Reformed Cynic; Practical Optimist.
Jul 10, 2019 2 min read

Stranger Things 3

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I will post no spoilers here.

Difficult to know where to begin with this one. It’s an uneven mix of compelling character drama, action thriller, 80’s nostalgia, and sci-fi and it deals with each of these things very differently and with different levels of success.

It will be no surprise to those who’ve seen the first two series of this that the characters - as written and played on screen - are pretty much universally excellent. Combined with well-observed and witty writing, our adopted best friends from the first season, and some new friends to boot, are writ large here again, and they all shine. In fact, this cast and these characters could probably star in a spin-off sit-com and it would be a hit.

This time round though, there’s more of an action vibe to what’s going on. And I have to say that it didn’t really land for me. I felt like the character drama that I was enjoying was being interrupted by things, and whilst the reasonably consistent sci-fi backdrop remained in-tact, punctuated lovingly with memories from the past, the things - and their absurdity - were too big of a distraction for the most part..

And it’s disappointing that I’ve ultimately come away feeling like this because, as I’ve said, the characters remain sound, the concept remains sound, the ending is - despite my misgivings - pretty satisfying and well-done, it’s just the long lull in the middle whilst, as I put it to my wife, “Peter Griffin and The Chicken continue their fight”.

I’m glad I persevered with it but despite its high points, this doesn’t go down as a complete success.

Image Credit: By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60954080

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