This morning at 7 AM Pacific time I finished the third season of Stranger Things. I wasn’t expecting to see the third season have moments that would top the first two. I expected a clear decline in the shows ability to keep the viewers engaged. This was not the case for this season. In this review I will attempt to be spoiler free to the best of my ability.

From the start of the first episode I was hooked once again. This time the kids are clearly growing up and starting to have those things called “Feelings”. Not just Wills weird spider sense that would help tell the gang when danger was around. We get a show that doesn’t make us sick with the teen drama like Riverdale. What we get is a mixture of some amazing 80’s movie genres with a dash of teenage rebellion and confusion.

Plot

We pick up on the third season with everyone recovering from the previous seasons events. Dustin is returning from camp and Eleven and Mike are constantly around each other as young love flourishes between the two. Chief Hopper is dealing with a corrupt mayor, Eleven growing up, and his own feelings towards Will’s mother Joyce Byers. It seems that another country has taken up interest in opening the portal to the upside down. Oh and don’t forget that Hawkins has a mall now that has depleted the downtown area of Hawkins.

The Duffer Brothers brought together Day of the Dead, Terminator, The Thing, The Blob, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and even a little Never Ending Story in a way that keeps the story moving forward. Sadly we don’t get that same feeling between the kids that we had in past seasons. The kids are starting to get older and are drifting apart. What was a waste from season two is the fact that Eleven is being over-protected by Hopper. This season really only focuses on it in one episode and I felt like we wasted so much time before on that subject. Stranger Things is not perfect on everything it does, at least the show makes an attempt that most won’t.

Performance

The show continues to keep the cast moving in the right direction. Adding new characters is really something of an art form for some shows. I mean most shows a new character and really ruin the atmosphere of that show. Somehow we don’t get that problem in this season. New characters like Robin (Maya Hawke) and Erica (Priah Ferguson) bring some much needed life to the show. The ever expanding cast allows for some really touching moments.

I was hoping that one character would be able to follow the American dream, he didn’t make it through to the seasons end though. Overall I was impressed with this season cast and how everything flowed between everyone. I really can’t wait to see what will happen in a fourth season.

Cinematography

In the third season we get more than we bargained for in terms of cinematography. The set pieces are larger and more visually appealing. Instead of just a few places that the events are taking place in, we really get the whole town and a little more. Seeing what happens to the creatures and humans that get involved with the Mind Flayer was gross and awesome. Think along the lines of The Blob meets The Thing. We don’t get much time in the Upside Down in this season, instead we head to the mall for a good chunk of the season. It really is hard to explain anymore without telling you everything that happened. The show expands on the lore and goes in a different direction that keeps it fresh.

Verdict

The show is┬ádefinitely showing some signs of aging. This is natural for a show to finally show that the end could be coming in the next few seasons. I really hope Netflix and the The Duffer Brothers don’t try to extend this shows life for more than five or six seasons. Saying that the third season goes in a different direction that is absolutely fantastic. I was full of so many feelings at the end of the final episode. What Dustin has to do and the reactions of everyone in the final episode to what he’s doing was so hilarious. The show still makes me wish I had been older during the 80’s.