Review: Stranger Things (Season 3)

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***SPOILERS FOR STRANGER THINGS SEASON 3 BELOW***

The Duffer Brothers, you’ve done it again: you’ve left me needing a month to get over the ending of another season of Stranger Things. Yes, that’s right. I have been cooped up in bed, stuffing my mouth with Ben and Jerry’s and just generally moping about just trying to make sense of the last instalment of season three, ‘The Battle of Starcourt’. However, I can just about forgive you for this, because the rest of the season will make Stranger Things go down in television history as one of the most thrilling, genius and heart-breaking shows to be made. EVER.

So, to recap, Stranger Things loosely follows a group of teenagers in the ‘80s as they attempt to navigate the world. ‘Loosely’ being the operative word here. With a start-studded cast– including Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder and David Harbour – this programme showed promise from the outset. Season One was set on the backdrop of the disappearance of Will Byers which sets in motion a series of events that lead viewers, and eventually the rest of the characters, to the discovery of an alternative universe, “The Upside Down”. Perhaps the best thing about this particular show is the producer’s ability to run significant subplots alongside the main story line, making the show appeal to a wider range of viewers. We witnessed romance, friendship, sadness and horror in season one. This followed into season two which documented the return of the Upside Down and its newest monster, the Mind Flayer. Twists and turns were thrown our way and we sat on the edge of our sofa cushions waiting to see what would happen next. We were also desperately trying to convince ourselves that, in fact, The Upside Down was made up, and the Mind Flayer was not a real monster coming to get us. Anyway, we didn’t think it could get much better. But then season three came along.

This latest installment throws at us even more romance – Mike & Eleven, Hopper & Joyce, and Steve & any girl, really – and a lot of shocking events, including Russians trying to reopen the gate to the Upside Down, Billy becoming possessed by the Mind Flayer and a horrifying ending that saw one of the original cast killed off, alongside another devastating death, that left viewers jaws on the floor. This season was both incredibly clever yet terrifying; devasting yet hilarious.

One of the main strengths of this season is its continued effort to include a wide range of genres within the one programme. In other words, I am no sci-fi fan. I’m not sure why but the genre has never appealed to me. Yet I binge watch Stranger Things like it’s going out of style. I mean, I’m pulling all-nighters eager to see what the next episode will bring. This is why: there’s romance, drama and horror as well as the main sci-fi angle of the programme. This is a very smart move as it increases viewer numbers and appeals to both adults and kids alike.

The storyline was nothing short of magnificent. Somehow, the producers have managed to draw out the terrifying existence of the Upside Down for three seasons and still keep it as interesting as it is terrifying. The historical backdrop of the show makes it a more intriguing story as it allows for more issues to be brought up, such as the rise of Russian power during the Cold War. The season was addictive as each episode ended on a cliffhanger, and we all wanted to know what was going to happen next. Did Dustin really have a girlfriend? Were Hopper and Joyce ever going to get together? What was happening to Billy? Why was Erica everybody’s spirit animal? All these questions meant viewers kept tuning in to find out the answers.

Of course, this show is made even better by the incredible talent of its young cast. The Stranger Things kids have become icons for young fans across the world, and put the talent of many older actors to shame. They are brilliant at their jobs, and play the most hilarious, believable characters – whether it be Max crying over her brother or Will’s pain as the Mind Flayer continues to haunt him. There is no denying that perhaps the golden feature of this programme is the incredible cast that make the show as famous and popular as it is. Stranger Things is more than just a Netflix original, it is widely recognised as a powerful platform that unites fans across the world.

Stranger things season three threw at us essentially everything it could. From death, to romance, to quick wit, we the viewers, are laughing as often as we were crying. No episode was boring and every twist and turn brought with it new emotions. This series is definitely worth the watch. So grab the popcorn and get ready to binge!

(P.S. Yes, I am still weeping from that shocking ending. However, Dustin and Suzie’s iconic duet almost makes up for it. Almost.)

Stranger things Season Three is available to watch on Netflix. Check out the trailer below:

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1st year, lover of books, watcher of cheesy rom-coms and listener of any song I can find in my library

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