE 

Last week, Marc Anthony Ventura, an active member of the Aegis Juris fraternity, came forward and presented himself to the Department of Justice. In an affidavit, he detailed the grueling events that took place during neophyte Atio Castillo’s final hours. In his testament, he claimed it was frat leader Arvin Balag who paddled Castillo the fifth time, causing the latter to lose consciousness.

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Ventura received full coverage under the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program or WPP. In implementing the rules and regulations of the law providing for the WPP, Ventura is required to testify about his knowledge of the crime, cooperate with respect with all reasonable requests of government officers and employees assigned to protect him, and regularly inform the program official of his current address and activities, among other conditions. Benefits include security protection and escort services from government, a secure housing facility, traveling expenses, and a subsistence allowance while he is acting as a witness. 

No Evidence of Hazing

In response to Ventura’s claims, frat leader Arvin Balag claimed he cannot be liable for violating the Anti-Hazing Law because there is no evidence that Castillo underwent hazing. "I could not in any way be held liable for violation of Republic Act 8049 (Anti-Hazing Law) since there is no evidence whatsoever that Atio was placed in some embarrassing or humiliating situation or subjected to physical or psychological suffering or injury as a prerequisite for admission or entry to an organization and that I have any direct participation therein," Balad stated in his counter-affidavit. 

Balag also challenged the statement made by the Manila Police District, who claimed that Castillo died from severe physical trauma. "If indeed it is true that Atio is a victim of hazing where he suffered from severe physical trauma, Atio's kidneys should have acquired some degree of kidney injury due to accumulation of myoglobin and the same could be a cause of acute kidney failure/failure resulting to multiple organ failure," Balag's counter-affidavit read. 

No Abuse of Superior Strength

Balag's camp also claims there was no abuse of superior strength. According to the law, an accuser must prove that there was "treachery, taking advantage of superior strength,” and other qualifications in the death so that the accused can be charged with murder. 

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“Superiority in number does not necessarily amount to the qualifying circumstance of taking advantage of superior strength,” added Balag in his counter-affidavit.

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