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Review: Stranger Things- Seasons 1, 2 & 3 [TV show]

A year ago, Stranger Things was that Netflix kids show that my nephews loved, and nothing more. Fast forward to today, and I love it as much as they do (I’m even secretly debating getting a Funko with one of the characters- Hopper? Eleven? is there one with Steve and the bat?).

What I love most about the show are the characters. The kids are sweet and smart and relatable and I just want to be their friend. Hopper is the coolest Dad figure. Steve and Nancy (OK, and Jonathan) are great older figures that the kids can rely on. Even the conspiracy journalist and the arcade employee are fun and quirky and I like them. 

I want to go into more detail for each season, so I will. Beware of spoilers.

Season 1

Season 1 of Stranger Things was a great way of introducing the characters. You can easily see the chemistry between the kids, you meet interesting, flawed people (Hopper, Joyce, Eleven) and you start rooting for them. 

Eleven was a very interesting character for me at the beginning- it must be a tough role to play, a nomad and socially underdeveloped girl, so Millie Bobby Brown did a great job. I also absolutely loved her interaction with Mike, which in turn made me fall in love with him, too. Close second, in terms of favorite characters, were Hopper and Dustin. Also Steve. 

Story-wise, I thought the monster aspect was revealed, explained actually, a bit too late for my liking, but I was OK with it because I was invested in the characters so much. Also, it took a long time to bring together all the main characters- if I remember correctly (I’m always done with season 2 while I write this), the kids started working with the grownups in the last or second to last episode.  

In terms of craft, I really liked the direction and special effects. Sets and costumes were also great, although in most scenes I didn’t feel in an 80s movie….but then again, they weren’t contemporary either, so I guess timeless works, too.  

Other random thoughts:

  • Lucas kinda pissed me off- I really didn’t like the way he took matters into his own hands and disregarded the others; I was wondering, at one point, why he was part of the group in the first place;
  • Barb was not as special as I thought, judging by the promos and tweets I remember from time season 1 aired. A bit underdeveloped as a character, actually
  • Jonathan is….nice, I guess, but not memorable or particularly likable. I didn’t understand his part in the series until season 2.
  • The walkie-talkie dynamic was hilarious and very cool; great solution to cellphones and fast communication between the characters. 

Season 2

I started watching season 2 of Stranger Things with my boyfriend and he quit around episode 4. He said it was too boring and that he felt the action felt too slow. Also, that the novelty and special factor of the season 1 had worn off and that it wasn’t as interested / it was kind of the same. And guess what? I don’t disagree with him completely. Some parts of the story felt forced / stretched out (the whole Upside Down- another monster threatening Hawkins storyline), whilst some were welcomed and they helped flesh out the characters (Eleven’s relationship with Hopper and her mother). Things got interesting when Steve joined Dustin in looking for Dart and Max stopped being an asshole and communicated more with Lucas.

I liked there was a clear evolution of the characters (most of them- sadly, Mike was pretty much the same). Dustin was braver and interacted with more people (hello, bromance with Steve). Eleven got out of her shell and went to find her real family. Hopper went from a lonely alcoholic to a loyal surrogate father. Nancy is no longer the sweet, shy girl, but a strong, no bullshit kind of girl. 

Will Byers was a vital part of the story, yet again, but this time we actually got to see him and know him. I was very impressed with the performance of Noah Schnapp, I think he did a fantastic job portraying the fright and anxiety that one could feel going through such a traumatizing situation. 

I also really liked Winona’s performance in the second season of Stranger Things. In the first one she went overboard at some times, but in this one, it’s more natural. She is a great actress and works really good with Noah Schnapp. Same positive development I noticed with Jonathan’s character, too. 

As with season 1 of Stranger Things, things get interesting in the last few episodes, when the whole gang (young and old) get together. Episodes 8 and 9 were intense, nail-biting ones, and they somehow make up for the early ones. 

One last thing I have to mention for this season are the cutesy teen moments that I adored. 1) Dustin being rejected by most girls and Nancy coming in to rescue him. Also telling him that out of all of Mike’s friends, he is her favorite. And 2) Mike and Eleven’s reunion look. That whole “I can’t believe you’re alive – I missed you” look was ADORABLE. I loved it. 

Season 3

Season 3 of Stranger Things was its strongest yet. The story went faster (introducing us to the monster and the whos very early on). The characters gelled together and felt like a team. The relationships and conflicts between them were convincing and…funny. It featured the scariest monster, since it could control almost the whole town. Overall, I loved it. 

After two seasons, if you’ve reached this far into the show, you must definitely care for the characters. Lucky for us, they still are the best part of the show, at least for me. 

  • I cheered for Joyce and her cool vibe. No more despair and tears, just curiosity and bravery. 
  • I laughed at Hopper‘s problem with Mike and Eleven’s relationship (“Three inches”); also, his colorful shirt is really cool, I dig it. 
  • I fell in love with Robin and I can’t wait to see more of her (damn, she is splitting image of her mother, Uma Thurman….and dare I say, even hotter). 
  • Steve and Dustin‘s bromance is still amazing and I ship them. 
  • I started by disliking Erica, but by the end I saw her as part of the team, because they need her: not only for her intelligence, but also to wake them up and tell it to them straight. 
  • Fortunately, Will didn’t suffer as much this season, but I was sad to see him deal with the fact that they are growing up, he took it the hardest, maybe because there was no girl to make the transition….easier? more natural? 
  • Unfortunately, Mike and Lucas barely had anything to do, except argue about and with the girls. I still like them, especially Mike. That kid has something special. 

The last episode was amazing: not only because of the big fight, but also because of the ending. I cried so hard. Is he really gone? are they really leaving the town? How will the gang be affected? I can’t wait to see what happens next.

TELL ME, did you watch Stranger Things? What do you like most about it? Who’s your favorite character? Tell me all in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Review: Stranger Things- Seasons 1, 2 & 3 [TV show]

  1. YEEEEY I’m so glad you watched it and liked it so much! I actually thought Lucas had plenty to do in season 3 in a sense he kept rescuing them with that slingshot of his, he did it like 5 times lol Hoppy boo is my favorite character, he is definitely going to be back, there is no defeating thicc Rambo 😀

    1. Thicc Rambo :)))) yup, he’s coming back for sure (i really hope so). My issue is with the move…what will the dynamics be when season 4 starts?

      1. I really disliked that aspect of the ending because while I get Joyce would want to move – if I lost my chance to bang that man I’d probably just straight up stop living out of sheer sadness – and while i buy her taking her kids from this place, the fact she is raising El now and essentially is taking her away from her only family was so bizarre to me, I don’t think she would do that especially that she knows Hopper didn’t want her to move. But it is what it is. Mike mentions that they will meet for Christmas and I think next season will be released around Christmas next year, it’s probably gonna be just few months in terms of show’s timeline because how long can my boo boo survive in Upside Down/Russian prison/wherever he is. I mean he is good but let’s be realistic 🙂

        1. Yup, I agree, I hope they don’t keep them apart for too long (both Mike and Eleven, and Hopper and Eleven)
          Christimas next year? that’s a long time 🙁

  2. I’m making my way through Season 3 right now after binge watching and reviewing the first two. Not sure why it took me so long to give this series a look.

    1. I know, I feel the same. At the beginning, it was just a kids show for me, only my nephews were watching it. I guess they knew better, right? 🙂

  3. Season 2 was where I really loved Joyce especially the last couple of episodes where she was like I will get this monster out of my boy myself I don’t care what I have to do! I also absolutely love her and Hoppers relationship. I love all things Hopper really 🙂

    I am fascinated by the Mind Flayer though and the Upside Down and the fact that they’ve essentially beaten him twice not just because of El but because he underestimated their love, strength and humanity.

    Hopefully in season 4 Hopper (cause I’m definitely going with alive) gets a hug and Steve doesn’t get a beat down from anyone 🙂

    1. Yup, I started loving Joyce in season 2, too, she felt more at ease and in tune with her character.
      Hopper needs to be alive, I don’t accept anything else :))

  4. Awesome reviews! I agree with your thoughts of the series – Season 1 was a great opener, season 2 was boring as heck, and season 3 was epic. Noah’s performance in the second season is probably my favorite so far, but it’s impossible to not love all the characters in one way or another. The next season can’t get here fast enough.

    1. Yes, Noah was so great in season 2. And I felt so bad for him in season 3, when the other guys had girls to worry about, but he didn’t. He still wanted to be a kid.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Season 1: YES. Lucas was a jerk! I get where he was coming from, feeling jealous of Eleven, but he had such a bad attitude that it drove me nuts. He was just so mean to her. That being said, I’m glad he came around because I love him now.
    re: Barb. I never understood the fascination with Barb. I could relate to her on a level where I remember what it was like losing a good friend to the popular crowd, but Barb WAS very underdeveloped and barely in the show. I felt Benny’s death more than Barb’s tbh. Benny doesn’t get enough credit.

    I love the Scoop Troop and Joyce and Hopper… in terms of the kids, the scoop troop was amazing! and I really feel like the show is at its strongest when everyone is together – the battle of starcourt mall, the last 2 episodes of season 2, and when Steve finally joins Jonathan and Nancy to battle the demogorgan. I don’t mind the individual arcs as long as they all find their way to the others in the end!

    1. YES, I agree, the gang is strongest together. I love it how well they work together even though they are so different on their own.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  6. YES!! I’m so glad you loved it!

    I completely agree with your randoms thoguhts on season 1, especially Barb being underdeveloped and Jonathan being pretty forgettable.

    As for season 2, I loved Eleven’s storyline but I really hated that episode with her sister. It just felt disjointed and I’m tempted to skip it every time I rewatch the season.

    And season 3, I’m all in for that Steve and Dustin bromance. And I ended up loving Erica, the character I hated the most in the previous season.

    And yes, you should definitely get a Funko. Steve ahoy is so cute

    1. Yey, thanks. I totally agree with the episode in season 2 about the sister. We could have definitely gone without it.
      I haven’t made up my mind about Erica- I love her sassiness, but it does go to extremes sometimes, in terms of arrogance.

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