Stranger Things Season 3: Can the same trick work thrice?

Back in 2016, Stranger Things premiered in Netflix serving as a popular topic for all entertainment fanatics and generated a huge fan following. Season 1 presented us with a stellar cast, enjoyable characters with catchy quips, unique enthralling storyline and great visuals. It was a fun summer watch for everyone who loves Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking and Stephen King’s plot. The characters fight off a Demogorgon from Upside Down with the help of El (a test subject in Hawkins Laboratory). Season 2 followed in 2017 but didn’t meet viewers expectations. The characters had to once again fight off a supernatural being named Mind Flayer Aka The Shadow Monster. Season 2 ended with a cliff-hanger that made audience eagerly wait for the next season. The much-awaited Season 3 of Stranger Things was released this week.

Has Duffer Brothers’ same magical formula resulted in a success for Season 3?

The story follows from the summer of 1985 and our favourite dorky gang is dealing with a whole New Upside Down – Adolescence and Change. The kids are now teenagers and are trying to cope up with it. There is no deviation from the main plot and the focus is on its roots (Dungeons and Dragons). The Mind Flayer from Season 2 comes back even stronger with some allies of its own. The kids and grown-ups of the town team up again to fight off this being and send it back to Upside Down.

Sounds similar to the previous seasons, right?

But this is where Duffer Brothers bring in their unique storyline skills. They make us care for these characters and we laugh and cry with them as the plot unravels. Each character is developed by allowing to explore their ambitions and personalities.

What draws the viewers to this season is that it branches out from the main storyline to include a wide range of characters and newer mysteries. The inclusion of smart Robin and Sassy Erica (cameos as Lucas’s sister in previous seasons) are a great comic relief and does wonders. The production design and cinematography pulled off a great feat. The references to 80s films, music tracks, clothing styles and colour grading helps the viewers feel the 80s vibe all through. This season had great action sequences with VFX effects neatly done. The story maintains a well-paced flow with the help of a smart screenplay and crisp editing. In contrast to previous seasons, humorous exchanges receive added importance. The humor is natural, not forced, yet manages to generate good laughs.

Season 3 has certain terrifying moments which include some jump scares and handful of gross scenes to cringe at. But the fear wasn’t the same as what the viewers experienced in Season 1.

Overall, Season 3 is a fun, fast paced and colourful ride. This season is better than the previous season but not as great as Season 1. While Season 2 was dark and sombre, Season 3 is bright and hilarious. Having said that, some might feel the story is slightly repetitive and not taking the plot any further. This might be an eye opener for something bigger to follow in the upcoming seasons. Duffer Brothers love to end their season in cliff-hangers and have implemented the same trick in this season with the help of a post credit scene.

RATING – 3.5/5

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