Independence Day, the official holiday of summer. Some people look forward to the fireworks or the barbecues. I, however, was looking forward to the highly anticipated drop with Stranger Things 3. By the time July 5th rolled around, I had finished the entire season, and while it did not disappoint, it didn’t astound either. Here are some of the problems I had with Stranger Things 3.
The OCness of Jim Hopper
Jim Hopper went from brooding badass to “manbaby” in six months. Basically, the Duffer brothers did to him the same thing the Russo brothers did to Thor in Endgame (apparently a weight gains leads to a dramatic reduction in maturity.) Hopper’s control of his temper completely disappeared, and while his heroism is still on display, his dignity is nowhere to be found.
This overtly emotional Hopper can perhaps be explained by El (who, as he says in his posthumous monologue, brought him out of his “cave”). Since Hopper let down his tough demeanor to let love into his life, he is more vulnerable to hurt.
However, it wasn’t Hopper’s immaturity that got me. It was his carefreeness. Hopper has changed from not letting his daughter out of a cabin for almost a year to nonchalantly brushing off Joyce’s concerns about the children, even when it is revealed that the Russians are REOPENING THE GATE. After season 2, I was all about Hopper being less protective of El, but his character went too far down the spectrum for me.
Everything was too coincidental
While the plotlines with Dustin are always entertaining, this one was a little less rewarding. Last season, when he happens to find a baby Demagorgon, I did not think too much of it, Namely, I was too embroiled in the adorableness/mystery of D’art.
However, this Russian plot line was much weaker. As if by divine intervention, Dustin is once again the subject to miraculous fate inadvertently listening in on a Russian transmission. While Dustin is a very entertaining character, using luck and coincidence to form all his plotlines (both with D’art and with the Russians) seems like lazy writing.
It also felt like the writers missed a golden opportunity to introduce Maya. She could’ve been more essential to the plotline. If Maya had stumbled upon the Russian code, instead of simply tagging along with Steve and Dustin, her presence in the show would have been a lot more digestible.
Also, the way the Russian plot line unraveled was a bit disappointing. When Maya put all the “clues” in the Russian code together to discover that they were talking about the mall, I did not get that “OH WOW” moment I’m supposed to with mysteries. I was more like, “I mean, I guess?”
Where’s the suspense?
I remember watching the first two seasons of Stranger Things. I remember holding my breath when Nancy enters the Upside Down, feet away from the bloodthirsty Demagorgons. I remember gripping the couch’s arms as Bob navigated though the Derma-dog infested labs.
Season 3 did not have any of that suspense. I think, partly because there wasn’t a lot of mystery. You know that the Mind Flayer is back (the only mystery with the Mind Flayer is really how he is back). You know what he wants. You know early on he’s making some monster.
Stranger Things 3 seems like a well-written fanfic, namely because of the underdeveloped plot and focus on individual character drama.
Featured Image Via Movie Fone.