Stranger Things is created by The Duffer Brothers and the show just released it’s third season on Netflix. The third season takes place in the summer of 1985 in Hawkins where the kids we’ve come to adore over seasons one and two are quickly growing up. The new Starcourt Mall is taking over Hawkins as every one in town is spending all their time and money in there. However, Hawkins will soon find out that an evil threat is seeking revenge and it’s safe to say that this will be a 4th of July they’ll never forget. This season stars Millie Bobby Brown, David Harbour, Winona Ryder and Dacre Montgomery.
I am a huge fan of Stranger Things. I’ve been watching since the first season came out, three years ago. I absolutely love the first season, I really like the second season but I wouldn’t say it had the same impact as season one. Now, after an excruciatingly long year and a half, the third season is here just in time for summer. The fact that this show is only in it’s third season a pulled a Game of Thrones on us (not releasing new episodes for more than a year) and comes back with a vengeance like this is extremely impressive. This show is now the biggest show on the planet, everyone loves it! Now, back to season three, there was a lot of hype surrounding this show and the question on everyone’s mind is, does it deliver?
I can happily say that this season delivers on almost every aspect. I really enjoyed this season, it was honestly some of the best television I’ve seen in a long time. It was refreshing and very much needed. The third season of Stranger Things is a reminder of why television is so great and another reminder that it’s catching up to the big screen at quite a rapid rate. This season is up to par with the latest movie blockbusters in terms of visuals, sets and grandeur. I only mention those aspects because I feel that television and cinema have equal level of writing, acting and directing. To me, the only thing separating the two mediums was the budget which apparently Netflix completely ignored when it came to this season.
This season looks absolutely gorgeous! There was never a moment where I doubted the VFX. The Starcourt Mall looks fabulous, it was brimming with 80’s nostalgia and I absolutely loved the movie references, especially the Back to the Future ones. I might actually rewatch the trilogy, this season really got me in the mood to do so. I love Scoops Ahoy, I wish it was real, basically everything looked amazing. This season’s antagonist also looked disturbing, disgusting and realistic, it was great. Netflix really put a lot of money on this season and it shows.
Apart from how good this season looked, it also benefited from having great writing, directing and a well-woven story made up of different teams. Not to mention the incredible acting. This season there were two outstanding performances. In Season 1, it was Millie Bobby Brown’s performance, in Season 2, it was Noah Schnapp’s chilling performance but this season both Dacre Montgomery and Millie Bobby Brown give incredible performances. I’ve never seen Montgomery in anything else besides Stranger Things so I was seriously impressed by his vulnerable and heartbreaking performance. As for Brown, she continues being immensely likable, charming and badass however this season she had a lot more to do emotionally and she delivered.
One thing this season has that the two previous seasons lacked was atmosphere. This season is filled to the brim with it. It has the most 80’s references which is saying something but even without the references. The writing enabled the show to feature different parts of Hawkins. There’s the Starcourt Mall which already features a ton of shops and places. Hawkins Post, the pool and the 4th of July celebration fair. Not only that but the music both the nostalgic songs featured but also the amazing musical score by Kyle Dixon. Also this season has been the most intense season of this show so far. There multiple times were I noticed my heart beating really fast after an episode. This goes to show how much I care for these characters. Episode 4 is a perfect example of this.
Speaking of, the characters in this season, while I did enjoy all of them, the show also treated some characters poorly. For some characters there was simply no character development which did disappoint me. Particularly Will and Jonathan Byers. They sort of hinted at a storyline with Will but they never went anywhere with it and with Jonathan it all revolved around his and Nancy’s job and that’s it. However this season also upgrades some characters like Erica who is easily one of the funniest characters on the show, Eleven who we see grow as a person before our very eyes. Max also gets more stuff to do and I love her friendship with Eleven. Steve, Dustin, Lucas, Hopper and Joyce are just as great. I love the new character, Robin she is easily one of the best parts of this season. Maya Hawke was incredibly charismatic and funny.
As I just mentioned this seasons looks amazing visually, but not only VFX-wise. The use of colour and cinematography and camera angles really help elevate a scene. For example there is a scene in which a character is yelling at two workers. He gets really frustrated and kicks the table, the camera’s angles turn to dutch angles meaning they are tilted. Not only but there are extreme close-ups on the characters to make you feel awkward and uneasy just like the characters. Another example is the really cool hall of mirrors scene with the neon colours and reflection, it looked like something out of a John Wick movie. Another thing I loved was how the camera moves whenever El uses her powers. It’s little things like this which can improve a scene and there are many of them in this season.
Overall, the third season of Stranger Things proved to be worth the long wait as it provides an incredibly fun, entertaining and hilarious ride with these characters. However in typical Stranger Things fashion, it is also intense, creepy and all sorts of off-putting. Even though this season lacks some of the character development the previous two season had, it makes up for it with some fabulous new characters and shining the light on some underused characters. This season is what summer entertainment is all about, thrills, joy, action, colour, a killer soundtrack and most importantly fun.