Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stranger Things III: Insert Clever Sub-Title Here

Hi there! Welcome to I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You, the number one blog among demi-gorgons with a median annual income between $50,000 to $75,000. I’m Dave-El and I’m not upside-down. It’s the rest of the world that’s upside-down and the sooner you accept that, the better.


Man, I hate Stranger Things. I hate stupid Netflix and the stupid Duffer Brothers and their stupid show about stupid… stupid…




My daughter introduced my wife and I to the show and we’ve been rationing it out at 2 episodes a week. Tomorrow, we will watch the last two episodes of Stranger Things and then, I’ll be done with this stupid thing!


Stupid show.



Man, I don’t want it to end!


Of course, I’m behind the 8-ball here. Everybody binged these episodes on Netflix back in the summer and now, everywhere I turn there’s Stranger Things references. This past weekend, Saturday Night Live did a sketch looking ahead to Stranger Things Season 2 which addresses the biggest unanswered questions from Season 1: where the hell are the black kid’s parents? By the way, the part of Dustin was played by the Tony award winning creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. So you can see the trajectory of his career since in left the show back in July.  Poor guy, maybe he can get his job back or something? 


So I had to watch Stranger Things just so I would know what the hell everyone is talking about. I do try to be pop culture savvy, even about things I have not personally experienced. It’s my pathetic effort to fight off the ravages of age by appearing smart and relevant. But Stranger Things has permeated so much of our pop culture consciousness that a mere “I am aware of it” was not going to carry the day. I needed to actually experience Stranger Things.


Last week saw the coils of the plot twist tighter as Chief Hopper breaks into the super duper secret quasi-governmental agency that’s exploring a dimensional portal that goes through a Cthulhu cosplayer. Hopper knows the truth about Will’s dead body and he’s tired of this shit so he’s barging in looking for answers. Hopper might be fly and all that but he’s outnumbered. But instead of getting killed, they dump in back home where it looks Hopper has gone through another bender of pills and alcohol. Hopper knows the truth but has no proof. So he turns to the one person who is in the same fix: Joyce, Will’s mother. 


Also on the outside looking in is Jonathan and Nancy. Nancy’s friend Barb is still missing and Nancy has had encounter with a creature in the woods, a creature that looks suspiciously like the one Joyce described to Jonathan. And appears in the background of a photo that Jonathan took of Barb. So Jonathan and Nancy go monster hunting. They’re an oil and water combo but with more in common than they realize, more than just the mystery and the horror that has drawn them together. While in the woods, Nancy finds a portal through a tree which she follows into a strange and horrifying world. We’ve seen this before, from Barb’s perspective. It looks like the world we know but a dark and sinister reflection of it. Nancy narrowly escapes, an event that leaves her traumatized. Jonathan takes her back home and Nancy insists that Jonathan stay with her. Meanwhile, guess who sees all this and gets the wrong idea? Yep, Steve. You know, we’ve been on the fence about Steve. On one hand, he seemed like a smarmy guy just trying to work his way into a girl’s panties; on the other hand, he really does seem to be concerned for Nancy’s welfare. Well, that went all the way the hell out the window last week. 


Meanwhile, our three boy adventurers and the girl named Eleven with the super mental powers are on the trail of their “dead” friend Will. They too have heard Will on the other side of wherever he is which the boys call “The Upside Down”. But knowing that Will is still alive is not the bonding experience you would think. Dustin has figured out that their compasses are wonky and may lead to the gateway into the Upside Down. Eleven is not keen on this and uses her powers to manipulate the compasses to keep them away from the gate. Well, this pisses off Lucas who never trusted Eleven to begin with and Mike has had his trust in her shattered. All this tension leads to a brawl between Mike and Lucas. After she uses her powers to stop the fight, Eleven vanishes and Lucas has had enough of this shit. Lucas is searching for Will on his own when he makes a connection that causes him to realize he and his friends are being watched. After a fortuitous reunion with Eleven, Mike and Dustin take her back to Mike’s house and yep, they’re being watched. The mystery agency at the heart of this mess knows where Eleven is. 


And… roll credits.


God, I hate this show!


Once more, while the core supernatural puzzle remains intriguing, the real fascination I have with this series is watching the people as they unravel into despair and then, find some kind of hope, no matter how slim, to hang on to.


That’s not to say the most recent episodes didn’t have a few flaws. Chief Hopper seems to be clutching the idiot ball real tight when he breaks into the Hawkins facility. Yeah, he looks all bad ass letting nothing stand in his way but for a man as smart as he is, you would think he would have an exit strategy. He should know there’s only so far he can get into that secret lab before he can’t get back out again. Maybe he’s driven by desperation but still…  Meanwhile, Jonathan knows that the creature his mother saw is real. Nancy saw it too and he has a picture. But he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to clue her in right now because… reasons? She’s flipping out, determined her son is alive yet self-aware enough to know she sounds crazy. What Jonathan knows can help her to realize she’s not alone in this. But no. Maybe he doesn’t want mom horning in on his unexpected alone time with Nancy? I don’t know.


But even analyzing these perceived flaws only underscores my interest in this show. And now there are only two more episodes to go?


Damn, how I hate Stranger Things!

Thanks for dropping by. I'll be back with another post tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.

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