'Stranger Things' season 3 is streaming now on Netflix
Stranger Things Season 3 started off a bit slow and for the first couple of episodes, I was worried there wouldn’t be as much action to come along as in previous seasons. With the main actors having grown up from childhood into adolescence, I suppose it should’ve been expected that they’d write in some plot points about awkward first romances (boys starting to like girls, love getting in the way of friendships and family, etc).
There was plenty of that in the first two episodes, as we find out that almost all of the main characters are now in some sort of relationship and much of the early episodes are spent focused on developing that new aspect of the characters. At first, it felt like they were spending too much time on these relationships before getting into the action, however, getting those relationships established early was important to set up the action that would happen later. Eventually, the show picks up and becomes more reminiscent of prior Stranger Things seasons.
There were also some fresh faces to the cast in Season 3, notably Robin (played by Maya Hawke) and Erica Sinclair (played by Mia Ferguson). Their scenes, which often included Steve Harrington (Joe Kerry), were some of the most entertaining in the show and I thought there was often a strong mix of action and comedy whenever they had screen time together. The playful banter mixed with the espionage-style mission of their characters made for some of the best scenes of Season 3.
I also enjoyed the Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and Jim Hopper (David Harbour) scenes as they worked together along with their captive Russian scientist, Dr. Alexei (Alec Utgoff), or “Smirnoff” as he was referred to by Hopper, to uncover some of the mysteries shrouding Hawkins throughout the Season. Solid on-screen chemistry between Ryder and Harbour along with well written dialogue and an impressive musical score kept the tension high while also maintaining a lightness to the whole series which the show runners have been successful in accomplishing since Season 1.
A scene from 'Stranger Things' season 1, released in July 2016
All in all, the show had everything a good 4th of July weekend release should have. It had USA vs. Russia, Capitalism vs Communism, and, of course, Young Children vs. Evil Parasitic Monsters from Another Dimension. I think the show was successful in ratcheting up the intensity from previous seasons and it provided similarly entertaining action as the season unfurled. There were some cheesy moments scattered throughout, like Hopper’s celebration when Eleven and Mike pump the breaks on their house visits, or Max and Eleven’s shopping spree. Overall, though, I think the series’ triennial season provided plenty of solid entertainment and I still had no problem getting into the action as the plot began to pick up around the third episode.
How do you think Season 3 of Stranger Things compared to the first two seasons? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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