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Stranger Things 4


RickR
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I'm late to the party as usual.  My wife and I finally started Stranger Things season 4 last night.  I'll try not to post any spoilers without the proper tag.  What's really fascinating this time is that the setting is now mid 80's and the kids are in high school.  Interesting to me because that's exactly when I was in high school. 

From an accuracy stand-point, I'll say they are doing a dang fine job of it.  Those look like kids from my era and the clothes and props look spot on.  Lots of big hair, but I don't remember blue eye shadow being so prevalent.  If it was...wow. 

Episode 1 was really good!  They started the show off intense.  It's pretty mild to me, but my wife was a bit taken aback by the gore.  There's a lot of characters now, and they do a decent job of catching everything up and also introducing new characters. 

My observations:

Spoiler
  • "Jane" is such a great character.  She's now a bit lost, very naive, and without Hopper looking out for her.  The acting here is really great;  I got drawn right into her struggles with fitting in and bullying.  Will is good too.  He's trying to help, but has issues of his own. 
  • The split stories between California and Indiana are interesting, but need better transitions between the two.  It can be a bit hard to follow, and "keeping in touch" seems like a real stretch. 
  • Too many characters?  Maybe.  Robin, Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve bring almost nothing to the table.  Should they have been cut?  Maybe they'll be a bigger part of the story later. 
  • The bad guy has Freddy Krueger undertones.  Excellent!  The show totally needs more definition on what and who the "upside-down" is about. 
  • New character Eddie is fantastic.  Oh man is he in trouble at the end there.  WOW! 

 

 

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I'm up to episode 3, which was excellent -- especially the twist ending.  Very "Twilight-Zone"esque. 

Season 4 is firmly now in the "horror" category, finally going full Stephen King.  And it is awesome.  I think anyone who is a horror fan will love this season so far. 

 

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Eddie Munson is easily one of my favorite characters. In that first episode, he reminds me very much of George Berger from the musical (NOT the movie version) Hair. (If you don't know, you just gotta trust me on that!)

Edited by dauber

Supernatural, perhaps...baloney, perhaps not.

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1 hour ago, dauber said:

Eddie Munson is easily one of my favorite characters. In that first episode, he reminds me very much of George Berger from the musical (NOT the movie version) Hair. (If you don't know, you just gotta trust me on that!)

YES!  That's good.  My wife and I referred to him as Otto (from The Simpsons), but yours is much better.  

Episode 3 is just about a masterpiece in continuing to setup the story AND also move it forward.  Brilliant.  I had complained a bit about too much going on in ep 1, and that continues here...but it feels like it's all necessary now.  

 

 

 

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Episode 4.  The show is intense.  I'm so glad I wasn't exposed to any spoilers, as this episode held a genuine surprise!

<Spoiler alert!>

Spoiler
  • I mentioned the "Freddy Krueger" connection for ep 1...and here we get as a special guest none other than Robert Englund!  WOW! 
  • One minor nitpick - I don't buy that Murray would have drank the coffee given his paranoia. 

 

 

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We finished Stranger Things season 4 last night.

Spoiler

It starts off strong, but then gets really long and slow around episode 6. There's simply too much here, most of it is hubris. Is there a Duffer brother than can edit? The last episode is 2.5 hours long!

What's good: Getting a villain with a name/face/backstory is incredibly good. That whole 11/Papa/Vecna story should have been the bulk of the show.

What's bad: Too much fluff. For example, cutting "Class of 86" guy wouldn't have subtracted much. 1.5 hour episodes = too long.

Grade: C. Good, but not worth the time investment.

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Respectfully, I disagree with your synopsis.  


I believe season 4 was the absolute best of the bunch, and I savored every episode.  Perhaps you either love it or hate it, but it resonated with me.  The characters IMO were all interesting, the separate story lines, although perhaps no transitions, were all tied together.  The season evoked a full range of emotions.  One could say I like it strictly for nostalgia reasons, but I don't believe that to be the sole reason.  

I think the largest plot issue with ST, is you have to suspend your disbelief, in the underworld/scary new alternate dimensions.  The final episode was too long.  It could have been split into two or three episodes.  However,, it did have a great scene with Eddie Munson and Dustin, the Metallica scene.  They totally rocked it and it was awesome. 

The other huge problem, is all of these "kids" are grown up IRL, playing much younger parts.  Max for example looks 12 but in reality is 20 years old.  That one blew me away.

Hopefully they won't mess up the final season.  Let's hope they keep up the momentum in the writing and give the series the send off it deserves.  

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I did like the Eddie Munson character a lot, but we didn't get nearly enough.  The Metallica scene was fantastic.  More of that! 

Spoiler

Just off the top my head, they could have gotten rid of jacking the RV (Why?  It's so out of character for those kids.  Where was Steve's car?  Did they give the RV back?  Wouldn't it make it easy for the police to find them?) or bad government agents (what was their motivation?  No idea.)  Or a visit to Dustin's girlfriend (how long did that take?  What was the point?  Couldn't the agent have just put coordinates in the pen?). 

And PS -- Nancy -- GO FOR THE HEAD SHOT!

Like I said, my main issue wasn't with any of the content, but rather that time commitment involved.  1.5 hours per episode, almost 15 hour runtime is too much IMO.  My sincere hope is that they try to limit the episodes to 1 hr for season 5 and total runtime at 10 hrs. max. 

It's totally good to have differing opinions and it's kind of fun to debate a little bit.  So thank you!  I completely agree on the age thing. 

Like I said before, giving the bad guy a name and backstory really made this feel more like a Stephen King story finally, and that was the best part. 

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I really wasn't paying much attention to the time investment, which was quite a bit.  I was splitting up the episodes and watching the series over the course of 4-6 weeks in my spare time, when nobody was around, so I could crank up the volume a bit.    The last episode was when I really noticed... This thing is long...

Spoiler

Yeah, there were a few moments like the jacking of the RV which was out of character for them.  And how was that girl such a computer expert.  They really ramped up her knowledge.  But at least we got to see an Amiga in the series, which was cool. Although my understanding is they were not legit commands for the system.  I wasn't paying that close attention to that part.  

They also ramped up the violence in Hawkins in this season.  Seasons 2 and 3 are sort of a blur to me right now, but I remember in Season 1 only one girl died.  Did you notice in the last episode ST 4, how the dude hunting Munson was killed by the "earthquake"...  Just a lot more death & violence.

Also the way the whole town turned on Munson was sort of an exaggeration, even with the D&D haters out there.

I think at this point I was just sucked into the ST universe and was just enjoying the ride.  The segments with Joyce, Murray, Harbour, were enjoyable.

I felt like the direction kept you interested all the concurrent story lines. 

Let's not forget about the Hell Fire Club.. and official Merch you can now purchase from Netflix/Metallica.   Ha ha.  I cannot see myself rocking one of those T-Shirts... lol.

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