I could go on and on about the Duffer Brothers' pride and joy, but I think I'll save it for a book or something once the series eventually ends. I do have a few things to say:
First of all, Eleven (or "El" as both myself and the show's characters more commonly call her, or Jane Hopper/Ives to give her real name) is IMHO the best fictional female character introduced in this decade.
And I want to share the log-line from Entertainment Earth's page for Stranger Things merchandise (not a plug, I swear. Friends don't lie):
Does Stranger Things Keep You Up at Night? Try This Merch!
Evil never ends - it evolves - and friendship is always stronger than fear. You should keep these points in mind as you watch the next season of this nail-biting sci-fi horror web-TV drama on Netflix. Arguably the most popular character in the series, Eleven (played by Millie Bobby Brown) is back along with other unforgettable characters, both on the screen and in the form of action figures, vinyl figures, plush, costumes, ornaments and other holiday décor, games, and more. So, if you're in the mood for a Stranger Things Funko Pop! or any other such themed toy or collectible inspired by the denizens of Hawkins, Indiana, your timing is excellent! Plus, you don't need special psychokinetic abilities or an intimate familiarity with the parallel dimension called the Upside Down to move any or all of the above or the other cool items below into your cart. And who knows, with a little luck, that creepy predatory humanoid known as the demogorgon (named after but not particularly similar to the powerful demon prince you may know from the Dungeons and Dragons game) might leave well enough alone as well and let you place your order… although that Stranger Things monster isn't exactly known to be forgiving. But give it a try!
The sentence I bolded above really resonates with me. I definitely feel at least the second part is true. Friendship, along with family and forgiveness, ARE always stronger than fear. And that in a nutshell perfectly sums up why I love Stranger Things so damn much. The show isn't horror with coming-of-age-dramedy overtones like, say, Stephen King's It. Stranger Things, to me, is a coming-of-age dramedy/mystery/suspense show with horror, sci-fi and action elements. It perfectly blends almost everything that made the best mainstream American films of the 1980s so memorable, while balancing light and dark tones.
In fact, the recent third season resembling the works of John Hughes more so than those of John Carpenter leads to one of Stranger Things's few notable weak points. So much of season 3 feels like a comedy that whenever the horror/sci-fi/action elements come in focus, its almost intrusive. The show has so many great characters that Stranger Things 3 has trouble giving them all satisfying arcs and development. It is still highly entertaining, flaws and all, and sets up a potentially even better fourth season.
Right now, it's somewhat unclear how much longer Stranger Things will last, although a fourth season was just officially announced. Hollywood insider John Campea has said that friends of his connected to Netflix are saying that season 4 will "definitely" be the last. However, he has heard conflicting reports that there may be a post-series movie that wrap up the series, and it will apparently have a limited theatrical run. I would like to note that David Harbour (who plays Hopper in the show) said a few months ago that he doesn't know how many seasons the show will run for, but he knows how the show will end and doesn't think four seasons will be enough to conclude it. So, I'm very much inclined to believe that the post-series movie is happening, but either way, I really hope we get an official word on when the story will end soon.
But more importantly, Harbour says that he thinks the ending of Stranger Things is "beautiful". So, our next and possibly final trip to Hawkins, Indiana should be a pleasant one.