I’ve been drawn back here to talk about Strangers Things 3. After reading far too many luke-warm reviews and having a fairly heated debate with friends (ex-friends? I haven’t heard from them since), I have come to conclusion that this heavy tasks falls on my shoulders, that is, to be honest about Strangers Things 3; to say the things that everybody knows but nobody wants to be the one to say. Now before anyone mentions it, I know how behind I am. Life has got in the way recently and I have only just finished the series. So here it is, Strangers Things 3 was shit. Everybody seems to be such a die-hard fan so if you’re one, I’m sure writing that is akin to blasphemy, but I count myself among you! Stranger Things combines my obsession with everything 80s with my obsession with horror movies and shows. Moreover, I reconnected with an old friend over this show. I loved season one and two. So,q I ask that you bear with me for now.
Now don’t get me wrong, season 3 wasn’t without merit. The acting was generally very good and Dacre Kayd Montgomery-Harvey gave a standout performance as Billy. Did you know he was the Red Ranger in the power ranger movie? Also, he’s a poet; A fairly good one supposedly. Unsurprisingly, I loved all of the 80s references. I didn’t even know about New Coke which I now love and the Never Ending Story song gave me goosebumps.
What ruined this season was its lazy, plot-ridden and messy story-line. The season aimed to combine four main 80s movie tropes; the unstoppable super solider, secret soviet invasion, body snatchers and evil pests, but it did none of them justice. Firstly, the soviet super solider (Grigori) was just a bit ridiculous. He wasn’t very scary and seemed to spend most of the season so far behind Jim and Joyce that there was no real tension. He was more of an annoyance. The secret soviet invasion was okay but the story lacked and texture of depth. We didn’t get to know any of the characters or their motives; they didn’t give us anyone to hate. Moreover, their secret based looked and felt so absurdly science fiction that it was hard to accept within the Stranger Things universe. The body snatcher story was the worse of the bunch as it shredded the story with plot holes and frankly didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Furthermore, it missed some of the essential elements of any body-snatching story; wondering if a member of the team had been compromised or the tension that comes from not know who you can trust or even the realisation that the body snatchers have gotten ahead of the good guys who are now impossibly outnumbered. Shit, I’d take screaming pointy kids. Lastly, we have the story of the rats, which before you say it, I know was part of the body-snatching arc, but it seemed entirely unnecessary and didn’t add to the already flimsy story. It was almost like they introduced the idea and then complete forgot about it. They could have gone somewhere really scary and terrifying with the Rats, but it was wasted.
Strangers Things 3 went wrong because it tried to do too much; they focused too much on using recognisable 80s story concepts without focusing on making any of them good. We know it’s based in the 80s and we know you know lots about that decade and it was an awesome time! They don’t need to don’t work so hard. I was particularly excited by Lucas’ introducing the use of the fireworks to save the say; another 80s movies staple that immediately brought back fond memories of Fight of The Navigator or perhaps more appropriately for this site, The Gate. He talked about combining four or five to make some super firework, but it didn’t seem this happen. Sure they all threw a few fireworks but wasn’t that suppose to be his moment? Wasn’t he suppose to stop up with some ridiculous firework and save the day? Otherwise, what did he even do in this season?
The actual ending was the shoddy icing on a subpar cake. Half the team leave the town or are dead/missing which is fine for the producers and writers because they know what’s going to happen next. The rest of us are just left with some anxiety for the future and well-being of the lovable characters that we have become invested in after the first two seasons.
I generally don’t rate shows, but, well, I’m trying to embrace change – 4.5/10
Let hope the next session is much better. Please let it be better!