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I was just going to say that. The cliques you see in this show, which are the cliche cliques from Fast Times At Ridgemont High. And we also had "Cowboy" which was where all the red necks (strung together TCF *'s it out btw) hung out, chewed tobacco, and talked monster trucks.
This show really had the Fast Times... vibe to it, with monsters!
 

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Don't know if it will be long. but here are my other thoughts on the final two episodes/four hours/

I hate to lead with a criticism, as though my net opinion is negative. It's not. But's closer to neutral than I would like -- I'm a fan of this show -- because this was just too long. This isn't a complaint about the runtime per se, but what the show did with it. The last episode should have felt propulsive, and parts of it were, but the momentum kept being interrupted by long stretches of other things. As Alan Sepinwall wrote, for example, did we really need a redemption arc for the peanut butter smuggler? The pacing issues and overstuffing of the finale are emblematic of the season as a whole. As much as I appreciate Netflix for spending the money, and the Duffers and cast and crew putting in the work, this season and finale would have been more if it had been less. I found myself tapping the scrubber several times during episode nine and thinking, "I can't believe there are still ninety minutes left!" I should not be thinking about how long a finale is during the finale.

I am also somewhat disappointed that the show hasn't evolved much in the story it is telling. Every season: life is normal, something weird happens, it's the Upside Down!, the kids and Eleven band together to save the world. There was a lot that seemed new here that really wasn't; it was just dressed up in new locations and side quests and other distractions that contributed to the season being high calorie and lower in nutrition. I think the fundamental repetition isn't really an issue, because it's such a pleasure to watch this cast work together, but tighter storytelling would have made the potential problem fade int the background if all the extra stuff hadn't made me really think about the central story being told.

And: was it actually scary? Think back to season one. That season featured a single demogorgon and that one single thing filled the entire season with danger and suspense. Now demogorgons seem kind of like angry dogs. Sure, we and the characters are all now demogorgon veterans and so won't think of them the same way, but how often did this season really seem to feature danger?

OK, enough criticisms. For all that, I did like the season. But now I have to make that the subject of a different post, probably tomorrow.
On your first point, that's typical "critic" talk, where they are paid to find fault, especially of a hugely popular series, because, well critics want to look smart and contrarian, not "jump on the bandwagon". Sepinwall is one of the few critics I generally like to read, but this just sounds like critic speak to me. I completely disagree with your description of the final episode. I started watching the show at 6pm and the FIRST time I looked at the clock was 8pm, only because I had to pause it for a moment, and I said to my son, wow, that first 2 hours FLEW by.

I agree with your second point, the stories seem to be similar every season, but I guess that's what Hawkins is about too. I'm fine with it for the most part, though for a lot of it, you have to suspend belief (the whole Hopper in a Russian prison stuff was just too unbelievable for me), but I still liked the story, and I generally don't delve too deep into how real something is when we are dealing with monsters and such.

Lastly, it's hard for me to talk about how scary it was because I'm NEVER scared by any type of horror movie. I usually laugh at them mostly because they are mostly ridiculous. The only movie I've ever been truly scared enough to jump out of my seat was Jaws, and that's not a true horror movie.

As far as my opinion, I enjoyed the season mostly, and sure, as I said there was some really silly stuff, but it's that type of thing. I too thought they could have approached the bullying different, with the jocks and the mean girls, but I could live with it. When I heard through the grapevine that a MAJOR character was going to die, I thought about it and around E5 or so, I realized that it was going to be Eddie, because A) He's not part of the core cast, he's added in this season and B) his story felt like he could be a martyr, he's the kinda creepy (but underneath good hearted) guy that always winds up becoming the martyr to prove to people who he really was. But, the ONE thing that irked me (and I didn't realize that there was a plan for another season in the works already) is that they spent the WHOLE time trying to kill the big bad monster, ALL those hours, and, in the end, he's still alive and the town is destroyed. It kind of felt that in the end the bad guy won, and EVERYTHING they did all season led to nothing in the end, Eddie, dying, Max dying (and resurrected), lots of death and destruction and we are back where we started. I was hoping, if there was another season, it could be a different storyline, but as you said, that's not what they do with this series.
 

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Plus, the whole premise of the show is based on 11's powers, so the fact that they're not realistic is baked into the concept. But the jocks thinking that D&D players were committing ritualistic Satanic sacrifices was portrayed not as a supernatural element of the story, but as the realistic reactions of the townspeople.
Also if your recall, during the 80s that was a HUGE thing. Lots of rock music demonized as demonic, cultist music, folks playing D&D were thought of similarly. So the story line for a seemingliy strraight laced jock (in his mind) looking at the "freaky looking D&D playing kid" as satanic is straight out of the 80s. I just thought they could have used a different way to get to the ultimate payoff, but the more I think about it, the more I'm OK with it.
 

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Warning: The Daily Beast is a left leaning website. This article doesn't mention politics at all but you shouldn't click onto any other links on that page if your personal political view is different.

Considering that it feels like the writer liked NOTHING about the show, it's just a bunch of complaining.
 

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Yep- I thought the same thing- that LONG, LONG season- but what really happened? All that time fighting the monster/bad guy, and in the end looks like they are still going to be facing the same bad guy, and now the town is destroyed. The only difference I guess is the upside down is now in the "real" world.
Exactly, but, knowing now there will be an S5, then I'm sorta, kinda OK with that, as long as they wrap it up then. I enjoyed the season for the most part, but it felt like a great cross country trip that you took, but in the end you wind up back home to the same old stuff.

One thing I forgot to mention. I watched this in the room that has my Dolby Atmos rig and it really sounded awesome. I thought they did a great job giving you that "theater" feel with sound all around the room, especially the scenes in the upside down. Looked really good too on my Vizio mid range LED (non-OLED).
 

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I will start by saying I really enjoyed the season and it was my favorite so far. I did have a few nitpicks

1) I totally agree that the high school jocks story was completely unnecessary. Explaining it because he stood on the walkman doesn't justify the minutes spent on it. So many other ways that could have happened
2) I thought episode 4 was so good that the following episodes could not live up to it. Rare for a TV show but I genuinely thought she was going to die right up until she didn't. The following eps felt slightly disappointing because they were not as good as that one
3) Not sure why they decided that episode 9 needed to be so long. There were 2 clear 'fade to black' cut points, exactly where episodes could have been split. I know I can split it up myself but I feel obligated to watch as intended but then my mind really wandered.

Some people think you cannot like a show if you find any issues with it but I loved this season despite it's flaws.
I don't know if it was my favorite season (S1 I think has to be), but I enjoyed it, and much like Lost, again the ride might have been better than the payoff at the end. As I said, my major complaint is spending a whole season trying to kill off the main baddie, hatching up elaborate ways to do it, and in the end it's worse, not better. But with S5 looming I'm more OK with it than before I knew there would be a S5.

I've yet to watch a perfect movie or show. I could find flaws in anything and everything. The writers will invariably make a choice I wouldn't. That doesn't mean I'm right or they are.
 

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The only show I can say has been perfect for me was Breaking Bad. I don't remember having a single complaint about the show from start to end.
Of course you picked the one show that the consensus seemed to love, but I didn't and I found plenty of flaws. But like I said, that doesn't mean I'm right or they are (and I'm expecting about 5 of you to say THEY are :) ). But that's my point, not everyone likes everything or agree with the artistic choices made. While writers may write with their audience in mind, that doesn't mean that every choice is going to please everyone. That's impossible.
 

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Noah Schnapp's acting is just ... odd. He's fantastic at showing emotions. Even in S4 he's great at it: the scene in the car where he shows Mike his painting is so impressive. But, the way he delivers lines is so stilted and unrealistic, even in that car scene; it seems like he's acting in a high school play. I dunno, maybe it's just me.

I really enjoyed the season. None of the things carped about here bothered me at all. I was happy with the Russian stuff, I thought it was fun. I didn't mind the jocks story line. I attributed Jason's freak-out and going Rambo to him seeing what Vecna did to Kaleb: witnessing something like that has got to put you on tilt, if you're not already used to it :).

I'm quite sure that if they had gone with "ran out of battery" for why Max's walkman failed people here would have been over the edge in fury about it: it's the key to keeping her alive AND Hawkins and the world from being subsumed by the upside-down and they ... let the batteries run out?!?! Of course she DID replace the batteries periodically. They just didn't show it because... why bother?

In my opinion any amount of Stranger Things (so far) is fine; I don't mind them adding some "padding" as long as it's entertaining. If I get 10 hours of entertaining content instead of 8 hours of entertaining content I call it a win.
I think we all like to be amateur critics sometimes :) (most often better critics than the so called "professionals" who half the time did other jobs for their newspaper and suddenly were told, your now our TV critic!!) But anyway, someone will ALWAYS find something to complain about if the episode didn't go the way they wanted/expected it to. It's human nature. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. And while there were aspects of it I would have done differently (if I had any talent!), it was a fun ride for sure.
 
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