TV Show Talk: I finally watched Stranger Things...

I finally watched all three seasons of Stranger Things!  Ruby first insisted that I watch it months ago, but I only got as far as episode 5 of the first season because I was extremely bored and not invested in the characters. Then, when season 3 hit and the whole world erupted with the impact, I decided to give it another try. And the rest is history. 

It's an incredible show. I'm obsessed with every aspect of it. The characters, the relationships, the writing, the cinematography, the sets, the themes, the romance, the action, the choreography, the effortless and brilliant intertwining of story lines... it's all superb. And in order to maintain some cohesion to my thought process, I'm decided to break down my opinions into three categories: the characters, the relationships between the characters, and some tiny disappointments I had with the show. Otherwise, this blog post would end up too long. This is my attempt at getting my opinions organised...

1: The characters.

Eleven: I love her! She's been through hell, but she just gets stronger and braver and her friendships with the boys are beautiful. I loved her the most in seasons 1 and 3, and I love seeing her confidence grow throughout the series as she learns to harness her powers.
Millie Bobby Brown is also a phenomenal actress (especially considering her age).

Mike: I like Mike - I don't love Mike. Season 2 Mike was probably my favourite, although he wasn't around much, and I did not like him in season 3; he was such a teenage boy, and that was exasperating and irritating to watch - he acted like a brat and a jerk. He just needs to grow up. Which he will, I know, but still.

Lucas: I'm not a big fan of Lucas. I liked him a lot more in season 1 than I did in seasons 2 and 3, but he never won me over like the rest of the characters did.

Dustin: Dustin is so precious. He's adorable, he's hilarious, and your heart breaks for him. I'm obsessed with his friendship with Steve, and one of my favourite moments in this show is when he dances with Nancy at the Snow Ball. Dustin is easily my favourite of the younger boys.

Will: I don't have much of an opinion on Will. I don't dislike him, but I've never found him as compelling as the other characters. I also think the actor isn't as strong as the rest of the cast.

Hopper: Oh I love Hopper. He's so broken and fierce and protective, and the way he becomes more unhinged and emotionally tortured throughout all three seasons is so powerful to watch. His relationship with Joyce is also beautiful, and I adore how he becomes a father to El, as well.  The end of season 3 killed me.

Joyce: Joyce is my favourite character. She's so proactive! And curious! And committed to her family and prepared to do whatever it takes, no matter if the world is against her. She's a brilliant woman, and people, she is not crazy. She's a grieving mother fighting for her son.

Nancy: Nancy is underrated. Yeah she makes mistakes, yes she does some questionable things, but she's also a teenage girl struggling to find her identity. I relate a lot to that. She's a flawed heroine, and she grows up and learns from her mistakes throughout the course of the show.  She's a badass with a shotgun, but she's also extremely human. I adore her for that.

Jonathan: Surprise: I relate to Jonathan's character the most out of the other characters. I didn't love him initially, but by the end of season 1 I loved his character and I adored his relationship with Nancy.
If there's only one thing I want from season 4 it's this: Jonathan gets more screen-time and more storylines. He's underrated.

Steve: Steve's character development is the best in the show. I never disliked him, but from season 2 I became obsessed with his character and his friendship with Dustin, his protectiveness over the kids, and how he became the best Mom TV has ever seen. We stan Steve Harrington and his parenting skills.

Max: This is another character I'm feeling "meh" about. The actress isn't as strong as the rest, and while I love Max's friendship with Eleven, she's not a standout for me. Apart from giving El another girl to hang out with and talk to, I'm not convinced her character is necessary, either.

Erica: I'm so glad she was upped to a cast regular in season 3! Her sass is gold, and I adore how she became a part of the Scoops Ahoy team.

2: The relationships.

Stranger Things gives us some incredible romantic ships, but even better than that it gives us friendship in all its complicated, emotional, angsty glory. We have bromances, siblings (I want more Nancy and Mike scenes in season 4 FYI) and we have parents - or "in lieu of parents" - and kids' relationships. They're all beautifully nuanced, and it's extraordinary to watch them grow and develop as the series goes on.

Here are my favourites:

Hopper and El: Hopper adopting El as his daughter after he lost his own and she having been abused by hers, fills my heart.

Mike and El: Tentative connection blossoming into pure friendship exploding into an angsty teenage couple but ultimately so fierce and romantic and easily shippable.

Dustin and Steve: Bromance unlike any other. So pure. I'm obsessed.

Jonathan and Nancy: My fave ship. That kiss in season 2 was insane and I'm still not over it. Also, how freaking beautiful is it that they're dating in real life? Be still my beating heart.

Joyce and El: WE NEED MORE OF THIS. Joyce is like a mom to El and it's so heartwarming.

3: Disappointments.

No show is perfect, and although this one comes close, it isn't either. After finishing season 3 I was left with some disappointments...

- Totally subjective and personal opinion, but I wanted more of the Byers family in season 3. They were such a core part of seasons 1 & 2, but in season 3 we hardly got any time with them as a family. Sure, Will still played a big part in his friend group, Jonathan and Nancy had their stories, and Joyce was on a mission with Hopper, but I wanted family time. I wanted scenes with just Joyce, Will, and Jonathan, where they connected and talked and healed together. As it was, Joyce practically ignored Jonathan, and Will and Jonathan had no brother bonding time and no continuation of their heartwarming moments in season 2. It was a sore waste of the most beautiful family dynamic utilised in seasons 1 and 2.

- I can handle scary. I can handle intense. But horror? No thanks. And maybe the horror in ST is tame compared to the horror films out there, but it's still too much for me. Not that it's done badly, but I just don't like horror, and in season 3 there are some revoltingly graphic horror scenes. I also think it was unnecessary? Horror isn't about gore, anyway, it's about fear and the anticipation. The gore in season 3 was gratuitous.

- Cary Elwes as the Mayor in season 3? Nope. I don't think it worked. Hs acting was ridiculous and the whole thing felt contrived.

- Season 2 was my least favourite. The reason: it's the least memorable. Apart from Jancey's hookup, Steve and Dustin's budding friendship, and the whole Snow Ball scene, it was generally forgettable. I still loved it (it's done well) but it didn't compare to season 1.

What do you think of Stranger Things? Who are your favourite characters? 

Which season is your favourite? Which character do you relate to? 

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