June 11, 2022

Stranger Things Season 4 - So Far

It has been 3 years since we last saw our friends from Hawkins. A couple weeks ago Netflix dropped the first 7 of 9 episodes of Season 4. I watched them all in less than 48 hours. I have enjoyed Stranger Things since the first season, but I also believe it has been over-hyped. I have talked to several people who think Season 4 of Stranger Things is the best one yet. I don’t agree. Maybe the ending of the season will chanhe my mind. I do think it is on par with the other season so far, which is… fine.

I am not going to argue with anybody who loves this show. The early seasons created a nice warm blanket of nostalgia & suspense. The latter seasons have provided more spectacle and intensity. The whole thing is good, and extremely watchable. [1] However, for me seasons 3 & 4 have lost the emotional core of the show. I don’t think I care what happens anymore. I am along for the ride, but some of the magic is gone.

Stranger Things is reliant on 3 things...

  • Nostalgia
  • Likable Characters 
  • The Mythology

Those are the things that really hooked me into the first season. I came back for Season 2 to see where the characters ended up and see if they had learned anything else about the Upside Down. Nostalgia just kinda comes with the whole package.

Now that we made it to Season 4 I have to say they have lost me on their main two drawls. The only character I care even a little bit about is Eleven. I used to care about Hopper, but they took one of their best characters and tied him to one of their worst, and sent them away on a Russian subplot that I cannot get excited about. I’m no longer invested in the character arcs (except for maybe Eleven) but i still want to see what happens.

The other item that used to get me excited about watching was the mythology of this whole alternate universe. I wanted to know what it all meant. My interest is starting to wane here as well. I think each season has had an effective monster. I think Season 4 has one of the best. However, I have given up trying to figure out how this all fits together and what exactly is going on with the Upside Down. Are all of the monsters the same? Do they all come from the same place?

It has been a while since I have watched the previous seasons. Maybe this all makes more sense and I just haven’t been able to keep it straight. It feels like things might be coming together, but I’m not persuaded they are going to get there by the end of the season.

I’m nearly the perfect age for the nostalgia of Stranger Things. That hooked me from the start. I found the suspense and horror elements to work well. However, as the series has prgressed I have found it less fun [2] and less meaningful. Maybe it is just me. I’m ready (and hoping) for a satisfying resolution to this story.

  1. Even re-watchable if they release a season one edit that removes Joyce Beyers.  ↩

  2. Although I can never get enough of Steve & Dustin.  ↩