Most people in America were probably debating whether to have a fourth of July party or omit the tradition to binge-watch the most awaited science fiction show: Stranger Things. Yes, it is back on Netflix and it probably disrupted the barbecue plans of families nationwide on Independence Day. If you are one of those people who just got on the Stranger Things’ boat and don’t know much about it here is a brief summary so you can start getting excited.
The beloved series debuted in the summer of 2016 and has since become a pop culture phenomenon. Its ensemble cast of young actors, who quickly rose to stardom, has been the highlight of the show. The 80s setting and iconography have offered a heavy dose of nostalgia for both those born in the era and younger audiences alike.
Season one of the series – set in November of 1983 in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana – dealt with the disappearance of 12-year-old Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) into a mysterious alternate dimension known as the “Upside Down.” His mother Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) accompanied by his group of friends try to solve the supernatural mystery of his vanishing, and bring him back home with help of police chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and a young telekinetic girl known as “Eleven” (Millie Bobby Brown) who is at the heart of the town’s mystery.
Set a year later, in Halloween of 1984, season two explored Byers’ subsequent possession by a monster, from the said realm, and introduced a handful of new characters to the small town. Both seasons were praised for their strong characterization and cinematic feel.
The third season premiered on July 4th, 2019, and centers around the summer of 1985, with a new mall becoming the prime focus of the town. It explores a changing dynamic within its core group of kids as they grow into adolescence, which is something everyone is excited about, especially the fans who have been following the characters since day one.
“It’s the summer of love,” said Wolfhard in an interview with Us Weekly. Mike and Eleven have become a couple as have Lucas and Max. Romance is also in the air for Nancy and Jonathan and Chief Hopper and Joyce.
New characters include Robin (Maya Hawke) daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, who plays the co-worker and potential love interest of fan-favorite Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). Other additions to the show include Mayor Larry Klein (Cary Elwes) and Bruce (Jake Busey) who plays a journalist.
The new season is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes at 94 percent. Its critics’ consensus review reads: “Vibrant and charming, Stranger Things transforms itself into a riveting — if familiar — summer ride that basks in its neon-laden nostalgia without losing sight of the rich relationships that make the series so endearing.”
Many reviews have pointed out to its finale being a game-changer. Radio Times called it exhilarating, heartbreaking, and devastating, with a shocking and emotionally-charged conclusion, that will ring out on social media for weeks to come.”
David Harbour praised the season’s ending in an interview with Entertainment Weekly by saying: “the greatest episode we’ve ever made. It’s so emotionally powerful because you’re not expecting what happens to happen. I don’t think we’ve ever shot anything more moving.”
Are you excited yet? Just wait until you find out what this season’s ending has in store for the residents of Hawkins and whether or not it will lead to future seasons. Get your popcorn, a box of tissues, and get your binge-watching on!
By Patricia Cardenas