Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1: The Netflix Issue

3/5         

Written by Luke Barnes

Summary

The Hawkins gang are back for a series that feels forced and altogether needless.

Personally, I believe that the end of the last season was the perfect place for the series to end, the big bad of the Mind Flyer was defeated, the kids were going in different directions and the whole things had a very conclusive feel to it that would have worked well if it had been the end of the show. However, Netflix realising they don’t have much else decided to string it along for two more seasons.

I won’t sit here and tell you this season is bad, because that isn’t true there are some good moments here and there, there are just now also a lot of issues. The worst issue in my mind is the double whammy of having each episode go on for far, far longer than is necessary and also splitting the season in two, in a desperate attempt to keep people subscribed for longer. The episodes are at times off putting in their length and the binge as a whole this time around really asks a lot of you.

I enjoyed the body horror and the clear Nightmare On Elm Street inspiration here, however, I thought a number of the sub-plots either didn’t work or made no sense. The satanic panic idea that the Hellfire club some of the boys join being viewed by the towns people as a satanic cult just makes them all look really dumb, I understand this was a genuine thing that happened but still it makes no sense that the kids parents would actually go along with it. Worse yet the early season sub-plot about Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, getting bullied just feels entirely needless. The first few episode progress incredibly slowly and the bullying subplot and several of the other teen angst directions they try and go in don’t work and feel like filler. You fill find yourself going please just get to it at times.

Overall, I am not saying it was a bad collection of episodes but I am saying this time around it felt far less  needed and far more forced, which of course hurt the show.

Pros.

Steve and Robin

Some fun to be had

The more overt horror feel

Cons.

Needless subplots that feel out of place

The pacing and episode length  

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