While streaming platforms keep viewership figures closely wrapped, it would not be ridiculous to claim that Stranger Things is one of the most popular streaming shows in the world. And when you have something of that scale to handle, the pressure just piles up with every season; look at Game of Thrones.
Thankfully, those days don’t look close for the show that has swept audiences worldwide. The Duffer brothers have magnified everything that people love about Stranger Things. It’s bigger than ever.
Eleven and the gang are far from the little kids we first met. One of the biggest themes for this season is how everything is changing and while a few of them take this in their stride, it’s harder for others.
The creators seemed to have learned well from their mistakes in season 2. The pace is far better with this season, and there’s also no surprise episode where the narrative is completely broken like the one where Eleven meets her ‘sister’.
Not to mention how hilarious it is at times. I might have chuckled here and there during the previous seasons, but this one actually had me ‘laughing out loud’ at numerous instances, especially during the second half of the season.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have tear-jerking moments. One of the biggest surprises was how well the emotional aspects were handled. As Millie Bobby Brown suggested before the premiere: “Get a box of tissues.”
While the human themes are handled well, there’s always the question of who the big, bad monster is for this season. The Mind Flayer is back, and he’s not happy that a little child closed the door on him in the last season. Let’s just say he’s far more ‘violent’ in this season.
All that said, there’s an air of familiarity. Yes, the creators know very well what the audience wants and continue to play to their strengths. But it’s only a matter of time before it gets too monotonous and people begin to yearn for something different.
Stranger Things has always been great, but this is what stops it from being a masterpiece. There will eventually come a time when they’ll have to take risks with the creative process, and there’s no evidence till now that it will work as well as the tried and tested formula.
Thankfully, it hasn’t reached that point yet. And judging from how well it treats all that’s already loved about the show and only amplifies it, this season is bound to be a staggering success.
If you want a quick recap before watching the third season, check out: Here’s a recap of Season 1 & 2 with Stranger Things cast