Even after two straight homeruns in previous seasons, my heart was beating real fast as I logged into my Netflix account, all ready to binge the latest season of the extraterrestrial chronicles of Hawkins. After all, it’s not unheard of how a follow up season of a series fails to meet the expectations and all the hype surrounding it. But after eight straight hours of streaming and a sleepless night, one thing became crystal clear. One summer DOES change everything. And just like that, Stranger Things delivered its best season yet!
As Winona Ryder’s Joyce Byers says, “They are not kids anymore. They are teenagers now.” Truly, our favourite group of detectives is all grown up. Gone are the days when they used to spend their days in Mike’s basement, playing D&D. Now they sneak into movie theatres at flashy malls through the backdoors to watch Day of the Dead. And it’s not just them who have grown better, but the show’s creators as well. The Duffer Brothers took everything that worked in the past two seasons, learned from their mistakes and created a masterpiece.
The season starts off with a bang and sets the tone of the overall storyline within the first few minutes. And it doesn’t look back. The third season of Stranger Things feels like an eight-hour long movie. And that’s a good thing. The series has become a cultural phenomenon because of all the right reasons. The not-so-subtle throwback to the generation of 80s and the pop-culture flashiness is what gave it a cult following in the beginning. And that formula reigns supreme once again in this season. This time, it’s in full display. The nail-biting detective work, the grim and grotesque gut wrenching action sequences, the humour, all of it makes sure that Stranger Things has not lost its charm one bit.
Unless you missed the final five minutes of last season, you already know that the Mind Flayer is indeed still trapped inside this world. And it seeks revenge on Eleven and her friends. And the show builds up to that epic confrontation in spectacular fashion. But this time, it’s not just El playing the role of the saviour. And that is what makes this season such a joy to watch. All of the main characters get enough screen time and more than enough subplots to work with. All of them get to play a pivotal role in the shaping of the finale. We get to see team ups where each of them commence on their own journeys to solve the mysteries at hand. And as the show proceeds, it digs deeper into the characters, the heart and soul of Stranger Things. We get to see our favourite characters make tough choices, learn to compromise for their loved ones and figure out who they truly are. But fret not, this season definitely has its fair share of terrifying and gross monsters. The characters, in spite of that, remain the real highlight of this season.
And where would Stranger Things be without all the throwbacks and references to the 80s and the feel of a classic Spielberg flick? Thankfully, there is plenty of it. And the soundtrack of the latest season strikes all the right chords.
Season 1 was a different beast in itself. Season 2, on the other hand, in its quest of moving from horror to the sci-fi genre, faced minor stumbles. But Season 3 truly gives us the best that Stranger Things can be.
MD. Zamilur Rahman is a self-proclaimed foodie and comic geek. He hates pineapple on pizza and white chocolate. Change his mind at firstname.lastname@example.org.