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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Correct side of the Durham/CH border
    Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion but I, for one, enjoyed every minute of every episode of season 3 and don’t understand some of the backlash here. I just watched the final episode earlier this evening after having self imposed a brief moratorium. I thought it was brilliant and loved... no, hated... no, loved the cliff hangers. Perhaps there is still some lingering GoT hangover for some? I’m okay with the season being more plot oriented given that they built characters so well in seasons 1 & 2 and only introduced a couple new supporting characters this season. Yes there were a variety of questions that remained unanswered. But if they had addressed everything across these latest 8 episodes, I think we may well have experienced a GoT season 8 style letdown where everything jumps chaotically to resolution. I’m already antsy for season 4. So, that tells me all I need to know. I say just sit back, continue to suspend disbelief, and enjoy!

    P.S. - I’ll just mention my favorite reference from the season which was Joyce’s visit to Mr. Clarke’s house where he’s listening to My Bologna... which was not only a nod to Weird Al Yankovich but also a clever link to Wynona Ryder’s memorable convenience store scene in Reality Bites where she and Janeane Garofalo jam out to My Sharona.
    “Coach said no 3s.” - Zion on The Block

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I mean, Hopper is almost certainly the American being held captive in Kamchatka
    I have seen some thought that the American may be Dr. Brenner from season 1. The thought is that would explain how the Russians know so much about the upside down.

    Also, I saw an article that reminded us that one of the demodogs was put in the freezer - which I had forgotten.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I'm guessing it is ok to talk spoilers on the season at this point, right?

    Seems like season 4 is going to have to go far beyond Hawkins, won't it? I mean, Hopper is almost certainly the American being held captive in Kamchatka, several of the main characters have moved away to another city, and it really feels like small town Hawkins deserves a break from monster mayhem from other dimensions.

    I was disappointed in season 3. Here are some of my thoughts:

    1) The story - yeah, the action was fun and it moved at a brisk pace, but there were pretty much zero character arcs... maybe Hopper coming to terms with Eleven's maturity, but that is about it. It was a season about plot more than characters, which is not what made this such a wonderful show.

    2) The Upside Down - We really learned very little in terms of the larger plot about the Upside Down and its inhabitants. While I like the fact that Billy sacrificed himself (totally uncharacteristic for everything we have known about that character for 2 seasons, but the Duffners wanted to rehab him in 30 seconds so they did it), I wish he had lived so we might learn a little bit more about the Mind Flayer and what was going on there.

    3) Questions, but no answers - Not only did we not gain new understanding into the mysteries of the show, we get a ton of added questions about whatever the Russians are doing, mind control, and... uhhh... liquefied body parts being turned into a sentient meat monster (or something like that). Oh, and the fact that a Demodog is alive in Russia has to mean that a portal is still open, right? Didn't all the Demodogs collapse at the end of season 2 when El closed the portal?

    That's it for now. I'm sure that as ya'll post additional comments, I'll chime in. I enjoyed the ride, but found it somewhat unsatisfying as I reflect upon it. Not bad, but not as good as 1 and 2, IMO.

    -Jason "when is season 4?!?! I WANT SEASON 4!!! They should do a movie of Hopper escaping from Russia while we wait for season 4" Evans
    This pretty much matches my feelings exactly (although I didn't have as big a problem with Billy, they showed flashes of him being caring in season 2). I was a little surprised that the "there are other psychic kids out there" thing didn't come up at all.

    I also agree with the poster that felt they kind of ruined Hopper...took the caricature a little to far for him I thought.

    Overall, I found it...enjoyable but not satisfying. Kind of felt like that should have been condensed to half a season or something.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    This pretty much matches my feelings exactly (although I didn't have as big a problem with Billy, they showed flashes of him being caring in season 2). I was a little surprised that the "there are other psychic kids out there" thing didn't come up at all.

    I also agree with the poster that felt they kind of ruined Hopper...took the caricature a little to far for him I thought.

    Overall, I found it...enjoyable but not satisfying. Kind of felt like that should have been condensed to half a season or something.
    Hopper did come off a bit... Homer Simpsonish.
    Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

    - Twain

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    I too was really down on the portrayal of Hopper... but when Smirnoff gets in the car and almost drives away, but then comes back, it redeemed Hopper in a big way.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  6. #26
    Stranger Things is pure popcorn for me.

    I’d agree that Hopper’s characterization in season 3 was dissonant and abrupt.
    In the grand scheme of things I didn’t let that interfere with enjoying season three.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    I really liked this season. I think it was better than 2, which I still enjoyed. Season 1 is still my favorite I think. The mall scenes really hit home for me. Our movie theater was attached to the mall ad well, arcade etc. Hopper’s speech, oof, right in the feels for a dad with a young daughter. First we had I love you 3000 and now we have keep the door open 3 inches. A lot of misty eyed dads this summer. Excited for 4 which I’ve read could be the last. Kids are growing up fast.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    I liked S3.
    Hopper is worried about El, is trying to protect her, so his boorish behavior is not so surprising. He already lost one daughter, remember?
    The railing in Starcourt looks just like the ones in the old South Square Mall in Durham, where I spent a good chunk of my teen years. The Duffers had to have seen the resemblance, too.
    Lucas's little sister was a brat, but she cracked me up.
    Loved the team of Dustin, Steve, Robin, and Erica.
    Steve was actually likeable this season, not the arrogant, creepy jerk like in the first two.
    I can totally see Uma Thurman in her daughter (Robin).


    Finally, The Neverending Story will never be the same.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I was disappointed in season 3. Here are some of my thoughts:

    1) The story - yeah, the action was fun and it moved at a brisk pace, but there were pretty much zero character arcs... maybe Hopper coming to terms with Eleven's maturity, but that is about it. It was a season about plot more than characters, which is not what made this such a wonderful show.

    2) The Upside Down - We really learned very little in terms of the larger plot about the Upside Down and its inhabitants. While I like the fact that Billy sacrificed himself (totally uncharacteristic for everything we have known about that character for 2 seasons, but the Duffners wanted to rehab him in 30 seconds so they did it), I wish he had lived so we might learn a little bit more about the Mind Flayer and what was going on there.

    3) Questions, but no answers - Not only did we not gain new understanding into the mysteries of the show, we get a ton of added questions about whatever the Russians are doing, mind control, and... uhhh... liquefied body parts being turned into a sentient meat monster (or something like that). Oh, and the fact that a Demodog is alive in Russia has to mean that a portal is still open, right? Didn't all the Demodogs collapse at the end of season 2 when El closed the portal?
    Quote Originally Posted by El_Diablo View Post
    I was also pretty disappointed with ST3
    -Story: The main plotline seemed like a reskin of ST2. The secondary plotline made zero sense. The Soviets have, somehow, built a huge secret underground military base in small-town Indiana for unspecified reasons, openly broadcast a "coded" message--in Russian--describing the base's location for unspecified reasons, and employed a Russian terminator to stalk around and menace/kill people. Huh?
    -Characters: Hopper was thoroughly ruined, spending 90% of his time yelling shrilly at Elle, Mike, Joyce, and "Smirnoff" and the other 10% punching. Erica's sass got turned up to 11, making her the most irritating character I can think of in recent television history. Billy's climactic character turn as a result of Elle talking about his day at the beach was essentially the "Your mother is Martha? My mother is also named Martha!" moment that people rightfully ridiculed in Batman V Superman.
    -Mise en scene: They certainly hit the viewer over the head with the fact that it's the 80s, scoring some nostalgia points but really taking it too far IMO. And the product promotional efforts were way over the top, to the point of being distracting.
    Just finished it last night, and I'm with you two--disappointed in season 3. In addition to the flaws you highlighted, here were some of my main problems:

    1) Tone -- the comedy aspects were way too goofy/silly and undercut any emotional moments. Previous seasons had humor, but they were woven in, and were genuine character reactions to crazy moments. Here it felt more forced, as epitomized by the "Never Ending Story" sing along that not only dragged on way too long, but got actual split-screen treatment. Completely broke any tension from the finale. The flip side to this: nothing was scary anymore. The first season was masterful in being legitimately scary by, among other things: not showing the monster, keeping the audience (like the characters) largely in the dark, and finding horror in subtle places (think of the slow uptick in tension every time the lights flickered and the characters realized they weren't alone). All those lessons got tossed out.

    2) Characters -- you've mentioned the Flandersization of certain characters, particularly Hopper, but on those occasions the show actually hit good character development they didn't stick with it. The most riveting part of the show for me was seeing Will feeling left behind by his friends' rapid growth, culminating with an emotional destruction of his childhood hideaway. I was more invested in that moment than any other--the actor who plays Will is phenomenal! But then the show just abandoned that story and Will was reduced to an alarm clock. Similarly, a truly tender moment between Nancy and her mom, about confronting life's obstacles versus settling, never paid off, as we didn't see any change in Nancy, nor did Mrs. Wheeler make any changes in her life. It all fell flat.

    3) Villains -- the first season showed us that humans like Dr. Brenner can be the greatest monsters of all. There was real paranoia when dealing with subversive abuses of authority, and a thrill in exposing the seedy underbelly of seemingly idyllic small town life. Season 2 was missing this a bit, and is one of the reasons it doesn't quite match Season 1, IMO. But Season 3? The villains were cartoonish Soviets, who were evil for the sake of being evil. (Also, when they infiltrated American and built their giant base...they brought their uniforms with them and kept speaking Russian? Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings would be so, so disappointed).

    So I was disappointed. There were still a lot of things I enjoyed (Max & El's friendship, Alexei, Erica, Robin), but coming on the heels of two great season of television, I was disappointed that the show seemed to really lose its touch when it tried to ramp up in scale.

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