Stranger Things: Season 4
Six months after the battle of Starcourt, and we find our heroes trying to cope with their loss and their new lives in high school, while a new threat is making itself known.
Spoiler Level: Mild
Full disclosure, I have only watched the first episode of season four, and I have not seen Stranger Things seasons two or three, I whole heartedly intended to, but just never found the time to binge watch them. The main emphasis of the first episode seemed to be showing a day in the life of the characters while sprinkling in a bit of supernatural through-out. In 1986, the main group of kids who are now in high school are struggling to find their place in the world. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) are part of the “Hellfire Club”, a group that gets together to play Dungeons and Dragons with Eddie (Joseph Quinn) as their Dungeon Master. Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) who is both part of the “Hellfire Club” and the school’s basketball team has to make a choice to either play in the championship game or the final D&D campaign, and with the prospect of being one of the “cool” kids, he opts for the game. Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Will (Noah Schnapp) have moved to California with Joyce (Winona Ryder). Eleven is being bullied by the popular girl at school and is trying to cope with the loss of her powers. While doing an unexpected drug deal with cheerleader and all around good girl, Chrissy (Grace Van Dien), Eddie witnesses something gruesome and unexplainable wrapping up the first episode of the fourth season.
There are so many aspects of this show that bring up a certain amount of nostalgia. I was basically the same age as the main cast characters during the same time, the mid 1980s. I played a bit of D&D and I understand what it was like to be the nerdy outcast and bullied by the “popular” cliques. Maybe that is why I find the cast so relatable, as I can see a bit of myself in them. In addition, the plot is intriguing and horrifying, the story flows well and the episodes have a good pace and rhythm. Although this first episode had a bit less supernatural elements than I was expecting and instead focused on catching the audience up on where the characters are all at. The production value is high with any special effects seamlessly interwoven into the story so nothing felt out of place or fake. The music was well chosen and was a mix of both existing music from the era and newly composed music for the episode. The acting was all very good with the returning characters advancing their character stories and the new characters quickly establishing who they are. I liked Joseph Quinn’s eccentric portrayal of Eddie Munson, but feel it might have been a bit over the top and theatrical, lacking a bit of subtlety.
The first episode certainly leaves you wanting more and keeping with Netflix’s normal release style, seven of the seasons’ episodes dropped all at once, so for those that have the time, you can binge watch the majority of the season. The final two episodes will be released on July 1, 2022.
Netflix issued the following warning card: "We filmed this season of Stranger Things a year ago. But given the recent tragic shooting at a school in Texas, viewers may find the opening scene of episode 1 distressing. We are deeply saddened by this unspeakable violence, and our hearts go out to every family mourning a loved one.”
Stranger Things: Fast Times at Hawkins High
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 10/1010/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 9/109/10
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