This review contains a minor spoiler for Stranger Things season three.
Stranger Things is one of the hottest shows in the world right now, and its brand new season, which premiered on July 4th, has only gained more popularity and praise from fans and critics. The series follows the group of friends Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will living in the town of Hawkins, Indiana during the 1980s. They live a normal life—biking around town and playing Dungeons & Dragons—until a strange girl with supernatural abilities named Eleven shows up, revealing a secret government presence in their town and a dark world of horrible creatures infiltrating our own…but I’m sure most of you know this already. In season three, Mike and Eleven’s relationship is strained and the group experiences some turmoil while Dustin and his posse stumble upon a secret Russian operation under the brand new Starcourt mall, unknowingly releasing a threat on Hawkins bigger than they’ve ever seen before.
Stranger Things is not only one of the biggest shows on the planet, it’s also one of the best shows currently running, and the standout program from media giant Netflix. Its greatness is often credited to its impeccable set design, costumes, and music choice, excellently replicating the aesthetic of the 1980s. But I think the most impressive aspect of the show is its cast, one that has won many awards, including a SAG award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.” The core cast is legendary at this point, truly becoming their characters in the eyes of the fans. The talented team of writers, directors, and producers seem to score with every new character they add, including Steve’s new friend Robin (Maya Hawke), and expanded participation from Lucas’s sister and fan favorite Erica (Priah Ferguson).
As Stranger Things becomes more popular, the team pulls more and more talent, and more money, to help create the show. The success led to season three as Stranger Things’ most professionally crafted season, sporting bigger and better set pieces and better CGI than many recent major motion pictures. But, however big and professional Stranger Things seems to get, it never loses that personal touch its had from the beginning, featuring a healthy dosage of 80s’ cheese and childish drama that it’s always had. I don’t see any way the crew of Stranger Things can lose if they keep doing what they’re doing, especially if they continue to craft super emotional storylines, forming that deep connection with audiences that keeps them coming back. I think season three signals a move toward a more consistent show, after a good but slightly shaky season two, and I hope Netflix continues to develop more amazing seasons of Stranger Things in the coming years.