Typically, I am usually a little late when it comes to catching new series; I didn’t get into Game of Thrones until just before the fourth season, I did a massive binge-watch of Vikings ready for season 5 and I hadn’t even heard of Peaky Blinders until last year. But Stranger Things is one that we have kept up with since the very beginning, meaning that I was super excited for the release of season three on American Independence Day.
Now, as a Brit, the fourth of July is just a normal day for me but this year I was counting down the days, especially as I needed something to fill the hole that the end of Game of Thrones left behind. And it seems I wasn’t the only one as the series quickly broke Netflix’s viewing records (source).
If you are not yet familiar with the Stranger Things universe then I would totally recommend a Netflix binge session this weekend to catch yourself up. I could try to explain it here but it is so out there that I don’t think I would be able to properly do it justice. Just trust me on this, give it a go, you will not be disappointed.
For those of you who are up to speed, season 3 takes place over the July 4th weekend, about six months after the events of season 2. With the Mind Flayer defeated and the gate to the Upside Down closed, our favourite gang of nerds are actually able to spend their summer navigating the muddy waters that come with growing up; changing friendships, first loves and shopping trips to the mall.
All of our old favourites are back, with love guru, Murray Bauman and Lucas’ sassy little sister, Erica taking more integral roles. Taking over Max’s role as the new girl is Steve’s ice-cream slinging work pal, Robin, played by Uma Thurman’s daughter, Maya Hawke.
Mike and Eleven’s shy kiss during the Snow Ball at the end of last season has turned into some slightly heavier kissing sessions, much to the annoyance and frustration of Eleven’s adopted dad, Chief Hopper, who turns to Joyce for help in managing this awkward situation. But does he have an ulterior motive of his own….?
All of this on its own sounds like the basis for a coming-of-age drama series (which tbh, I would totally watch), but this is Hawkins, ground zero for the Upside Down, and there will always be someone who wants to open the Gate. But with Hawkins Lab permanently (??) shut down, who else would want to unleash the Mind Flayer?
We have come to expect a lot of nostalgia from the Stranger Things universe and this season is no exception. They managed to make 80’s fashion look cool and I won’t be surprised if we see a resurgence of bright, bold prints, chunky jewellery and oversized jumpers. I, myself, am not particularly interested in fashion but even I fell in love with some of Eleven’s outfits.
Alongside the usual Stephen King and Goonies references, this season paid homage to some iconic pop culture including, but by no means limited to; Jurassic Park, The Terminator, Back To The Future and Alien. It was actually quite fun to try and spot all the different influences. The best one for me however, was an absolute genius, and adorable, element of comic relief that was timed to perfection. I don’t want to say too much, you’ll just have to watch it to see what I’m talking about, but I warn you, it will be in your head for days.
The whole series managed the incredible feat of being simultaneously dark and twisted yet surprisingly light and upbeat. One moment you will on the edge of your seat, the next you will be smiling from ear to ear. Stranger Things takes you on an emotional journey, right the way up to the end. Prior warning, you may need tissues, I was crying like a baby, although that may be because we ended up binge-watching the episodes and didn’t finish until 3am!
You may have noticed that I have tried not to give away too much in terms of plot points, I am not a fan of spoilers, but I do have to say that I don’t think “the American” mentioned during the post credits scene is the one that we want it to be (if you know, you know 😦 ). I think that the fourth and final (?) season will see the return of Dr Brenner and a culmination of his storyline that started the whole thing off, way back when.
Have you seen it? Let me know your thoughts.