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Blog: Stranger Things

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After the disappointment of watching "MEN" at the pictures I was very happy to be able to go home and finish watching "Volume One" of season four of "Stranger Things" which has, not to put too fine a point on it, been AMAZING.

In preparation for this series I had sat myself down earlier in the year and re-watched all three seasons so far, and been very surprised indeed by how BRILLIANT it was. As is my FOOLISH WONT I had watched each series in a MAD RUSH the first time around, staying up late and frantically pressing "next episode" whenever prompted, so probably not giving enough time for each one to properly sink in. THUS I remembered it as a whole lot of fun, but had not appreciated quite how DELIGHTFUL it all is, especially the CHARACTERS. As I re-watched I realised how beautifully done it all was, notably the REDEMPTIVE ARC of Steve, who is pretty much my favourite in the whole thing. Him and Dustin, him and Robin, even him and Jonathan, all of these relationships were done a) really nicely and b) in SURPRISING ways. I mean, most of the characters had good bits like this, but Steve was my favourite.

THUS I was extremely happy when the new series started to find a whole HEAP of the early episodes seemed to be about Steve and Robin PALLING AROUND. It is, I think, the mark of a GRATE show when you yearn for an episode where Not Much Happens so that you can just enjoy the characters, and the early stages of this series had a whole heap of that. There are so many characters now, and so many storylines, that it was lovely to have such LONG episodes in which they could all toddle on and do their bit for a while. I was almost disappointed when THE SPOOKY STUFF finally started to happen!

When it DID however, it was also done really well. What I love about this show (NB OK ONE of the things I love about this show) is that they BLATANTLY do homages to all sorts of different things, but do it PROPERLY and also in NEW WAYS. You never feel that they're taking the piss out of 80s Horror Films or whatever, and the way that they use the TROPES from them in interesting ways is I RECKON part of how they make the plots so a) confidently what you expect but b) suddenly totally what you didn't. There is a huge chunk of the final episode which, without going into detail, made me go "What? WOT?" and "I did not expect that AT ALL" and also "BUT OF COURSE now it all makes sense!" It was really really good!

It's also got The Kate Bush bits which, as someone who has never really signed for up Kate Bush Love, are BRILLIANT, and some right proper scary monsters, and some fab callbacks to previous storylines and characters, and also, vitally, ACTUAL FUNNY BITS. Unlike, for example, "Men", it does not confuse Being Well Done And Interesting with Being BORING, and there were loads of sections where I LARFED out LOUD.

What I'm saying is that I liked it a LOT and am slightly DISTRAUGHT to realise that the final episodes are out when I'm a) away at a conference and then b) doing a GIG, especially as the latter features numerous other people who will probably have finished it by then. GUYS! NO SPOILERS!

posted 23/6/2022 by MJ Hibbett

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