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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. #29
    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.

  10. #30
    The season was super enjoyable overall. I especially liked seeing Eleven use her powers in ways that teenagers would probably use superpowers – her overall friendship with Max was great. But, I do agree with JE that the plot of the overall show did not advance very much, other than the important point of scattering some of the characters outside Hawkins. That is the type of great insight that we are all used to seeing from Jason Evans! We should all be very thankful for it, and I can't wait to hear his take on the next seasons.

    That said, Hawkins is so central to the show and is almost itself a character, sorta like the island on Lost... I wonder if they'll just quickly have some excuse to bring everyone back into town.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Rumors are season 4 begins filming in October and might be set during Christmas. Might get a season 5 but this also could be it.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    Rumors are season 4 begins filming in October and might be set during Christmas. Might get a season 5 but this also could be it.
    Christmas makes sense as it would get everyone back in Hawkins. Mike was going to visit El and the Byers for Thanksgiving and he invited El back for Christmas.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by LegoBatman View Post
    Christmas makes sense as it would get everyone back in Hawkins. Mike was going to visit El and the Byers for Thanksgiving and he invited El back for Christmas.
    And they could make tons of Gremlins call backs...

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    Rumors are season 4 begins filming in October and might be set during Christmas. Might get a season 5 but this also could be it.
    Good, Joyce is very creative with Christmas lights!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    Good, Joyce is very creative with Christmas lights!
    I was going to point out that season 1 was already kind of set at Christmas.

    I'm not sure I would like an entire season that was wholly focused on it being Christmas time.

    I've been rewatching season 1, and it definitely stands out as significantly better than season 3. Way more tension.

    I don't think making the monster more and more present/tactile has been effective.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    I was going to point out that season 1 was already kind of set at Christmas.

    I'm not sure I would like an entire season that was wholly focused on it being Christmas time.

    I've been rewatching season 1, and it definitely stands out as significantly better than season 3. Way more tension.

    I don't think making the monster more and more present/tactile has been effective.
    You mean, the Jaws/Alien idea of "less is more?"

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    You mean, the Jaws/Alien idea of "less is more?"
    Right. I thought the "a piece of him got stuck on our side when we closed the gate" was going to lead back to the more subtle/less scene stuff we got in season one. I'm definitely more interested in "mysterious shadow monster" than "2 story tall giant flesh monster". The monster in season 1 was actually scary...the new monster was mostly just gross. The monsters in season two were more numerous than frightening, but there was good plot tension and everything moved at a nice pace where interesting stuff kept happening with a bit of a "search for the truth" vibe.

    I was also confused at how closing the Russian gate killed the monster. When they closed the gate in season two, did the piece of him left behind die/lie dormant until the Russians started opening theirs or what?

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    I was going to point out that season 1 was already kind of set at Christmas.

    I'm not sure I would like an entire season that was wholly focused on it being Christmas time.

    I've been rewatching season 1, and it definitely stands out as significantly better than season 3. Way more tension.

    I don't think making the monster more and more present/tactile has been effective.
    So Christmas was addressed in season 1. Halloween in season 2. Summertime/Independence Day in season 3. Shooting in Georgia in October could cover nearly any timeframe since the month starts out warm and ends cool. Will they use Thanksgiving as the reason they reunite in Hawkins? Halloween or Christmas make more sense though. The settings for those two times are just ideal for a pseudo horror show. Since filming starts so soon though, they really do not have to worry as much about the growth of the kids and they could resume it right after the events of season 3. Maybe they address Chernobyl in the spring of '86. Was it really caused by Soviet tinkering with the upside-down? I realize this is a stream of consciousness so I will stop.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    ... I realize this is a stream of consciousness so I will stop.
    Yeah there's no place for that in an online forum.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    I watched the Season 3 preview for ST3 several days before it went live. I really thought Season 3 was going to focus on a coming of age theme. Joss Whedon did a great job showing us how the Scooby Gang transitioned from teens to young adults in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the preview really had me thinking along a similar vibe for the ST3 cast only they would be transitioning from grade schoolers to young teens. We did get a little of that in the first episode or two, but after that it really didn't play into the season.

    ST3 suffers the same fate many other successful TV shows do. They start with a great idea and suddenly the show gets picked up and the creators are left scrambling to develop a coherent story. The 80's nostalgia love fest which greatly impressed me the first time around can only carry a show so far. I know that when you watch a show such as this you need to suspend your thoughts on what is and isn't possible, but having the Soviets build this massive underground complex in the middle of an American community, a complex which houses hundreds of Soviets was a bit too much. I found the American lab way more believable.

    I enjoyed the returning cast and appreciated the way they handled Robin's sexual orientation, nothing over the top or in your face like a lot of today's shows. I didn't like the Erica character at all. I'm not sure why she was necessary as they easily could have had our resident boy genius create a robot that could have traveled down the duct work. I wasn't thrilled that Billy was redeemed. Is it to much to ask that we get a villain who is purely evil and has absolutely no redeeming values, so when he dies the crowd cheers like we did when Hans Gruber died in Die Hard.

    And my final gripe has to be about young kids roaming around unattended for days on end. This is supposed to be the early 80's and no self respecting parent would ever let their child be gone for days on end like the kids in this show. Erica is a prime example of this. I believe she was supposed to be 10 years old, yet she's missing for a couple of days. Now I know the story had a friend covering for her, but this is with every character and I could assure you that my wife and I would never have let our 10 year old daughter behave like this based on a phone call from a friend. Every time asleep over or time away with a friend took place a parent was talked to about the arrangements.

    I guess I shouldn't complain so much considering how Netflix has axed all of my Marvel shows and I did watch this in basically one sitting so it wasn't that bad, but I did expect more from ST3.

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