“OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD.” *in Steve`s voice*
The new season of “Stranger Things” is officially here and it is an emotional roller coaster. The Duffer Brothers have achieved so much by giving the audience three entirely different seasons, each with its own intriguing plot twists and unique ideas. In Hawkins, Indiana-a city filled with lurking mysteries at every corner and secret conspiracies that are waiting to be unraveled- take place the incredible adventures of six friends: Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Dustin, Max and Will.
As far as the trailers go, we already know some huge changes have been made in the characters` development since last season. Dustin returns from summer camp with exciting news, Lucas and Max are able to hang out together after they have successfully confronted Billy in the final episodes of season two; Will is taking a break from being connected to the Upside Down, and Mike and Eleven are finally spending time with each other without having to defeat the Mind Flayer or the Demogorgons.
Surprisingly, while Nancy and Jonathan have both decided to get new jobs at the Hawkins Post, it seems as if Billy had also been employed at the local swimming pool. There is a lot more to the story because Steve has gotten a job as well, serving ice cream at the Scoops Ahoy parlor with Robin- a brand new character that you are going to adore the minute you hear her speak. Last but definitely not least, you will be so excited to see the stunning recreation of an 80`s mall that the production design team has put together to create Starcourt- a very colourful place where all the thrilling moments of the season will take place.
After many captivating 80`s references from the past seasons-such as the heartwarming parallel between E.T. and Eleven`s wardrobe change or the way “Dungeons & Dragons” came to life in a chaotic way, affecting each character in a different manner and concluding their destiny in a battle against the Demogorgons- prepare for something even more tubular! If you like “Back to the Future” as much as I do, then you will definitely get chills while watching the time machine sequence from the beginning of the film at the Hawkins theatre with the Scoops Ahoy troop.
You will have so much fun going shopping at the Starcourt mall with the whole party or swimming at the Hawkins Community Pool. Besides all these new fun activities however, the city still remains one of the most bizarre places in America, where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted, where even the person living next door could be involved in some dark governmental conspiracies. In this dangerous town full of terror and undying hope, right when you imagined everything would come up roses, it turns out the Mind Flayer had not left Hawkins at all.
There is something about this season that makes it stand out, but this is not entirely a good thing because, although I enjoyed all the excitement, entertainment and vividness behind the plot (especially the episode in which everyone was celebrating the 4th of July at the funfair while watching those amazing fireworks), still I missed that specific vibe from the previous seasons where everything was terrifying and waiting to be discovered, but quite close to your heart at the same time. It was a smaller production, unlike the third season, and it felt like you could relate more to the characters’ situation when they were kids.
On a brighter note, this season was filled with some show-stopping performances, including Dacre Montgomery`s glorious return to the show as Billy Hargrove. He gave a brilliant portrayal while adding his own signature to the character`s narrative in order to convince you there is much more to him than just the usual high school bully seen in any TV show. He helped the audience realise that even a character as hateful as Billy could make you resonate with his story.
A hilarious addition to the series was introducing Maya Hawke`s Robin and seeing Priah Ferguson return as Lucas` little sister, Erica; these two gave the entire season a refreshing touch. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein scored once again, bringing depth to the show with their spooky soundtrack, alongside 80`s classics such as Mötley Crüe`s `Home Sweet Home`, The Who`s `Baba O`Riley`, Madonna`s `Material Girl` or `Wake Me up Before You Go-Go` by Wham!.
After a long thinking process I have decided that the second season would probably be the best so far, in my opinion, since it contains many of my personal favourite film and music references- such as the kids dressing up as the “Ghostbusters” for Halloween, and Billy and Max`s debut on the show on `Rock You Like a Hurricane ` by Scorpions- or the iconic scene when there is a blackout at the lab and all the Demodogs are set loose.
Despite its minor issues from the third season, “Stranger Things” remains my absolute favourite TV series. This is not only a show dedicated to younger viewers, it is a delight for all ages and I recommend it from the bottom of my heart.