Updated: Apr 30, 2020
It's Probably All Just a Giant Metaphor for Puberty
Throughout the seasons of this 80s sci-fi thriller series, we have watched Mike, Elle, and the rest of the gang change from squishy looking kids into strong and intelligent teens. They have at times grown apart (Will for example seems to be distancing himself from the other boys as he clings to childhood), and at times formed even closer bonds (such as Mike and Eleven's romantic relationship). Other characters have of course been equally featured, like the older teenagers and the adults but in my opinion they didn't undergo nearly as much development as their younger counterparts.
At the end of this season I found myself feeling intensely emotional as the kids parted ways and dealt with the closing events in such a mature and final way. It was clear that they had grown up, and were ready to move on from Dungeons and Dragons and walkie-talkies. It made me reflect on my own fears about the future, and the changes that I've undergone as I've become a teenager. At times I wish I could go back to being be kid forever, but I'm also excited for the future and yearning for the independence of adulthood. At the end of the day, Stranger Things is a show that is deeply affecting for most of us because although none of us have battled supernatural monsters we know what it's like to let go of childhood and the difficulties and thrills of navigating adolescence and adulthood.
Things I Loved:
1.The outfits. Especially Eleven's after she went shopping with Max. One of my favourites was Elle's black romper with the colourful designs. Also we can't forget Steve and Robin's Scoops Ahoy uniforms which I need in my closet ASAP because they made me laugh every time I saw them.
2. The characters, of course. I really shouldn't pick favourites because I'm emotionally attached to every single one, buuut Robin and Steve and the rest of the Scoop Troop own my heart. The scene where Steve confessed his feelings to Robin and she came out to him was possibly the best thing that could have happened, and I was actually cheering out loud as I watched it. Steve is a hilarious and entertaining character and his development throughout the seasons was really well executed by both the writers and Joe Keery. I also loved Max in this season, and her friendship with Elle was so heartwarming and it reminded me of my own best friend.
Nancy has always been one of my favourite characters as well. She's kind but assertive, and she never hesitates during a crisis. Her reporter storyline in this season was really cool and a perfect fit for her, and she's definitely a character who I would love to model myself after.
3.Dustin and Suzie's stunning rendition of 'Never ending story'. Yes I cried.
4.The writing. The dialogue between characters builds personalities and relationships so effortlessly in this show, and has me straining to make out every word so I don't miss any jokes. It's of course better because it's executed by some great actors, but the writer's of Stranger Things are smart, and it shows.
5.Alexei, that Russian guy. Can someone please get him a cherry slurpee?? He deserves it.
Things I Didn't Love:
1. I wasn't super into the Joyce/Hopper storyline. I was getting a little sick of everyone being in some sort of relationship, but I can admit that it made sense with the plot and building emotional tension. However, I much prefer dad-Hopper to angry-gunslinging-lowkey-manic Hopper that we saw in this season. The departure from his more sweet side actually made me really sad throughout most of the season, and he felt a little too crazy (although that last scene was SO emotional I couldn't handle it). Also Joyce really didn't need to lose another boyfriend.
2. The villains were... lame? And pointless? I mean, evil Russians? Who don't even have any clear motivation for being in Hawkins other than they're... evil Russians? And the Arnold Schwarzenegger anti-Hopper was scary but had zero depth. I like a bad-guy with a bit more nuance, not just a bunch of brainless thugs or mindlessly evil goop monsters who no one feels any remorse about killing.
3.I miss the old aesthetic. Though this season stayed true to the essence of the show, I would have preferred it to be set in fall like the other ones. You could also clearly tell that there has been a big-budget makeover, and everything is just a bit more bright and shiny and neon. I prefer the slightly more muted, dark and autumnal aesthetics of previous seasons.