By Eunice Lai, Summer Times Staff Writer

The long anticipated “Stranger Things” season 3 finally came out on July 4th, and I finished it on the same day. It left me with lots of emotions and questions, but overall, I thought that season 3 was pretty average; I was extremely disappointed as it did not live up to its expectations.

If you don’t know what “Stranger Things” is, it’s a Sci-fi Netflix Original that first came out on the Halloween of 2016. It was a huge hit because of its nostalgia and its sneaky references to other shows made in the 80s. The characters are likeable, the storyline is compelling and the set design is intriguing. If you haven’t watched it yet, I strongly recommend you to do that immediately!

Season 3 picks up a year after the children seemingly closed the portal to the Upside Down, with all the character settling back down to the ordinary life of Indiana in the 80s. However, all the children seems to have matured a lot, both physically and mentally.  Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) constant make up session has been affecting Will’s (Noah Schnapps) constant longing to play “Dungeons and Dragons and to go back to the way they were years ago, while Dustin, (Gaten Matarazzo) who just came back from a month long summer camp without any contact with his friends, did not get the welcome home surprise he expected. With tensions between friends, they part ways, finding things to do, but while Dustin was attempting to communicate with someone through the machine he built, he found out some secrets that could ultimately cause the destruction of Indiana. This discovery is also linked to Joyce Byers’s (Winona Ryder) suspicion to shady activities happening.

Season 3 was pretty enjoyable due to the new relationships we can see between the characters and the way the show portrays adolescents with lots of boy drama and emotional rollercoasters. The visual effects, acting and dynamics of the show has been the best one yet, really immersing the audience in the show, but one of the biggest downsides is that they turned a story that can be told in a 2 hour movie into a tedious 8 part series.The reason season 3 was a slight disappointment is that it felt like they milked the “Upside Down” storyline too much, and they overuse the abundance of neon lights, the retro settings and synths to the point where enough is enough. 

Although I wasn’t around during the times this show was set in, I couldn’t feel the same sense of nostalgia as I did in the previous two seasons. There were many things the show could have done to create its own setting and personality, but the show decided to stop where it is causing the sense of unoriginality. The writing was also quite lazy, with a predictable storyline and bad character arcs. The story basically stayed the same with slight detail changes and the characters always seemed to find their way out even in situations where they shouldn’t have. Despite everything wrong about this season, the ending was incredibly emotional and satisfying, as you can see all the characters moving on into a new chapter of their life. 

So, should you watch Season 3 of “Stranger Things”? Yes and no. Only watch it if you’re a devoted fan of this franchise, and not just for the sake of watching it.