Stranger Things is back and its bigger than ever. The show has allegedly already broken Netflix’s viewing records with 40.7 million household accounts tuning into the streaming service to watch the show on its release date, July 4th.
In addition, 18.2 million have finished the whole season in less than a week, making the possibility of a fourth season as sure as a last minute save from Eleven.
It’s summer in Hawkins and our main characters are trying to live their ‘normal’ teenage lives. Will might have long escaped the Upside Down but he is emotionally left behind. And as he starts to sense that something is wrong, it appears that the strange events might be far from over.
The structure of the plot is the same as the previous seasons, with characters are divided into small groups investigating their own mysteries whilst ratcheting the tension to a blockbuster final episode showdown.
It seems that the Duffer Brothers and got an expanded budget (thank the merchandise lines) to perfectly create what they envisioned for the show since its first season. The special effects are not the only part of the show that has improved; the story too gets deeper as the character development grows by taking these relationships to new emotional heights.
While Mike and Lucas spend time worrying about their love lives (with El and Max, respectively) and living a normal life, Will, stunted emotionally by his past trauma, struggles to grow up and move on. He wishes for the group to go back to spend time playing DnD in Mike’s basement as they used to do before everything changed.
In the meantime, we see more of Max as she enforces her friendship with El, giving her advice and help her find herself. But the real surprise this season is Erica, Lucas’ sister.
The Duffers, after a glowing fan response, increased her screen-time, letting us learn more about this funny and sassy character.
A new addition to the cast is Robin, played by Maya Hawke (daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke). She works alongside fan favourite Steve “The Hair” Harrington at the ‘Scoops Ahoy’ ice cream store, bringing a deadpan sarcastic humour to proceedings and allows Steve to banter with someone other than children, who she mockingly labels as “his children”.
Location has always been a defining aspect of Stranger Things and this season introduces the Eighties-tastic Starcourt Mall. The vibrant colours, the perfect music choices and the costumes are part of what makes the show so great.
I spent the 5th of July binge-watching the entire season, and for a second I felt as a I was part of that universe, which resulted in me finding myself looking on the internet for an 80s style shirt.
This season will scare you, make you laugh and its ending will break your heart in a thousand pieces . . . until next season.