'Stranger Things,' which was once charming, is now lavish in every aspect.

Being 12 years old in the first season of Stranger Things was like being suspended in mid-air. Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will (Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp) were floating off the edge of their childhood, the ground no longer beneath them. They were old enough to be alone together, but still young enough to want their parents, to keep secrets, and to be afraid of going too far. They were children until they encountered monsters, and the monsters were gravity, which knocked them down.

It's a difficult kind of beauty to keep up with. That weightlessness is only temporary for those who are fortunate enough to experience it, especially for children who love fiercely and care deeply about everything, as these children do. Despite the fact that the fourth season takes place three years (or six months) after the first (and almost six years after the third), the actors have aged nearly six years since the show first aired. In the space of a single day, shoulders broaden, voices sink, and limbs appear to thin and stretch past the ends of sleeves and trouser legs. The fact that they have been hit is written on their bodies.

The seven episodes that will be released this week range in length from 63 to 98 minutes, and two more will be released in July, clocking in at roughly 1.5 and 2.5 hours, respectively — the latter being longer than most feature films. The first season, which aired in the summer of 2016, had a charming tale and concept (despite the gore). It was reminiscent of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, but it was also a delectable and taut series of hour-ish segments that felt addicting, unmissable, old-fashioned television. It could have been the pinnacle of binge-watching, and the best application of Netflix's brilliant-yet-diabolical "just let it roll to the next episode" technicality.

Stranger Things has grown unwieldy as a result of the addition of increasingly lavish and ambitious "wowza" effects sequences. Even if it wasn't, this program has entered the realm where, if there were were any rails to fly off of, they're likely long gone, much as you can occasionally witness a successful author's novels becoming thicker and more deferentially edited. The budget has expanded, the running time has inflated, and there is more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more-more There is underwear available. There are Funko Pops, Mad Libs, and beauty palettes to choose from ("Try on every bright and subversive hue now"). Nobody would cry "boo" if the Duffer Brothers made the season into two six-hour movies, a comic book, and three View-Master reels now that the show had its own whole season.

Some things have not changed. There are four stories, which began with the fracture at the end of season 3, but they're separated by geography, which makes the divisions stricter than usual. There is an Eleven story, there is a Joyce-and-maybe-Hopper story, and there is a Mike/Will/Jonathan story, and all of those are located in different places outside the main part of Hawkins.

Dustin, Steve, Nancy, Robin, Lucas, Max, and Erica are back in Hawkins for a fantastically scary, sometimes humorous, and pretty extravagantly gross Scooby-Doo-style monster adventure. If mall culture was portrayed in the third season, the very real terror that grew up around Dungeons & Dragons and the assumption that it had some relation to the occult and real-world evil is highlighted in this season. Hawkins, with its spate of catastrophes, is fertile ground for panic to germinate.

However, by removing these people from the season's liveliest and most exciting portions, the season loses its grasp on some of the characters who were formerly crucial - like Mike, Jonathan and Will, Joyce and Hopper. They all have stories to tell, but none of them have the vigor of the banter between Steve, Dustin, and Robin, which is as amusing and well-executed as any of the show's richest and most satisfying passages. To put it another way, the series' uneven growth might be summarized as follows: The show's writers recognize Joe Keery as Steve and Maya Hawke as Robin as MVPs on a show where he was originally cast as a toolbag and she wasn't.

Eleven, on the other hand, is complex, as it usually is. Millie Bobby Brown is still capable of dealing with the vast range of challenges that El is subjected to. This season is (again) concerned with uncovering her past of trauma at Brenner's hands (Matthew Modine). It's not so much that this story is bad as it is that it's far too long - a problem that also plagues the account of what happened to Hopper after Joyce closed the gate at the conclusion of season 3. Both of these plots waste an entire season on something that might have been done in one or two episodes. While 75-minute episodes aren't technically "too long," they are when three of your four storylines are 75 minutes or longer.

You can see all the money that made news recently - $30 million each episode, according to The Wall Street Journal. You can tell where the money went: blown-out monster sequences and sweeping views of dark planets, not to mention some clearly gruesome murders that must have cost a lot of money to be so awful. You can see where it was spent on the basic exercise of doing more of everything for a longer period of time, resulting in episodes that are nearly twice as long as the first season's.

This fourth run isn't a flop. There are exhilarating times in that Scooby-Doo story for this gang of mates who still just want to save the world from whatever is trying to sneak in through cracks in the walls, trying to get into their thoughts, trying to harm their friends. They use walkie-talkies and bikes to communicate, or they hide, or they pinch a Lite-Brite (as you'll see). They are each other's lifelines; they are each other's only connection to the outside world.

They are no longer suspended in mid-air like they were as children, and they will never be. They've already fought wars, and it's taken a toll on them all. It's made them believe in tragedies that most people would like to ignore, but it's also made them commit to heroes and sacrifices that most people would be too cynical to expect. They're taller, broader, and more experienced, so they're not astonished when they see a monster.

Post a Comment

If you have any doubts, Please let me know

Previous Post Next Post