I adore the first season of Stranger Things.
I wasn’t looking forward to season 3. WAY too much time had passed since season 2, and I had stopped watching Netflix entirely ever since they killed member reviews (I like to have an idea of what I’m getting myself into, especially when the kids are around (which is almost always)). But, as my husband and I were browsing through the new releases on our Nintendo Switch, we saw that a game had been based on season 3, and we asked ourselves, ‘When was that supposed to come out anyway?’
Apparently, July 4th, so we slogged our way through it. ‘Slogged’ is really the best word, since season 3 was terrible.
The general overview is that the characters were turned into bland props, all of the quirky nerdiness that made the show so appealing in the first season was gone entirely, and there was a heck of a lot more cussing all around in lieu of intelligent dialogue. Instead of existential Lovecraftian horror, the main focus was on everyone breaking up with each other for the sake of relationship drama. Gag me.
My review, full of spoilers:
Apparently, our little town of Hawkins was invaded by the Russian military, who built a massive base directly underneath the mall, and not one single person happened to notice. Questions like, Why? are never answered. The audience is expected to blindly accept that the evil Russians are doing evil things because they’re evil, and there was no attempt to explain why the Russians wanted to open the gate into the upside-down world in the first place.
The Russians are also transmitting a code for no reason other than to have someone intercept it, crack it, and invade their secret military base underneath the mall. Okay, whatever.
The “horror” part revolves around some sort of reincarnated Mind Flayer, which as far as I could tell had no resemblance to the original in season 2, and was mostly a knock-off of The Thing with a lot of gelatinous goo going on. In season 3, he takes over a bunch of people, makes them eat toxic chemicals like fertilizer for REASONS, then melts them all together into one giant monster that relentlessly hunts El for revenge. It was painfully boring.
El was stripped of her personality and likable characteristics so she could break up with Mike for no reason other than some girl told her to, thus generating more DRAMA for the sake of DRAMA. The main troop of boys all decide that puberty is the perfect time to start hating DnD and never make any references to it (whoever wrote that had obviously never talked to any men who love DnD), and Hopper spends the entire season acting like a whiny bitch until he pointlessly dies in the last episode, for more DRAMA.
At the very end, we were inflicted with a 20 minute epilogue about all of the FEELS that was more nauseating than all of the melting people and animal scenes combined. Frankly, all the people I know who enjoy shows about FEELS, don’t watch Stranger Things because they think it’s too scary; it is my opinion that the writers had grotesquely misjudged their main audience with that little maneuver.
Remembering that epilogue still makes me want to vomit. Yuck. I like horror, and I hate emotional dramas. Combining the two is like putting ketchup in peanut butter.
Stranger Things is dead.
Which I pretty much expected, because Netflix sucks.