One of the important elements of Stranger Things‘ success is the intelligence with which they deal with nostalgia. For generation X, today parenting the millennials, it became content that connects the polarized universe between digital and native migrants. For those who lived the years shown in the series, like I did, it is necessary to praise without stopping how perfectly they recreated that period of wonderful music and questionable fashion. Nothing, but nothing at all, is out of place.
Heading towards its conclusion, the series has captivated the world, created stars, revived others, and continues to create havoc in little Hawkins. As the world has not yet invaded the city, this explains why it was not a connected world. In pre-digital eras, literal and metaphorical monsters were “local” before they became famous.
The chemistry of the actors is undeniable, but the formula repeats itself. For those who lived through the 1980s, in particular, in addition to the soundtrack, it is possible to anticipate the answers. Eleven follows as the science drama, heavy, fully Stephen King and with references to Carrie and other works by the author. If we started Stranger Things with a certain update of Stand By Me, we are reviving the Nightmare on Elm Street, a horror franchise that even brings its star, Robert Englund, to the cast.
The synopsis finds us: We pick up six months after the bloody Battle of Starcourt, which radically changed the lives of everyone in Hawkins, but a new supernatural threat emerges and reopens the portals to the dreaded Upside Down. With wit, the season highlights the talented Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield) and other characters and “splits” the gangs – for now – for a surely epic reunion in the second part.
So we have four parallel and connected adventures: Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) back in the lab and regaining her powers; Joyce (Winona Ryder) in rescuing Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Max, Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Steve (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke), Erica (Priah Ferguson) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) dealing with problems at Hawkins while Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) try to help Eleven. Well tied, well played, and fun.
Season 4 ties in some of the “loose” crimes, but what the Duffer brothers illustrate is that the guilt and unresolved conflicts of the past are, quite literally, the opening to a lucid nightmare. With this, topics such as suicide, drugs, and belonging are addressed in the midst of so much confusion.
In particular, since the series’ launch in 2016, Noah Schnapp has shone as the sensitive and complicated Will Byers. It was her disappearance that kick-started strange things to happen nonstop, but it was her return that brought out the nuance of the character. Dealing with the discovery of his homosexuality, still a secret to those closest to him, Will’s childhood and free past with his friends allowed him to be close to his platonic love, Mike. As the friends overcome the dramas of adolescence, for Will, the real nightmare only increases. Noah’s performance stands out amidst the adventurous confusion of the plot. I pray for his recognition for such a moving performance. And I await the conclusion of so many rescues and surprises. As we see, it is possible to leave Hawkins, but Hawkins never leaves you. There could be things even stranger than that…