In 2016, Stranger Things became a world-wide phenomenon overnight, with millions captivated by the 80’s-inspired supernatural thriller. I was one of those people, as Stranger Things was everything I ever wanted to create as an aspiring storyteller. With each season, the stakes have been raised, and the drama has been lifted, but after a 3 year hiatus, did Season 4 live up to the hype?
Welcome Back, Kids.
Fans of Stranger Things have been eagerly awaiting a new season, since the release of Season 3 back in July of 2019. Season 3 was amazing, and fans still had many unanswered questions after some of the dangling plot points. Eleven, Will, Joyce, and Jonathan were leaving Hawkins, heading for the west coast, with hopes of starting a new life, which is where Season 4 picks back up.
With such a long absence, fans expectations were through the roof, as were mine. Season 4 couldn’t just be average; it had to be substantial, making all of our waiting worth it. I’m very happy to say that Season 4 delivers big time with possibly the greatest season of the show’s running.
Kids at Heart.
Stranger Things has always been about friendship, and the bonds we make that follow us all of our lives. As seasons passed, our kids grew up, their interests changed, and some grew distant.
This is something that Season 3 delved into quite heavily, which I enjoyed. Will wanted to remain a kid at heart, playing Dungeons and Dragons in his mom’s basement, not having to worry about inter-dimensional monsters. Eleven was dealing with insecurity in her relationship with Mike, while also longing for the normal childhood that she never had.
In Season 4, these themes manifest themselves, but in different ways. Will seeks acceptance for who he really is inside, and Eleven is learning the hard way what it’s like to be an outcast in high school.
The Friends we made along the way.
Stranger Things has always done a fantastic job at making the audience care about its characters, and that’s no different in season 4. When you see them struggle, you long for the moment when they are able to pick themselves back up.
Steve Harrington gets a special shoutout, as he possibly has had the greatest character development in television history. A couple episodes into season 1 and you think he’s the prototypical TV douchebag, but by the end he redeems himself, and his character has only gotten better as the years have passed.
The stand-out in season 4 for me is Murray. He always seemed to steal the show in whichever scene he was in, keeping everything fun when things seemed dire.
The Monster under the Bed.
With season 4, The Duffer Brothers have escalated everything, introducing darker horror themes, which makes for riveting moments. Vecna, this seasons foe, is just fantastic, and I hope you enjoy learning about his origin as much as I did.
If you’re a returning fan, I think you’re going to love what’s in store for you with this season. If you’re a new fan who maybe skipped the other seasons, I’d highly recommend watching season 1-3 before jumping into 4 as it is vital to understanding Vecna and his motives.
Closing Remarks and a thank you to the Duffer Brothers.
Overall, I had a phenomenal time watching Season 4 with my girlfriend, which comes as no surprise because I’ve loved every season of this stellar show.
I’d like to thank the Duffer Brothers for not only inspiring me creatively, but also for giving me memories I’ll never forget. In October of 2017, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and although everything in my life came crashing down, Season 2 launching gave me the incredible comfort that I needed. I rewatched Season 1 & 2 over and over again during that time, and it solidified my love for this show. Now, 8 months after losing my Mom, I find myself missing them both dearly, but again, Stranger Things was there for me, helping me to forget for awhile.