Hey 3.5 readers.
It took me awhile but I finally got through Season 3 of Stranger Things.
These are probably bland observations but I’ll make them all the same.
#1 – The nostalgia factor for someone who grew up in the 80s is fun. From the music choices to the overall feel, the Duffer brothers know that decade which is odd because I don’t think they spent a lot of time in it.
#2 – Often in movies about kids who save the day, the kids are usually presented as geniuses and the adults as bumbling idiots who get in the way Here, not so much. Hopper and Joyce are integral to the plot and aren’t treated like dummies getting in the kids’ way. Also, the kids are kids. They make kid mistakes and they need, or rather even seek out parental help because they know their limits whereas other films would show a kid genius who is just being slowed down by the adults.
#3 – Look away if you don’t want spoilers, but the final mall battle where the kids throw fireworks bombs at the monster is visually stunning and fun to watch.
#4 – Russians are the villains and kids and adults alike really dump on them throughout the season, calling them commies and deriding communism as evil and corrupt. I didn’t think that was allowed anymore in today’s PC world, even in a period piece.
#5 – They do tend to work 80s era actors into the series. Winona Ryder, aka Joyce was a popular kid actor in the 80s. Sean Astin of Goonies fame has a brief role as her love interest in Season 2. In Season 3, Cary Elwes of Princess Bride fame plays a villainous mayor. Comedian Paul Reiser plays a scientist that experiments on the evil monsters.
#6 – I think the challenge for the show was trying to keep reinvent itself after an initial plotline that was cool at first but over time became somewhat limiting. For example, after two seasons of battling evil monsters that inhabit the “upside-down” version of their town (basically, an evil parallel universe) one wonders why anyone still chooses to continue to live in Hawkins, Indiana. Season 3 upped the game by bringing Russians conducting an evil experiment in the bowels of that 1980s staple, the shopping mall and it looks like (spoiler alert) Season 4 will likely involve a plot to rescue Hopper from the upside-down.
#7 – I’ve run out of observations but if you have any, leave them in the comments. In the meantime, don’t click on the video below if you don’t want a spoiler. Otherwise, enjoy the kids’ rendition of “The Neverending Story” theme song.