Stranger Things – Back to the Future ?

The famous TV show still regressive and neo-80’s is back for its third season.
But does it bring something new ?

By Jacques Braunstein

Reading time 3 min.

Stranger Things 3


Netflix knows how to launch series, almost 10 a month, from the most unusual (The O.A.)to the most common (Shaft)… But does it know how to continue them? We can wonder because some of them were cancelled  (Love, Gypsy, all the Marvel series because the second and third seasons were quite bad…). That’s all the challenge for Stranger Things‘ season 3.

Victory of Spielberg over Carpenter,
but we can’t tell if it’s really
a good news.

The second season was really disappointing, as it seemed to reproduce the mechanisms of the first season without making anything new. Except for Eleven’s sisters and the relationship she has with chief Hopper, some elements are left aside in order to come back to the confrontation with the Mind Flayer. One of the most basic and shallow monsters of contemporary fictions. He comes from another dimension, wants to enslave human kind, and sends sticky creatures to accomplish his mission. And apart from that. Well, apart from that, nothing.

In this new season, children have grown up as there is a teenage romance between Eleven and Mike and Nancy and Jonathan are together almost as if they were married. A shopping mall opened in Hawkins and the bad Russians get involved… They are the one who are going to open the interdimensional rift from where sticky monsters are coming to attack us. It’s pretty logical, since this season is in 1985, year of anti-communism in US pop culture (Rocky VI, Rambo 2, Red Dawn are quoted in the show).

Among two pursuits and three scientific esoteric speeches, we find 80’s symbols: the release of Back to the future, shopping at Gap, The NeverEnding Story‘s song, a yellow convertible Cadillac… And that’s the paradox of the show: we want the suspense to stop and we want to come back to the mall. It’s the victory of Spielberg over Carpenter (Duffer Brothers’ main influences), but we can’t really say if it’s a good news.

Winona Ryder is less hysterical (as her children are not the main target of the bad guy) and she even takes advantage of that to actually be good as an actress. David Harbour, aka Chief Hopper, grew his mustache (even though men shove it in the middle of the 80’s). And to be frank, the show is more effective after the fifth episode and the end is quite moving. The fact remains that we are not necessarily up for a fourth season unless they drop this damn Mind Flayer and they start to focus on Eleven’s sisters. But according to the post-credits’ sequence, we are not taking that direction.

  • Stranger things
  • Netflix

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