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Kermie Loves Elmo
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7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, So I only watched the first episode. Wow. That was bad! Too many things going on with too many characters with too many I didn't know. Short scenes. Music playing over everything. It really was a big mess. Ugh....
 

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Excellent.
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I will need to resubscribe to watch the season. My plan had been to wait until early June to do that, so I could see both parts of the season in a one-month-then-cancel-again term. However, I watched episode one with a friend last night and am curious enough about what's next that I may change that plan.

I didn't think it was bad, but there was certainly an element of the Duffer Brothers being high on their own supply. Most of the reviews have mentioned how unnecessarily long the episodes are, and I indeed thought this one could have been trimmed by at least ten minutes and lost nothing. Also a lot of jump cuts and sound effects turned up to 11.

I'm curious what characters you didn't know. The only brand new character -- which is to say, new person in the show who clearly will have a plot line of his own, vs. supporting/background filler -- is the dungeon master guy. Everyone else, I believe, are characters we already knew from past seasons.

One thing I found distracting is how much the kids have grown up. Not anybody's fault, obviously; but with all of them having gone through puberty in the three years since the show last aired, but this season being set only six months after the last, the difference is jarring. I wish the Duffers had opted to retool their story so the season could be set at least a year or two after the last. It make it a lot easier to accept that characters like Jonathan, who looks like he should have a mortgage and two kids, are still in high school. (Charlie Heaton is 26 or 27.) Or, for that matter, that the dungeon master guy is. (At least for him, the show suggested that he's on his third try at being a senior.)

Sadie Sink's Max has been my favorite character for a while, and I think Sink may be the best actor among the kids on the show. I have a feeling they're going to be leaning on her dramatic chops this season.

Vecna? Not scared yet, although the cheerleader's death was definitely gruesome. Yowch.
 

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Kermie Loves Elmo
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7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will need to resubscribe to watch the season. My plan had been to wait until early June to do that, so I could see both parts of the season in a one-month-then-cancel-again term. However, I watched episode one with a friend last night and am curious enough about what's next that I may change that plan.

I didn't think it was bad, but there was certainly an element of the Duffer Brothers being high on their own supply. Most of the reviews have mentioned how unnecessarily long the episodes are, and I indeed thought this one could have been trimmed by at least ten minutes and lost nothing. Also a lot of jump cuts and sound effects turned up to 11.

I'm curious what characters you didn't know. The only brand new character -- which is to say, new person in the show who clearly will have a plot line of his own, vs. supporting/background filler -- is the dungeon master guy. Everyone else, I believe, are characters we already knew from past seasons.

One thing I found distracting is how much the kids have grown up. Not anybody's fault, obviously; but with all of them having gone through puberty in the three years since the show last aired, but this season being set only six months after the last, the difference is jarring. I wish the Duffers had opted to retool their story so the season could be set at least a year or two after the last. It make it a lot easier to accept that characters like Jonathan, who looks like he should have a mortgage and two kids, are still in high school. (Charlie Heaton is 26 or 27.) Or, for that matter, that the dungeon master guy is. (At least for him, the show suggested that he's on his third try at being a senior.)

Sadie Sink's Max has been my favorite character for a while, and I think Sink may be the best actor among the kids on the show. I have a feeling they're going to be leaning on her dramatic chops this season.

Vecna? Not scared yet, although the cheerleader's death was definitely gruesome. Yowch.
I didn’t know the other basketball guy or the cheerleader, plus the mean kids group and the D&D friends. Maybe they needed to focus more and not throw everyone and the kitchen since in all at once. It’s been a while since the last season and I didn’t rewatch it since it came out.

I wanted more Winona. :)
 

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Excellent.
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I wanted more Winona. :)
Wound up hanging out with the same friend tonight and she wanted to watch episode two, so we've started that. About 20 minutes in and are taking a break for her to attend to kids.

Looks like you are getting more Winona in this one. :)

Also, very early in this episode was a scene that is exactly the reason I watch the show. Max goes to see Dustin and tell him who it was that died, and also suggest that maybe she was killed by... "something else". Of course Dustin is immediately on her wavelength and they head out to find Eddie and confirm what actually happened. The shared history of these kids, and how much they know that almost no one else does -- and their resoluteness in confronting it -- is awesome. I sort of chuckled as they headed out the door and Dustin's mom cried out, "It's not safe!" Those two kids may be the safest two in town.
 

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Excellent.
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My thoughts after the first two... not sure when I will be able to watch more:

Not especially interested in anything happening in California or Russia. Murray and the Russians were my least favorite part of season three and here we have more of each. Seems pretty clear Joyce (with Murray) is going to be off on her own most of this season rescuing Hopper, which... eh. Maybe there will be some payoff in the end, but the season is going to have to convince me that keeping Hopper alive was for more reasons that just giving Joyce something to do. We do know there is a demigorgon at the prison camp so maybe that will lead to something interesting.

Elsewhere in CA, it's completely believable that El wouldn't fit in at school, maybe even be picked on, but cranking the Mean Girl bullying up to (heh) eleven, as has happened so far, is too cartoony. They could make the same point with more pathos by underplaying that a lot more. Will isn't much of a "brother" to her as he mostly stands around and watches things happen. We ended up 30-second skipping through a lot of these scenes because they were too long and too much.

I like more the Hawkins plot lines. As I mentioned above, I get jazzed by the kids grimly taking on the mantle of saving the world again, so I'm glad the show immediately got Steve and Robin involved with Dustin and Max, and they all went and found Eddie. I assume they will flange in with Nancy at some point, who is coming to some realizations from another direction but on the same trail. I like her confidence this season. Meanwhile Lucas is going through a relatable struggle between wanting to be one of the cool kids and actually being himself. Who knows how long that will keep him on the outside of things but I wouldn't mind the show pulling him in quickly now since I've had about enough of the basketball team and their star player. Unfortunately he seems like he will be around for a while to stir up trouble for our heroes.
 

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I am Groot!
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58,044 Posts
I thought it was great the way (spoilers because it's stuff that's revealed in the finalé, and I see a number of people who haven't gotten there are reading the thread) the orderly, One, Henry Creel, and Vecna all turn out to be the same person. But it definitely took them way too long to get there.

For those who have finished, I'm a little confused by what Little Eleven does at the end. Does that open a doorway to the Upside Down...or create it?

I'm impressed with the actor they got to play Little Eleven. She really nails Millie Bobby Brown.

And of course Robin steals every scene she's in.

Will has always struck me...oddly. He was so important when he wasn't there, but once he became a part of the regular cast (i.e., came back from the Upside Down), he just didn't seem to be...there. Such a bland, inconsequential actor (or at least performance). It took me several appearances this season before I even remember who he was. And I never really cared.

The Russian stuff went on way too long. That could have all been one episode. Watching Hopper struggle painfully and never get anywhere was just torture porn.

And the heavy-handed Satanic Panic plotline was tedious.
 

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Meh.
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Smeeking... I watched the first episode. It was obvious that they wanted to make the show edgier as they are now in high school but I didn't like it. Frankly, I thought the first episode pretty much sucked except for the spooky Chrissy part at the end. I didn't like the drug dealing, Dungeons and Dragons guy at all. Plus, he looked like he was closer to getting his Social Security check than getting his high school diploma. I'll give the second episode a shot but if I'm still "Meh." about it, it'll be a little while before I do the third episode.
 

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Unknown Member
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I'll give the second episode a shot but if I'm still "Meh." about it, it'll be a little while before I do the third episode.
I doubt the second episode, or the third, are going to do much to encourage you. This cast & creators have some credentials with me, and I'm pushing on; but I'm beginning to have that "Battlestar Galactica" feeling that the first couple of seasons (fluke or whatever) were all there is.
 

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Meh.
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I doubt the second episode, or the third, are going to do much to encourage you. This cast & creators have some credentials with me, and I'm pushing on; but I'm beginning to have that "Battlestar Galactica" feeling that the first couple of seasons (fluke or whatever) were all there is.
I actually mostly liked the second episode so I'm getting ready to do the third one in a couple of minutes.
 

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Meh.
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I ended up binging the rest of the available episodes yesterday. I'd give it a C overall and I'm disappointed in that rating. It would have been better if it had concentrated on the interesting parts of the story. The good parts were very good but there were too many subplots that I didn't care about. The main subplot of the kids learning about Vecna and tracking him down was excellent. However, the Hopper subplot seemed like something extra thrown in so that the four main actors involved in it could get a paycheck. I had no interest in seeing Hopper being brutalized over and over. The prison yard fight with the demon was well done, though. Even worse was the inclusion of the bullying high school students. Frankly, I was cheering El on when she went upside that bully girl's head with the skate and hoped she's hit her again. Her star athlete boyfriend was another hated character that I wished would get off my tv asap. Hopefully, their roles will be vastly reduced in part two of the season. Once El separated from the group, her subplot dragged on and on until the end reveal.

There are a ton of good teenaged actors out there. It always bugs me when a show or movie hires young actors who look closer to 30 than to 16 or 17. I was constantly distracted by how out of character that Eddie and the star basketball player whose name I can't remember looked in their roles. The actor playing Ediie is 29 years old for cryin' out loud.
 

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L: 37-35
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I'm impressed with the actor they got to play Little Eleven. She really nails Millie Bobby Brown.
Did they? I thought it was CGI deaging. It had a bit of uncanny valley to my eye.
 

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I am Groot!
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Did they? I thought it was CGI deaging. It had a bit of uncanny valley to my eye.
There was some of both. Brown deaged was mostly in short, static scenes. Often, they just used regular Brown (with the kid showing up in mirrors). And sometimes they used the kid.

I suspect the kid wasn't much of an actor, because they didn't use her for many (maybe not any) of the speaking scenes.
 

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There was some of both. Brown deaged was mostly in short, static scenes. Often, they just used regular Brown (with the kid showing up in mirrors). And sometimes they used the kid.

I suspect the kid wasn't much of an actor, because they didn't use her for many (maybe not any) of the speaking scenes.
What they did was kind of similar to how they did Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian. They used the young actress as a stand-in who was then post processed via CGI into young Eleven. Her name is Martie Blair, and this is what she looked like at the Stanger Things premiere:


See the source image
 

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I am Groot!
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What they did was kind of similar to how they did Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian. They used the young actress as a stand-in who was then post processed via CGI into young Eleven. Her name is Martie Blair, and this is what she looked like at the Stanger Things premiere:


See the source image
There were some scenes that were clearly just the kid (again, ones where she didn't speak). And many that were just adult Brown in place of the kid. I only noticed a few that were the CGI blend.
 

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What they did was kind of similar to how they did Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian. They used the young actress as a stand-in who was then post processed via CGI into young Eleven. Her name is Martie Blair, and this is what she looked like at the Stanger Things premiere:


See the source image
After posting this I thought another comparison would be young Steve Rogers in Captain America, where they also used a smaller framed actor and CGI for the desired effect.
 

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Meh.
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It wasn't a big deal for me but if I ran Netflix I would have delayed dropping this series for a week because of the Uvalde school massacre. They displayed a disclaimer before the first episode so it's not like they didn't know it happened.

There are only two episodes left? Then why split the season into two parts? Also, the episodes ran 20 - 30 minutes longer than most shows' 40-ish minute lengths. They could have just shifted that extra episode length into extra episodes.
 

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There were some scenes that were clearly just the kid (again, ones where she didn't speak). And many that were just adult Brown in place of the kid. I only noticed a few that were the CGI blend.
I'm not sure what your referring to, I believe anytime we see a face on the young Eleven they have CGI Brown's into the scene, if not it would be obvious.
 
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