Stranger Things 3 is so close! Stock up on Eggos, pour up some New Coke, grab some Reese’s Pieces and popcorn and settle in for a midsummer night’s binge. There are loads of things to look forward to this season. We’ve all got our hopes, fears, and feels for the season. Here are a few of mine.
- Jopper! I ship it, David Harbour ships, let’s make this happen. Also, Hopper’s got a serious Selleck ‘stache going on; how can Joyce resist?
- Max and Eleven being besties! As I wrote recently, I’m looking forward to seeing how Max and Eleven have become best friends. Friendship is one of the things I personally value the most and I love seeing positive female friendships in my film and television.
- Character development for Billy! I can’t stand Billy, which means he’s a good villain. Based on the most recent trailer, it looks like he’s going to be much more than just a bully. I’m excited to see how his character will grow and change.
- Who’s the new girl? There’s a new girl working with Steve at the mall and from the looks of the trailer, she gets sucked into the madness of the Upside Down.
- Lots of intertextuality! That’s a $5 word that essentially means “stories that borrow from other stories.” That’s one thing I can always count on with Stranger Things–seeing threads from my favorite stories told in a new way. That’s always my favorite part.
- Growing Pains… Based on what I saw in the first trailer, something that I think will hurt a bit to watch are the ways some of the kids want to grow up faster than others. As I was one of the “others” growing up, I think it will trigger some of my past feelings of insecurity. Middle school is sometimes painful to recall.
- An Especially Treacherous Cliffhanger… I want it and I don’t want it, you know? I was especially disturbed in the final trailer seeing the Shadow Monster speak through Billy. It makes me curious about how the Shadow Monster is able to get back through to the “Right Side Up” and fearful about what that means for our heroes. It feels almost too big to be able to work that out in one season.
- Disappointment… I got burned pretty bad by the way Game of Thrones ended. I know we’ve probably got another season or 2 left for Stranger Things, but I’d hate for both of the shows I was looking forward to the most for 2019 end poorly.
- Academic Sci-Fi Horror Feels! Stranger Things and I have an interesting relationship. For some background, I’ve always nerded out about the things I love from a quasi-academic perspective. I love looking at how the story is structured, what does it mean deep down, how do I respond emotionally to the text, how does it make me want to change or grow, etc. Stranger Things is no exception. The first season became a case study in intertexuality and medieval storytelling for my Master’s thesis. It’s a good story that is steeped in the science fiction horror genre. I believe a good story can be universal, no matter the genre it’s set in, but because it’s set in two of my favorite genres, it punches me in the feels on a deeper, more academic level.
- 1980s Nerdy Nostalgia Feels! I think what really hits me in the feels with Stranger Things is that it pushes all my buttons at once. It hits me in my love of 80s nostalgia, my love of retro geek and nerd culture, all the while borrowing from many of my favorite films and stories. It’s fun for me to watch each season over and over again, noting little background details and thinking through the way a new story is birthed through the reworking of the old. I’m looking forward to rewatching again and again.
- Feels of Courage, Love, and Hope! The different aspects of the series I have mentioned previously overwhelm me with love for the story, but there’s also something about Stranger Things that inspires me to act courageously, to want to protect the people I love the most, and to be a good friend. I’d argue that it’s not a good story if it doesn’t make you want to be a better human by the end, and that’s just what Stranger Things does for me. I can’t wait to feel all those things again.
Stranger Things premieres July 4, 2019 on Netflix.