The topic of best seasons in the history of television gets tossed around pretty frequently. Some people will say either season 3 or 6 of Game Of Thrones, others prefer Breaking Bad’s final season. The first season of True Detective, season 4 of The Wire, season one of The Sopranos, the original Twin Peaks’ lone season, it goes on and on and on.
I will argue that this most recent outing from Netflix’s Stranger Things deserves to be in the same breath as all the other excellent seasons of TV.
Everything about seasons 1 and 2 of Stranger Things were both awesome in their own right, but season 3 built on everything that had been boiling up and had it culminate in this badass, hilarious, pretty fucking scary way. This season of Stranger Things perfectly blended the feel of side-splitting comedy, a perpetual rom-com vibe, and, most unexpectedly, a cold war era Spy Thriller.
There’s are almost zero flaws in the Duffer Brothers’ latest efforts. Between the continuation of Steve Harrington and Dustin being the best duo in TV history, Jim Hopper simply being the coolest mother fucker alive, Billy Mayfield turning into one scary-ass leading villain, Steve and Robin’s not-so-romantic adventures, Russians hanging out in Hawkins, a Terminator-esc unstoppable Russian badass, disgusting body horror that would make David Kronenberg blush, and an ending that will crush your soul and pull tears out of you like a ripcord, everything clicks and works in perfect harmony.
The cold open in episode one reveals that A.) Not only is the cold war still a thing but B.) They are trying to reopen the gate to the upside down, which ends horrifically with a bevy of Russian scientists being turned to goop (it’s gross), setting us on this path that plays out much more like a Mission Impossible movie than a light-hearted Netflix Horror comedy series. From there, we see Mike and Elle’s budding romance and Jim’s hilarious lack of acceptance of it. Jim Hopper may be the greatest television character of all time, and I’m completely serious. This season is Hop’s showcase, and boy oh boy does he fucking knock it out of the park.
🎵 dadum dee da da deet dee deet dee de 🎵 pic.twitter.com/VLXjFyikAM
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) July 10, 2019
David Harbour, a relative unknown before Stranger Things came to be, has launched himself into the upper echelon of Hollywood dad figures. He was made to play Jim Hopper. He IS Jim Hopper. The closing 6 minutes of the season finale will break your fucking heart and lift your spirits simultaneously, due in large part to Jim Hopper himself.
Additionally, I’ll say that Steve Harrington is also in the discussion for top 15 Tv characters of all time. I said during my binge-watching, live-tweeting experience that I hated Steve the babysitter.
I get that everyone loves that Steve Harrington is a glorified baby sitter but I for one hate it. #MakeStevenotababysitteragain
— Owen Doyon (@OD__13) July 11, 2019
I was wrong.
The dynamic from Steve and Dustin is absolutely gold and, personally, I would watch a full seasons worth of the two of them interacting. They are absolutely made for each other. Steve and Dustin, coupled with the newly introduced Robin and Lucas’ sister Erica, have maybe the most watchable arc of the entire cast during their accidental Russian spy mission.
The one thing I could have done without is Nancy and Jonathan Byers relationship troubles. Sure, Jonathan and Nancy are both badasses in their own rights, but them fighting over a story at the fucking Hawkins Post was the most boring shit EVER. Additionally, Max and Lucas’ and Mike and Elle’s relationship problems were some of the low points of the entire season. Just make them date the whole time, none of this fighting shit. Although, it did leave to Max calling orgasms “Happy Screams”, a term that I will most definitely be using going forward.
Everything clicked. All the old storyline were perfectly executed, and the implementation of the new stories/ characters were great. Alexi the Russian scientist, the sleazy-ass mayor, Robin, Suzy were all great additions to the cast.
As I previously mentioned though, as much as I could go for ten more seasons of these characters, the show should end on this note. The way everything wrapped up was so poetically beautiful that it should not be followed up. The cliffhanger post-credits scene was so unnecessary, especially following the “Heroes” closing (that song will never not get me choked up). We get it, Russians are evil. Just don’t show us another season of this story unless it’s with entirely new characters. Everyone’s arc was concluded so well, we don’t need them to get the band back together one more time.
All in all, this whole series has been an absolute joy to watch play out, and this may have been it’s brightest moment. This has basically been my love letter to the show and basically is a shameless plug for Netflix, but I love it that much. If you haven’t already watched this season three times, please go and do it. You will not be disappointed.
Bravo, Stranger Things season three, Bravo.
Photo via Netflix