Saturday, July 6, 2019

Saturday TV Special - Stranger Things (season 3)

By sati (harlequinade) Saturday, July 6, 2019 ,
Here we are! After long anticipation season 3 of Stranger Things is finally available on Netflix. I know not everyone watched it yet - the hell are you people doing having a life instead of watching it?! - so I will cover the heavy spoilers (highlight to read). Here are my thoughts on this season:

  • The kids are growing up. It's inevitable. I was worried that the loss of innocence will make the show lose it charm but it didn't. The boys and girls are split in groups this year and their cluelessness is adorable. Mike gets (horrible) dating advice from Lucas while Max teaches El she doesn't need a boyfriend. These scenes are so cute and will definitely make you smile.
  • There is also a sad aspect of the kids growing up - Will is not moving on as others and he just wants the things the way they were. He wants to play games while all Mike thinks about is his girlfriend. This leads to series of scenes that are really hard to watch where poor Will is suffering again.
  • Dustin and Steve are a team again and it's delightful! And there's such an amusing turn in the storyline where it's Dustin who ends up having to babysit Steve. These two really feel like friends - it's adorable how Steve is the person who is the most happy Dustin is back from science camp.
  • Their team also consists of Erica - Lucas' sarcastic little sister - and Robin (newcomer Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman). Some reviewers mentioned they found Erica to be annoying which is insane. She is so funny. And Robin is a wonderful new character. There's a surprising reveal about her near the end of the season that is included in one of the sweetest scenes in the series yet. It's mindblowing that the people who were treating female characters like the Duffer brothers did in previous seasons and had no gay characters now included a lesbian. And Steve's reaction of total acceptance and the two becoming friends was absolutely lovely. 
  • But my favorite storyline was Joyce and Hopper. They have their own quest and it's so much fun to watch their bickering. And yet again Murray gets to tell two people who haven't had sex to just get it over with and bang already.
  • David Harbour's Hopper is as always the best thing about this show. Hopper is as funny and delightful to watch as ever as he deals with his feelings for Joyce and with El growing up and making out with Mike. The scenes where he tries to get rid of Mike are some of the funniest in this season. And he makes heart eyes at Joyce and it's the sweetest thing ever.
  • We still have our mom, Steve but the Duffer Brothers want to make us think our daddy is dead. NO. I refuse to. There are already theories that Hopper managed to slip inside the gate before Joyce turned the keys. And given the focus on leaving the door open when El was with Mike, that's gotta be it. There's also mid-credits scene where "an American" is being held prisoner by Russians. Some think it may be Eleven's "papa" from season 1 but if this is the case than I will be so angry I may stop watching the show. Teasing Hopper's return just for it not to happen would simply be too cruel. I really hope that season 4 is the gang trying to get Hopper back and that him and Joyce finally start dating because these two really deserve happiness. BRING DADDY BACK YOU BASTARDS!
  • It's so amazing to see Winona Ryder finally get to play something else than a worried mother in this show. She has so much fun this season and gets to be funny and adorable. And I'll promise you'll laugh at her throwing skills!
  • The soundtrack is again absolutely wonderful - they even re-use Peter Gabriel's Heroes in a scene that is definitely going to make you cry. They also use the music they featured in final trailer - in what is one of the best episode endings yet in episode 6.
  • The only thing I really didn't like this season is the ending. It's completely unbelievable to me that Joyce would move away, now that she is taking care of El. She would never take her away from the only friends she ever had. As beautifully as the ending was executed, I found it to be completely implausible.
  • The show very clearly got a bigger budget in season 3 - the special effects, particularly in season finale - are better than the ones I saw in blockbuster movies this summer. It looks absolutely stunning.
  • We get amazing villains this season. Yes, the Russians are cliche but considering this show is a homage to all things 80's, who else could they have as villains? They really are intimidating, though. I was so scared for Steve and Robin when they were being interrogated. We also get a lot of body horror scenes because The Mind Flayer has a new game plan. The special effects are amazing and while I was OK I'm sure a lot of people won't be able to look at the screen during certain moments.
  • The relationships in the show are so awesome and we finally get great scenes with women in them. In previous seasons I cannot recall a single scene where two women would talk about something else than a man. But it changes so much in this season. We have absolutely lovely scene where Karen, Nancy's mom, encourages her to pursue her dreams and the whole season we are treated to amazing scenes with Max and Eleven. Max teaches Eleven how to be her own woman, find her style and she introduces her to new things - including Wonder Women comics
  • There's so many references that are so much fun to notice. The Thing, The Invasion of Body Snatchers, Terminator....it's like a nostalgia trip but it's never annoying or too much.
  • Dustin and Lucas remain my favorite of the gang. Lucas' absolutely horrifying lack of skills as a boyfriend is so funny and Dustin remains the most innocent of the group, talking of My Little Pony, trying to save the world and claiming he has a girlfriend - but no one believes she exists. I actually cheered when Suzy turned out to be real! I hate that there are people out there who blame her and Dustin for Hop's and Billy's deaths. Oh come on! She had no idea what was going on. Can we maybe NOT blame kids for shit?!
  • Another MVP of the season is Dacre Montgomery who delivers one hell of a performance as Billy. He was really good in season 2 but he gets to do so many things in season 3. I promise you,  before all of this is over you will feel bad for Billy. Dude gets to convey so much in his acting this season - so many sides to Billy, which is also aided when Eleven travels into his memories and we see more of his awful father. I am sad we will no longer have him in the show but he went out like a total boss
  • Millie Bobby Brown is as always fantastic and it was great that this time El's powers weren't enough to defeat the evil. The scene where she fights with Billy is absolutely chilling because of how easily he overpowers her at first. I was shocked. El suffered so much in this season and I really hope things turn around for her in season 4.
  • All in all, it's impossible for me to choose my favorite season. It's as if I had to choose favorite ice cream flavour out of the flavours I love. Season 3 is engaging, thrilling, hilarious and heartbreaking. And the wait for season 4 is going to be an absolute torture. 

  • 12 comments:

    1. I didn't read any of the blocked out parts since I haven't watched beyond ep 1 but I'm interesting to see if I care at all for Billy because right now I have less than zero fucks to spare for him lol.

      I love the gifs!

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    2. Finished it last night! Now the wait for season 4 begins :)

      Early on Erica was giving me retail work flashbacks that made me cringe but she definitely grew on me. Robin fit in flawlessly. Loved Dustins, "I am never having kids!" and the quick reaction shoot of Hooper and Joyce to the sing-along!

      I did wind up feeling for Billy. Montgomery was great. Everyone was great they absolutely nail the characters.

      The grossest part of the whole show to me though was how much time they spent on that bathroom floor. I kept thinking ew please get up already!

      That gif of El looking like she's having the time of her life is great :)

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      1. Oh my God YES that bathroom foor 😂 i was like why arent you two getting up

        I also still wonder how the hell Joyce dragged Hop to his cabin all the way from the lab, she is 10 times smaller than him 😅

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    3. Great review! There was so much to love about this season, much more than season two. It's almost as great as the first one with a lot of great action, scares, and character development. It's hard to find massive flaws in it. Everyone's going to need a prayer circle for Hopper and their individual favorites for the next one.

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      1. I wonder who the villain is going to be, maybe Mind Flayer again, that whole monster thing this season was simply his weapon and I do like the idea of one villain throughout entire series, makes him more intimidating

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    4. Dude excellent review. I agree completely, and I have more feels for Billy than I did before after reading your review. Looking back, you're right. It's hard not to have heart for him. The acting overall was incredible, and I had no idea that Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman's daughter was in this! Mind = Blown!

      Something I noticed more in this season was the gore and brutality! Boy, they really pushed the limit far enough to make me cover my eyes a couple of times! Impressive, Duffer Brothers!

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      1. Right? The actor did a wonderful job by letting Billy shine through even when he was being possessed at times. That tear running down his cheek in episode 6 ending was such a nice touch!

        Yes! The exploding rats for me were the worst bit

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    5. Hopper’s letter in E8 is really moving and that is my fav scene. Agree about Robin and Erica, they give S3 a boost of energy and humor.
      I also noticed the extra brutality Courtney mentioned in her comment. S3 had a few jarring tonal shifts, just look at E1 for proof which goes from violence to sweetness. Still, a very entertaining season!

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      1. I cannot wait for more of Robin in next season, what a delightful character!

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    6. I want nothing more than to just binge the entire season but I'm travelling at the moment so I've only seen two episodes so far 😭

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      1. Oh you are in for a treat once you find the time to finish! :D

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